Disabilities in distribution centers means “Build Smart” for Walgreens

Fast Company is a popular publication at The Korte Company. Partly because of their innovative business writing, partly because of their focus on tech trends. But mostly, it’s a popular publication because of their focus on “building smart”.

At The Korte Company, “build smart” is a term we use to describe people, companies and ideas that are enabling a better future and are working to make the world a better place to live. It’s a simple idea, with very complex, incredible possibilities; it’s a phrase that seems to excite all who walk our halls.

Recently, one of our associates found a terrific article about a building we built. It was our largest project to date and is in Windsor, Connecticut. It’s a Walgreens Distribution Center.

The fact that we built it truly has nothing to do with why we’re writing about it. Our 686,000 square feet of Design-Build construction pale in comparison to the amount of good that’s currently taking place there. We were excited in the first place to have been chosen for the project, but after reading the article, we’re nothing short of honored.

At this particular Walgreens Distribution Center, half the staff is disabled. Lots and lots and lots of people are working, who might not otherwise have a job, because Walgreens has learned how to effectively utilize an untapped, very stable, employment resource. To us, that’s the definition of build smart.

The article goes on to state: “A study of its (Walgreens) distribution centers by the American Society of Engineers found that workers with disabilities had a turnover rate 48% lower than that of the nondisabled population, with medical costs 67% lower and time-off expenses 73% lower.”

Employing disabled employees isn’t something that happens overnight though. It takes time. Walgreens for example, has a disability outreach program that dates back to 2002. The Windsor facility is the company’s safest, most productive warehouse. Across their 21 distribution centers, 10% of their employees are disabled and the company is looking to grow that to 20%.

Walgreens – good for you. Thanks for building smart. Read the story here.

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