New detergent helps adults with disabilities build skills, careers

Nonprofit builds skills and careers

FRIDLEY, Minn. -- Inside a newly remodeled Fridley storefront, three young men work in a small assembly area, holding a formula for success.

Ben Keefe, Beau Johnson and Lee Grube are all part of a larger team behind Achieve Laundry Detergent, an all-natural laundry product launched by the Blaine non-profit organization Achieve Services, Inc., which helps adults with developmental disabilities build skills and careers.

The detergent initially launched last year, but after a Kickstarter campaign, has been revamped to a high-efficiency formula in a new bottle. Achieve is also made in a new facility as the product expands.

For the adults who work on the product, from filling to boxing, the achievement is a triumph, one bottle at a time.

“I feel proud. It’s important to me because it’s my first paid job,” said 23-year-old Grube.

Alex Carlson, Achieve Services Business Development Specialist, said 100 percent of the profits help clients find jobs.

“The unemployment rate is really high for people with developmental disabilities, and our job is to not only create jobs, but also fight the stigma for companies that don’t want to hire people for whatever fear that they have,” said Carlson.

Carlson said the unemployment rate for people with disabilities hovers around 50 percent.

Ask the people who work at Achieve, an everyday product can bring lifelong impact if opportunity comes without limit or label.

“Every time a new person takes on this job, their face just lights up,” said Carlson.

The formula for Achieve, developed by Lubrication Technologies, Inc. in Golden Valley, is unscented and free of added dyes or petroleum.

Achieve Laundry Detergent retails for $15.99 at Coborn’s, ARC Value Village, and at GrassRoots Coop in Anoka.

The product is also available online, by subscription and will soon be available in the new Achieve Clean retail store at 7500 University Avenue NE in Fridley.


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