A Wheeling Company in the National Spotlight was invited to share their message with the U.S> Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.
Inside production at the Ziegenfelder Company in Wheeling they’re not just making thousands of these delicious budget saver twin pops they’re changing lives.
Ziegenfelder CEO Lisa Allen says using open-minded hiring practices have given people who need it most, a second chance.
Employee Michael Tenley says his job at Ziegenfelder’s is the perfect fit for his military background.
Like his background, Michael calls the crew inside a team. A diverse group of co-workers looking out for the men and women on their left and right.
One of the things that I found interesting when I came here was this company has a set of essentials, they call them Ziegenfelder essentials,” Tenley said.
CEO Lisa Allen says those essentials drive the popsicle production and have created what they’re known for, compassionate hiring.
“Because there’s really bright, great, hard-working people who have made bad choices,” said Allen.
Lisa estimates about 20% of employees have criminal pasts or have struggled with addiction.
There are no boxes to check off on this application, you just need a willingness to work hard with integrity.
Tenley also said, “We give them a place to start and they can begin to dig themselves out of a whole and just improve their life.”
Employees going from incarcerated to second chance, homeless to home-owner these are the real stories Lisa says she’s proud to tell in Washington.
Allen said, “If our little company that makes a twin pop that makes people smile can bring attention to Wheeling to West Virginia, then we’re happy to stick our necks out and be a little bit different.”
“It’s a rewarding experience to be able to help local folks,” said Tenley.
CEO Lisa Allen will speak at the U.S. Chamber Headquarters tomorrow.
Another Wheeling CEO, Kathy Szafran, from Crittenton Services will also be in Washington D.C. speaking at a conference.