Firland is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. The current workshop is located in Shoreline, Washington. The current facility was built in 1993, on the same grounds as the original Fircrest TB Hospital dating back into the early 1900’s. The Firland Foundation has a board of directors made up of local community leaders in the field of Business Improvement and Doctor’s and Nurses from UW and other local research agencies.
Firland Foundation’s mission is to provide employment for people with disabilities, in the fabrication, production and assembly of aerospace components. The purpose is to offer employees the opportunities to be self-supporting, so that they may lead productive and independent lives. The income generated from the workshop keeps it self-sustaining and provides funds for research and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) and other chronic respiratory diseases. Funds also support advocacy and capacity-building for the control and elimination of TB.
The employee group consists of personnel who are skilled as machinists, part-markers, packers, de-burrers and assembly workers. Many who have been employed by Firland for 30-40 years. Our average LOS is 12 years. Our target is to maintain approximately 75% of our direct labor personnel with some degree of “disadvantages” that they face in daily life. We also work with students who are coping with getting into the market place while they are continuing their education and we can provide them flexible hours to work and continue their education. Many of Firland’s current (and presumably future employees) come from state supported roles—hiring them as full time employees gives them meaningful employment with full medical and retirement benefits. Moves people from a tax burden for the state to a “tax-payer” role.
The workshop is managed by individuals who are skilled in dealing with disabled/disadvantaged personnel and other life skills and we make an effort to accommodate each of our employee’s unique situations.
Our primary customer is the Boeing company, which has supported the “sheltered workshop” program for many years. We link directly to them via sophisticated planning and requirements software and are measured against daily Quality and On-Time Delivery metrics.
The workshop manufactures precision machined parts, sheet metal fabrication, and assembly of aircraft components. Boeing places the orders through an on-line computer system with very detailed specifications and timelines. When completed, the parts are delivered to Boeing for integration into the manufacturing process of the aircraft. The shop also provides parts for grounded aircraft when requested, often on very short notice. Producing approximately 190,000 parts per year, the workshop maintains less than a 1% rejection rate. In 2011 Firland was honored by Boeing management as the first shop ever to go a full year without a single quality escape.
Meeting Boeing’s commitment to quality management, Firland Workshop received its initial approval rating for the D1-9000 Boeing Quality Services program in April 1998. The Workshop annually maintains the AS9100C and ISO9001 certifications.