FACILITATING. Donna Konicki is CEO of Bridgeways.
Social enterprise organizations, which combine a business venture with training and employment for people facing barriers to becoming part of the workforce, are common in manufacturing in the Northwest. Bridgeways has found its niche serving those living with mental illness. It has 37 employees in that category, representing just over half of the total workforce.
Bridgeways has been increasing those employees’ share of total hours worked by building a workplace specifically designed to help them become comfortable and productive in their jobs. But Bridgeways doesn’t forget it still must operate as a business and it works to succeed at that by being nimble enough to handle short-flow, low-count production work. Bridgeways reported $3.7 million in manufacturing revenue last year from such activities as aerospace electrical assembly and tool refurbishment. Next step: adding customers in the marine and medical-device industries.