South Side pillow factory employs people with disabilities

January 28, 2010 10:09:54 AM PST
One of the largest manufacturers of pillows is a company that employs people with developmental disabilities. For 30 years, adults from CARC have been making pillows for airlines, hotels, hospital and trains. It's a business where employees take great pride in making sure you rest easy.

Located on Chicago's South Side, CARC pillow factory is a huge operation.

"We have the capacity of produce 10,000 airline pillows a day," said Stephanie Evans, the operation's director. "But, unfortunately, the airlines haven't been requesting as much and we've been producing more of the larger pillows, and they take much fewer, so we are doing around 3,000 a day."

Over 100 employees with developmental disabilities work here Monday through Fridays from 9 to 3:30 p.m.

"They are paid for all the work that is done," Evans said.

Opportunities like this are essential for people with disabilities.

"We train people come into our program. Most of them haven't had manufacturing experiences, some no work experience at all, so we train on the different job tasks, stuffing the batts into the pillows, sewing, packing, making sure that people understand what quality work is," said Evans.

CARC doesn't generally advertise that they are the manufactures of these pillows.

"We certainly have the labels that we put on, like on the airline pillows, they are made by people with disabilities," said Evans.

To learn more about CARC and the pillow business go to