Salt Lake City’s Momentum Recycling has teamed up with the Odyssey House, a local nonprofit that helps people recover from substance abuse, to help staff its new glass recycling facility near the airport. The partnership will offer Odyssey’s clients a chance to get workforce training and build a resume. John Lair, President and CEO of Momentum Recycling says working at his plant can be dirty, hot, loud and sometimes smelly, but it’s a great opportunity for people trying to rebuild their lives.
“What we found with Odyssey House personal is that this is an awesome opportunity for them to get reintroduced into the work force gain some experience and some resume credibility and begin to rebuild their careers and their lives.”
Momentum Recycling is a small family owned company in Salt Lake City with 10 full-time employees who process about 300 tons of glass a month. It recently partnered with the city to begin offering curbside glass recycling pick-up for residents. Working to expand the company, it’s teamed up with Odyssey House, offering jobs to people getting treatment for substance abuse. Odyssey House now places clients at the Momentum plant, to do jobs like sorting glass, loading material, and operating forklifts. Lair says a great deal of time goes into organizing the glass before it gets processed.
“Two of these platforms are for contaminants sorting and the other three platforms are for color sorting. Again we need to get that brown glass out of the stream, so they are picking out the brown glass, which we process separately, so those are the main functions that the odyssey folks are doing."
Plant Manager Justin Mills says so far they have four employees from Odyssey House who are there working through its Private Industry Vocational Training Program.
“They keep up with everyone in the plant and they have been excited for opportunities, they are driving equipment, and running machines, and they have done an outstanding job.”
Kali Mower, Marketing Director for Odyssey House says Odyssey clients work a few months at a time through the PIVT program while receiving treatment for their substance abuse, adding it helps clients pay for their treatment.
“We have all of the money go into their treatment, so that either gets them off their parents dollar, insurance or any government funding, so it gets them personally invested in their treatment which provides a lot of success on that front to have them involved in their own care.”
She says in the current job market many of Odyssey’s clients have had trouble finding work after completing treatment, and says that often leads to a relapse. She says vocational training helps clients rebuild their lives and develop a resume, while also offering a resource to local businesses looking for employees.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for them to gain work experience and be more marketable on the back and so this is a win win for these individuals placed with them. And even though the job is not as glamorous as it could be there’s a lot that these individuals get from it and they like working hard and going out and contributing and having that self worth of accomplishing things."
She says many participants in the PIVT program are later hired fulltime by the companies they work for. Other businesses participating in the PIVT program include Canyons Resort, Hammerton Lighting, and Ace Hardware. Momentum is working to expand its operations within the year, to include ten Odyssey employees.