VIA Integration gGmbH is one of the biggest officially approved integration enterprises in the Rhineland region. Both non-disabled people and people with various special needs work together at VIA. The basic criteria of all the employment activities are: "ecological and social".
Sole shareholder, respectively parent company, is the non-profit organisation WABe e.V., which is member of the social service institution of the protestant church in Germany (Diakonisches Werk der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland).
VIA offers various kinds of employment and vocational training.
Such employment opportunities would be in organic farming, "Green box" and delivering to market stalls on Gut Hebscheid, a 600 year old estate on the border to Belgium, or in two organic food stores in Aachen, furthermore in catering in the municipal theatre and in two cafés/restaurants in Aachen.
VIA offers employment to more than 100 people, around 50% of them suffer from some kind of disability. 55 of them have a full contract (training or employment), the remaining have mini-jobs (max. wage: 400 € a month)
VIA provides different training courses for both able-bodied people and people with a recognized physical disability or with mental health issues:
- current numbers:
- 6 gardener (organic farming)
- 5 retail management assistant or office administration assistant
- 2 management assistant in office communication
- 1 chef assistant
At the moment there are 12 trainees with a disability and 2 able-bodied trainees. VIA is recommended to the trainees by integration advisers of Jobcentre Plus (State Employment Office). No prior certificate is needed although an intellectual ability to complete the training is preconditioned.
At the end of the training period the trainees have to pass an exam before the local chamber of commerce and they get an official diploma (similar to an NCVQ). To achieve this aim the disabled trainees get special social monitoring and additional teaching.
In addition to the above, "Gut Hebscheid" offer cultural events throughout the year like concerts or small festivals. You can find photos of these events on the website.