The Solid Start program will be recognized at North Dakota First Lady Kathryn Burgum's 4th annual Recovery Reinvented event on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The virtual event will feature speakers and those telling their stories of hope and resilience.
Spread out across their massive plant, workers at Solid Comfort are turning out furniture soon headed to hotels coast to coast. This week headboards and desks will be sent to California and to Florida next week.
Although Solid Comfort employees highlight this manufacturing plant is not the "typical employer" because of their "Solid Start" philosophy.
"We are one of the places that it is proof, it does work," said John Tucker, Solid Comfort's vice president of manufacturing operations.
Just ask Molly Tice who, a few years ago, was fighting addiction and serving a prison sentence. She faced similar roadblocks to others who have served prison sentences.
"I went to a lot of places and got a lot of 'No's'. Nobody wanted to hire me," Tice said. "I was a drug addict, and it didn't matter that I had changed my life. I came here and told them I had no experience, but I am a hard worker and a fast learner. I told them if you give me a chance, I need this job. I needed someone to believe in me and they did."
And many others who work at Solid Comfort tell similar stories.
"We don't care what happened in your past, we are looking at you today and what you can do," said Heather Schimke, Solid Comfort's human resources manager.
It is quite a mix of people at the factory, new Americans working alongside a handful of men and women who are trying to start their lives over and getting a boost at a company willing to take that leap with them.
"We just updated our 401K plan, and for me, seeing the same women two years ago in a prison participating in a 401K, those are my wins," Schimke said.
More than 100 workers help build, assemble and ship out hundreds of furniture pieces daily.
Although, the lives being rebuilt and reassembled have a much large impact.
"There are so many success stories, who came here, are in recovery are doing so well they bought a house, they have their kids back. I have my family back in my life," Tice said.
Those interested in attending the free event can register online at recoveryreinvented.com.