Casino Resort finds the perfect solution for disabled staff –

When Joel Moore, vice president of hotel operations at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Calif., brought in PRIDE Industries to staff the hotel’s newly integrated laundry department, it didn’t seem like a bet. This decision may seem risky to some, as PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise that recruits, trains, places and supports people with disabilities to provide a wide variety of hospitality services.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort, with 270,000 square feet of gaming space, 18 restaurants and bars, and a 17-story hotel with 408 rooms generates 10,000 pounds of laundry on an average day and 14,000 pounds during peak times.

Thunder Valley turned to PRIDE Industries to reduce costs and improve the quality of hotel laundry service, which they trucked across three counties. “Our management team visited the Roseville facility just down the road in 2018, and when we saw the quality of their work, we thought ‘this might be the perfect fit,'” Moore said.

The in-house laundry service went live the following year, and Moore’s gamble paid off. “We started in March 2019 and quickly reached our production targets,” he said. “The PRIDE Industries team has surpassed our previous supplier in quality and quantity.”

But what impressed Moore the most was not the quality of the work but the quality of the people.

“PRIDE Industries employees bring so much joy to work,” he said. “They are so happy to be in the community, to have a real job. It’s contagious. »

“The level of absenteeism is lower than other teams, and they engage with everyone they meet – they’ve really added to our culture,” Moore added. “We are all more sensitive to the abilities of people with disabilities inside and outside of work.

Retention, a secret weapon

In the era of the Great Resignation, when it’s so hard to find frontline workers, retention is one of PRIDE Industries’ secret weapons. “These employees stay longer because they love working here — they’re not looking for their next job,” Moore said. However, some employees have moved on to other areas such as catering and daycare, where they work more independently.

In addition to laundry, PRIDE Industries provides custodial and catering employees to several California hotels and casinos. The company also provides facilities and grounds maintenance to commercial and federal customers, servicing 13,000 buildings every day. It is one of only 0.02% of U.S. custodian companies to achieve CIMS-GB (Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings) certification by developing its own line of environmentally friendly cleaning products that meet EPA’s Safer Choice program standards.

PRIDE Industries also provides transport, supervision and management of its employees. “You get a full squad,” Moore said. “Our in-house managers love working with them as they are well trained and punctual and, I can’t stress enough, they bring so much happiness to our hotel and casino.”

Started by parents

In 1966, a group of parents in Sacramento, California met to discuss how to create opportunities for their adult children with disabilities. These parents found a solution that allowed their children to experience the dignity, independence and determination that come with employment. It was PRIDE Industries.

Fast forward 56 years and PRIDE Industries is now the nation’s largest employer of people with disabilities and has grown to provide jobs for those with other barriers to employment, including veterans and former youth adoptees. . The company employs people in a wide range of fields, including manufacturing, logistics and facilities management for companies such as HP, Inc., the General Services Administration and the US Air Force, while providing a full range of support services.

Sound business decision

Moore is quick to point out that while hiring PRIDE Industries may seem like a goodwill gesture, it comes down to the best business decision. “We give people jobs, and that feels good, but we have production and quality targets to meet,” he said. These are our primary KPIs, but we ended up getting so much more than great laundry service. »

Moore said he would encourage anyone looking to improve their laundry, custodial or facilities teams, and are hesitant to hire people with disabilities, to speak to PRIDE Industries executives. “Their employees don’t have the limitations you expect of them, and they enhance your entire workforce,” he added.

Moore recalled the moment his hesitation disappeared. “I found out that PRIDE Industries provides guard services at Sacramento International Airport,” he said. “I was walking through the airport before starting the laundry service and noticed how sparkling clean it was, and I was sure we had made the right decision.”

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