Two years ago when clients from McCallum Disability Services first started working in the MaxiTRANS factory, they were cutting rubber seals and putting washers on screws.
Now there's a roster of around 20 workers in supported employment at the factory and a list of 42 jobs - from cutting rubber to welding and full line assembly - they're trained to complete and McCallum has its own small parts area on the work floor.
The partnership has provided more than 3000 hours of employment for people with disability on-site at MaxiTRANS and is set to grow in 2021 with McCallum taking on further responsibilities in the manufacturing process.
Adam Bogers, executive manager of employment at McCallum, said the real value was the impact of work on the people involved.
"The biggest benefit is really self esteem and feeling of worth because they are working in open employment, doing the same as everyone else ... and the skills they are learning here open up the potential for them to go in to open employment," Mr Bogers said.
"They've been accepted from day one, and one of the things I like most is they've gone through the same process as every other employee here, the same induction process and they're treated the same."
The partnership has grown naturally over the past two years as the workers learn more skills on the job which allow them to take on different jobs, and in turn even more skills.
There are about 12 supported workers on site during the week and about 20 who rotate through the roster and as well as three days a week on the factory floor there is another two days a week of work completed for MaxiTRANS back at McCallum's own site.
Chris Liston from MaxiTRANS said it was the perfect time to recognise the two-year anniversary of the partnership as Thursday was International Day of People with Disabilities.
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The company also has a partnership with Ballarat Regional Industries, whose supported workers are also inducted on site to visit every second day and pick up cardboard for recycling.
"The best part about these relationships is it's worked all the way through COVID lockdown," Mr Liston said.
MaxiTRANS also donated boxes of face masks to McCallum and BRI, as well as Soup Bus, which they have supported for about 10 years, and Federation TAFE who school their apprentices.
"2020 has been a challenging time for us all with COVID-19. As restrictions ease and masks become more and more mandated ... we have purchased a quantity of extra masks to hand to charities who support people in the community," said MaxiTRANS supply manager Anthony Long.