24 Aug, 2015
Taicang city, Jiangsu province (chinadaily.com.cn) 2015-08-18 – Taicang Sino-German Handicapped Technology Co (TSGHT) has come to the limelight nearly five months after its opening on March 26 in Taicang city, Jiangsu province.
According to Lu Xiaochen, one of the 12 disabled people working at the facility, the company is expected to turn a profit after nearly half a year’s hard work together.
At an initial investment of 2 million yuan ($312,930) from Taicang Roundtable, a European business association operating in the city, the company was the first one built by Germans to help the disabled in China.
To keep the business growing, dozens of German companies have either offered financial support, or placed orders with the company, or sponsored some of the equipment.
The 12 employees with mental or physical disabilities have been trained by German experts for months to do hand finishing, packaging and welding works.
The company pays the workers at least 1,800 yuan per month, in compliance with the minimum wage standards of nearby Shanghai. And the workers get full coverage by the social insurance network.
Now that the business is progressing smoothly, the company plans to expand the work force to 40 to 50 people in the future to help more disabled people.
The company’s success has a special meaning for the local community as the number of such entities in Suzhou that offer jobs to disabled people has fallen from over 1,000 to a mere 297 in the past two decades, due to financial problems.
Unlike other similar operations, TSGHT encourages its employees to aim higher and work for a profit so they would not think of themselves as different from other people.
Lu Xiaochen, 25, spent one year unemployed after graduated from a polytechnic school before he was hired by TSGHT. He uses English when he talks to the executives. He said he feels valued working at the factory because there are costumers waiting for their products and service. He also said that their work hours (six hours a day) are fully booked because the business is good.
Currently, Taicang is home to 29,800 people with disabilities.