Margaret placed a clamp on a hose and thought about her job.
“I don’t want to stay home and get bored,” she said.
She picked up another hose and slid on a clamp.
Since 1981, Margaret has built dishwasher parts for Electrolux at Neuse Enterprises, Inc. She knows she could have stayed home during those years, but as an adult with a developmental disability, Margaret shows up to work five days a week, six hours at a time.
Neuse Enterprises formed almost 36 years ago to find work for adults with developmental disabilities.
Leon Deans, executive director for Neuse Enterprises, joined the non-profit company in 1993 as production coordinator. He became director 18 years later.
Deans referred to the company, located at 3800 Commerce Drive at the end of the road, as “one of the best kept secrets in Kinston.”
“We’re a vital part of the community,” Deans said. “We are proud of what we do here. We are dedicated in helping consumers develop skills for competitive employment, independent living and community involvement.”
Between 60 and 75 adults work for Neuse Enterprises, making parts for Electrolux, cleaning Grainger Stadium and performing various jobs at local businesses.
Margaret, Gary, Sherwin and Jennifer became friends at Neuse Enterprises. They each use pliers to loosen clamps before putting them onto dishwasher hoses.
“I get to see all my friends,” Sherwin said. He has worked at Neuse Enterprises for over 20 years.
“I get to make more money,” Gary said.
Pam Muller, operations manager, arrived at the company two years ago. She walked through the warehouse on her first day and watched what the consumers could do and build.
“We take people that would normally be either walking the streets or sitting at home watching TV and give them a purpose,” she said.
“And they are just absolutely amazing.”