Mariah Estes places bracket mounts in bags for Oversize Warning Products Inc. at the Sunflower Diversified Services manufacturing plant. Estes is a client at Sunflower, which recently teamed up with the local business.
Shawn Bates said “it is difficult to put into words” how much he appreciated the phone call from a local business co-owner.
As director of production at Sunflower Diversified Services, Bates is always seeking more employment opportunities for clients at the non-profit agency that serves people with special needs.
And job opportunities were exactly what Clayton Heidelberg proposed during the phone call. He co-owns Oversize Warning Products Inc., 258 SE 20 Road, Great Bend, with David and Raquel Huddleston.
“We can’t thank Clayton and the Huddlestons enough for providing more jobs for the people we serve,” Bates said. “All of us are very excited to begin a nurturing, long-lasting business relationship with this great local company.
“The contract has a positive impact on Sunflower’s bottom line,” he added. “But the biggest reward is seeing people become more independent and confident, while enjoying the rewards of earning their own paychecks.”
Bates encourages other local and area businesses to consider Sunflower for packaging and assembly jobs too.
“As a non-profit entity, our pricing structures are among the most competitive in any industry,” Bates noted. “In addition, we not only operate a manufacturing and assembly plant, we prepare people to have the option of working in community-based jobs.
“We take this mission to heart. Businesses such as Oversize Warning Products help us meet our goals at the plant and throughout the community.
Heidelberg said Sunflower is allowing his company to meet growing production needs, as it manufactures safety signs and flags for the trucking industry.
“Our primary products are yellow ‘Oversize Load’ signs, and red or orange flags,” Heidelberg said. “When you drive through Great Bend, you can see our products on the fronts, backs and corners of trucks hauling windmill blades or other large equipment.”
He made the original call to Bates because “I had heard good things about Sunflower. They support people on the job and pay them a fair wage. I am happy to use their services when they do so much for our community.
“I encourage others to talk with Shawn Bates,” he continued. “He has been a pleasure to work with and made the transition a breeze when we moved some of our processes to Sunflower.”
A few Sunflower clients are currently bagging hardware and soon will package other items for Oversize Warning Products. These additions will increase the number of workers who fulfill the business contract.
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults with delays and disabilities in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 55th year.