Job Coach - Ginny Papenhousen
C-Pak is a small family-run custom packaging and bottle decoration company. It began as a labeling company in their family home and is now located in a warehouse off Hopkins Crossroads and I-94. There are three different job areas that students are involved in at various levels, depending on the students' abilities.
C-Pak occasionally will assemble various products (Pack-Off) depending on the contract. Most often the task is assembly-line style. The task is completed, put on pallets and shrink-wrapped. Students are often involved in all aspects of these jobs in that the tasks are traditionally very labor intensive. Students are taught how to safely use a utility knife, tape gun and hand jack. C-Pak has reduced the number of pack-offs since it began silk screening bottles in July of 1998.
C-Pack operates 4-5 labeling machines. The labeling machines are more sophisticated than they look are are regulated and operated by at least one person trained in that area. (not a student) The process is basically the same with all labeling machines in that the students may be involved in the loading or unloading of the bottles onto the machines or opening and closing boxes. All of the machines employ a conveyor belt that moves the bottles along to be labeled. The bottles are either dropped into a box at the end or placed into a cardboard case designed for the specific project. Boxes are typically taped and put on pallets once labeled. Speed is a critical skill needed when working directly with the machines because the idea is to keep up with the speed of the process and the other workers. Students not able to keep up with the pace are asked to open or close boxes and place them on pallets. C-Pak employees staff these machines and our students are extra helpers and can be utilized when breaks are needed.
BOTTLE SILK SCREENING
C-Pak owns two silk screening machines, a one-color and a three-color machine. Workers are needed in loading bottles onto a conveyor belt and many times at the end when they are bulk boxed or stack packed. Stack packing is a job many of our students are capable of doing provided they can count accurately and follow a designated patten of rows and layers within each case. Many times bottles are packed bulk and need to be weighed and adjustments made to the bottle count. Students also easily manage this task once they learn the perimeters.
C-Pak is a warehouse setting, thus temperatures and cleanliness of the environment has a wide variance. Students with allergies or severe asthma may have difficulties. Building bathrooms are handicapped accessible. Many types of machinery are in operation and have dangerous aspects such as cutting blades, UV light, conveyor belts and forklifts. Students with a lack of impulse control should be carefully screened.
The Five area the employer looks at as desirable when considering hiring are:
- Speed on task
- Ability to make visual judgements
- Physical agility and good eye-hand motor control
- Reliability (good attendance)