When ReadyOne Industries first opened its doors in 1977, it produced only corrugated cardboard products with 50 employees. In 1997, ReadyOne Industries started producing military apparel and outdoor gear for the Department of Defense as well as products for commercial clients at its 345,000-square-foot facility in East El Paso.
Their facility has more than 2,000 sewing machines and specialty fusing, seaming and heat-fusing machines, with some of them specially adapted for ReadyOne’s employees.
At its headquarters, visitors are greeted by a sign with its mission statement reading:
“We provide employment opportunities to individuals with significant disabilities in an environment that inspires and nurtures self-determination and success.”
That’s a point of great pride for the company, which employs persons with physical disabilities and intellectual disabilities. “We train them to sew and to build all these good-quality products for the government,” Medina says.
ReadyOne Industries helped many of the city’s manufacturing workforce after much of El Paso’s manufacturing jobs left the city in droves. Medina explains that El Paso was once a world leader in manufacturing jeans and slacks; however, when those jobs went away, there was a plethora of skilled workers with no place to work, and some of those workers had disabilities that made it difficult to find other employment.
“Our products represent the possibility of saving lives,” Medina says. “That’s not only the lives that can be saved by the use of our uniforms by the troops, but also help save the lives of our employees because they have not too many options to be employed.”
“I want to be that guy that you can go to to get those custom pieces, those heirloom pieces that are going to last with your home instead of having to replace them in 15 years,” he says.
The products that ReadyOne makes right here in El Paso are highly tested — any item that does not meet its standards are never passed on to its clients. The company still makes corrugated cardboard products, even producing its own packaging for its other products.