The Communal Union for Youth and Social Affairs (KVJS) awarded five companies with a new sustainability prize for their long-term commitment to employing severely disabled people. Amongst the laureates was the KERN-LIEBERS GmbH & Co. KG.
Prof. Roland Klinger, director of the KVJS, praised the awardees as „companies which proof that a social corporate culture is no hindrance but can even be a factor of success.“ KERN-LIEBERS gives people with mental and physical disabilities a chance and provides them with exemplary support. Only recently, an employee depending on a wheelchair received a handicapped accessible, separate parking space, and the access to his workplace was designed barrier-free.
At the award ceremony last Wednesday, Martin Hofferberth, head of Human Resources at KERN-LIEBERS, emphasized the good cooperation with the KVJS‘ authority for integration: „As a major employer we dispose of a large portfolio when it comes to creating individual workplaces for handicapped people. For this, we are in close contact with our workers‘ council and the representative of the severely disabled, as well with the authority for integration. We also try to raise the awareness of our 130 trainees and students for the topic of disability. For this reason we cooperate with the St. Franziskus Foundation, which takes care of disabled people.“
KERN-LIEBERS employs more handicapped people than required by law - an engagement, which is not the rule: of the around 21.400 companies with over 20 employees in Baden-Württemberg which are required to hire disabled people, about 45% do not or not sufficiently meet the official goal. „The actual quota of employment of disabled people (=5%) is only 4.4% in Baden-Württemberg“ explains Prof. Klinger. „The awardees are role-models, and the KVJS hopes many companies will follow their example. Moreover, while the overall unemployment rate in Baden-Württemberg is 3.6%, the one for disabled people is 7.2%. All the more reason to award committed companies, which work against this trend and operate as sustainable “flagships” for the employment of disabled people in Baden-Württemberg.“
Besides KERN-LIEBERS four other companies received the award: the Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz factory Gaggenau with the gear facility in Rastatt), the Freie Waldorfschule Freiburg St. Georgen in Freiburg, the nursery home Neckargemünder Hof in Neckargemünd, as well as the Helmut Schneider GmbH in Künzelsau-Amrichshausen.
KERN-LIEBERS will donate the 1.000 € prize money which comes with the award to the St. Franziskus Foundation.