Morning News â Leslie Mielke
Seamstress Roxann Sanchez of Dawn Enterprises in Blackfoot is putting a visor on a hood. This hood is called a "frog" and is prepared for the U.S. Marines.
In recognition of Disability Awareness Month during October, Dawn Enterprises conducted an open house in Blackfoot. The facility is at 280 Cedar St. in Blackfoot.
The company has been in business 35 years. It helps disabled individuals, be they socially, mentally or physically challenged.
On Monday, guests were invited to tour the facility.
In the production part of the business, hoods are contracted to be made for a number of companies or entities.
The hoods are made from different materials for specific needs. For example, a fire retardant material is used for hoods sewn for firefighters. One hood is specifically designed for use by sailors in the U.S. Navy. Itâs waterproof.
One hood, called a âfrogâ is designed for the U.S. Marines. The material has Kevlar in it.
Another hood looks like it would be warm enough to wear in the Arctic. Itâs a good thing, too, because thatâs where it is headed.
The PBI hood is worn on the television set of âJag.â
Dawn Enterprises boasts quality workmanship and has every right to do so. Each seam is inspected before the product goes anywhere.
âBefore it gets to the final inspection, itâs already top quality,â said production supervisorBeth Burns. âWe have a lot of pride in what we do here.
âItâs an interesting and fun place to work,â she said.
Other goods produced at Dawn Enterprises include fin fun mermaid tales, purses, sheets and briefs and bras for the military. Vacuum bags made from Kevlar to pick up hot ash are made for Boeing. Outfitters supplies, horse tack and packs are also made here.
Filters, swipes and dustclothes are also made here.
To qualify for these contracts, 75 percent of the labor hours must be done by individuals with disabilities.
There are 80 plus individuals working at Dawn Enterprises and 21 more individuals who participate in the sheltered workshop program.
Developmental therapy, vocational, technical and contract services are available at Dawn Enterprises.
Vocational coordinator Sindi Crosland said she is in charge of job development and on-the-job training.
"We do evaluations, placement and âfollow- alongsâ that support the employers and our clients," Crosland said.
Through developmental therapy, disabled people can practice budgeting, do comparison shopping, receive residential rehabilitation, learn social niceties and become integrated into the community.
The technical coordinator is in charge of shipping and receiving and oversees the mechanics.
The contract coordinator is in charge of the Ability One program. Through the NISH program (formerly National Industries for the Severely Handicapped), Dawn Enterprises can apply to contract services for varying entities.
This year, Dawn Enterprises received the Bronze Level Achievement Award âin recognition of your commitment to your employees with disabilities demonstrated by participation in the Ability One Quality Work environment initiative.â
For more information, contact Dawn Enterprises at (208) 785-5890 or online at http//:DawnEnt.org.