Filter distribution company employs crew with disabilities from the area, which has become very much a part of the company’s business

A growing Zumbrota company, Commercial Water Distributing (CWD), has been named ProAct Employer of the Year by the nonprofit’s Red Wing facility, which supports a group of individuals with disabilities who work on weekdays at the filter distribution company.  award received

“ProAct has been an integral partner as we continue to build our business,” said Commercial Water Distributing CEO Jamin Arvig.  “They connect us with amazing people who help us accomplish our goals so we can provide value to our customers and the world.

ProAct Vocational Services Specialist Sam Kapala said staff members at ProAct have been impressed with how CWD includes the ProAct crew in recognition events and company meals, and it does a good job of making sure the people have sufficient training and adequate work space.  The jobs there have also been a great opportunity for people with disabilities who live in Zumbrota and nearby communities to work each day with a minimal commute.

The two organizations are also exploring options to bring overflow work to ProAct’s substantial packaging and assembly operation in Red Wing.  CWD was recognized as one of the fastest growing companies by Inc. 5000 for five years and has received awards from the Better Business Bureau and Bizrate.   “However, the awards that mean the most to us are the ones that say we are a ‘best place to work.’  We spend a lot of time and energy trying to make sure we have a strong culture and a great place for people to build their careers,” said Arvig.  “Thank you for this honor.”

The firm specializes in drinking water filters and products that use reverse osmosis.  Refrigerator filters and chemical water purification are additional specialties, as are water filters for refrigerators and coffee makers.

Workers from ProAct sort and repackage the products, apply bar code labels and ready them for shipment.  Maintaining quality is the primary concern, crewmembers explained.  Most of the crewmembers had worked previously at ProAct’s facility in Red Wing, but these job opportunities have allowed them to work more hours and more days per week because the trip to Red Wing and back is no longer necessary.
“The team is an inspiration to others and brightens the environment with their positive attitudes and enthusiasm,” said Stacy Larson, director of operations.  Crews are working full days, four to five days a week.

ProAct has a major operation in Red Wing.  Its headquarters is in Eagan, and there are additional locations in Zumbrota and in Hudson, Wis.  Its mission is to serve individuals experiencing barriers to employment and self-sufficiency due to intellectual and developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health issues, traumatic brain injuries, and other challenges.

Commercial Water Distributing Director of Operations Stacy Larson, receives the award at a recognition banquet with more than 500 in attendance in Red Wing. She is pictured with Sam Kapala, ProAct vocational services specialist.

CWD crew