United Way of Northwest Vermont
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Meet Blane




Every workday Blane Fonda has a 45-minute commute from Richford to Teknor Apex in St. Albans and picks up a co-worker along the way. Reliable transportation is crucial. So, when his car needed parts he couldn’t afford, Blane asked Connie, his Working Bridges resource coordinator, for help.

Connie tapped into WB’s Bridge Fund, a small-dollar donor-supported fund that helps employees faced with small expenses that could derail them from work. When Blane was going through a divorce, Connie helped him with paperwork that was keeping him up at night.

When Blane overheard a co-worker talking about needing to find an apartment, he connected his co-worker to Connie and she helped him find housing.

“You come to work and you’ve got all these issues going on outside of work. It’s easy to get distracted,” says Blane. “And when you work with heavy equipment on the manufacturing line, you have to be fully present and focused to stay safe.”


“I think any company that wants to have good employees should think about bringing in somebody like Working Bridges to help their employees,” Blane said. “If their employees are focused and not so distracted from everyday life, then you’re going to have better employees and better results.”

“We know there’s a lot of opportunities for people to move around in manufacturing. So how do we differentiate ourselves? The Working Bridges program was one of our best bets.”

-Eric Ciemniewski
Sr. Director of Manufacturing at Teknor Apex Company

United Way of Northwest Vermont*** May 30, 2023