Regional workshop hana
This is an introduction by the equalto staff about regional workplace ‘hana’ and its workers, who manufacture equalto’s “Ohukuro” products. We interviewed Manager Mr.Tsutsui about how the day-to-day operation is like at NPO Community Works’ hana, regional workplace.
What inspired you to start regional workplace ‘hana’?
Mr. Tsutsui: In my previous job, I had a chance to work with people with disabilities(PwDs), and learned that there were very little work opportunities in Kisarazu area for PwDs. I established regional workplace called hana, with hopes to create a reliable and consistent place for everyone, whether with or without disabilities, where they could utilize their individual strength and work when they wished to.
Tell us about the day-to-day activities.
Mr. Tsutsui: At hana, about 20 PwDs living in Kisarazu area come to work every day. Our idea is to “create work according to each characteristic, rather than assigning people to specific positions”. Our efforts include production of eco bags for English newspapers, making sweets under the supervision of a top patissier, sewing work, and various consignment work from companies.
equalto team staff: It must be fulfilling work life for the workers when they can utilize their strength at work and develop their capabilities.
We heard that you also run a café and a shop. What kind of features does it have?
Mr. Tsutsui: In consideration of the diversified disabilities, we newly opened “Natural Café + Shop hanahaco (hanahaco)”. In terms of work creation for PwDs, it allows wprlers to generate and organize work at our/workers’ own specifications and pace. Our workers handle the preparation of food and dish washing, drink counter, cleaning before the opening time, inventory management, and so on.
equalto team staff: I see. So you created a workplace for those who were good at performing tasks other than manufacturing. When I visited the shop the other day, I felt really comfortable in the nice atmosphere.
Mr. Tsutsui: hanahaco is not designed or advertised as a typical welfare facility. Most of our customers probably don’t realize that the store also functions as a welfare facility for PwDs. We chose to operate it in this way because the purpose of the business is to raise as much sales to pay more wages to PwDs.
equalto team staff: I understand how you’re trying to satisfy many people through the favorable atmosphere and menu. I look forwards to visiting there again!
Lastly, please tell us about the future outlook.
Mr. Tsutsui: Our goal is to be able to pay about the same amount as the minimum wage to everyone with disabilities working in hana and hanahaco. Currently, the wage is still 1/3 of the target amount, so it is important for us to attract more customers and broaden the scope of work. For that, all of our staff is working together step by step to further promote our business.
equalto team staff: We wish you the best for your success!