PWF posted Welfare To Mainstream Jobs – Chewyings Bridging Tool two years ago and now Chewyings Lawn and Horticulture (CLH) has been short listed as a finalist in the Telstra Business Awards.
CLH is a ‘quiet achiever’ providing quality lawn and garden care and property management to the Shoalhaven region of NSW for 15 years.
Amongst many other awards CLH was a winner in the Shoalhaven Micro Business Awards 2009. It is a model for Aboriginal communities and people wanting to move out of Community Development Employment Programs (CDEP) and into the mainstream labour market.
The Indigenous Stock Exchange (ISX) has acted as a mentoring partner to Chewyings for some 6 years and Rob Chewying has overcome the hurdle of suffering from bipolar disorder.
Rob enjoys running the business and believes it can act as a model in helping communities close the gap between welfare and the real economy.
CLH has expanded, without outside funding, while employing only welfare dependants. Rob and his family are independent from funding or social security and they employ 5 staff.
The business model is small but effective, with the infrastructure to guide other communities in how to adopt the same methodology.
Rob continues to develop his bridging tool for welfare dependents and also help in the application of WordPress on the Alpha net server, with his public site.
This is a prototype for other Indigenous businesses. It aims to help streamline the offer of the new server for Indigenous communities.
Rob is looking for communities or individuals to help take this model further.
CLH employees work when they wish. They work for as little or as long as they want and yet earn a real wage that is not subsidised like work at sheltered workshops, trainee positions, the CDEP etc. The first step of building the bridge between welfare and the mainstream workforce is a job system that educates and supports welfare recipients to gain the confidence to take the next step into the real economy.
The CLH success is in the systems Rob and his crew have developed that marry the needs and wants of customers with the special needs of the CLH work force in a low key way:
* Customers enjoy a standard of service or better than normally expected
* Workers, after a short period of hands-on training (on full wages) need only do a minimum of paperwork and reporting.
Well done Chewyings and good luck in the Telstra Awards.