“A job helps the participants remain engaged and productive members of society. It’s work that they are capable of doing.”

Theresa Kruse, Co-extruded Plastics Technologies, Green-Tek Inc.


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Theresa Kruse, a quality and inventory control, production supervisor at Co-extruded Plastics Technologies (CPT) in Janesville, WI, has worked with the flexible workforce at Riverfront for about five years. One aspect of CPT’s operations is in the production of polypropylene, plastic, thermoformed food trays. Although they are used in a variety of fresh, refrigerated, frozen, and microwavable applications for the food industry, most commonly used is for meat trays and sustainable packaging you see in your grocer’s fresh meat/fish counters.

While CPT produces the trays, they often engage a business partner to handle special requests from their customers.

That is where Riverfront comes in.

Some of CPT’s meatpacking and distribution customers want a blotter pad affixed to each tray.

Just the type of job Riverfront is happy to take on—a simple, high volume, repeatable process.

In one day, Riverfront’s participants unpack 23,000 CPT trays, dab them with glue, adhere the pad, restack the trays on pallets and shrink-wrap the whole lot. Ready for distribution.

Not too bad for a day’s work.

It is an easy process for CPT. Kruse sends Riverfront an e-mail explaining what needs to be done and Riverfront provides daily updates on how the order is progressing.

In the past, CPT either did this work in-house or worked with a Chicago based company. But Kruse said CPT soon realized it was cheaper and easier partnering with the flexible workforce at Riverfront, a fellow Janesville business.

“It’s easy for me to just run over there and see how things are going, whereas for me to drop what I was doing and run to Chicago—that wasn’t so simple,” she said.

Instead of paying freight costs and myriad fees to ship to and from Chicago, or taking time to find and train a few workers for a limited project, Kruse just contacts Riverfront as needed. The Riverfront workforce is already familiar with CPT’s requirements. They do not have to be re-trained. She calls on Riverfront only when she needs to, and she does not have her own staff overhead.

Kruse feels good knowing Riverfront’s participants have a better quality of life because of their work.

“I’m glad to support Riverfront employment. A job helps the participants remain engaged and productive members of society. It’s work that they are capable of doing. Its work that somebody needs to do,” said Kruse.