Excerpt from the Albuquerque Journal on Southwest Creations’ Hopkins Award for excellence in ethical practice by a nonprofit organization.
For Southwest Creations Collaborative the core of its program is a contract manufacturing operation, which is expected to generate $1.3 million in revenue this year. Among its clients are Jonathan Adler, Designers Guild and máXimo.
Those customers “aren’t (just) driven by supporting us as a mission,” said Executive Director Susan Matteucci. “We offer competitive pricing and good service.”
Matteucci describes Southwest Creations Collaborative as a social enterprise “that operates in the marketplace with a double bottom line. You take the profits you are making and reinvest them in well-being of our employees and their families.”
Southwest Creations provides not only income for 35 people, it provides a way for women to invest in their children. It provides day care for 25 cents an hour. It offers its employees classes to earn GEDs, to learn English and to obtain citizenship. It is collaborating with Albuquerque Public Schools to expand its own successful program designed to help at-risk families get their children through high school.
“We’re finding that if we work with the whole family, we have a 98 percent graduate rate among employees’ children,” Matteucci said. Of those kids, 85 percent are in college or university.