Deseret Industries: It's about the people, not the stuff

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  • LoveLife Riverton, UT
    July 22, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    Brother Benjamin Franklin~

    I'm a little perplexed that you mentioned some comments in "poor taste". Could you please quote those? You were clearly incorrect in some of your original statements. But, because some people chose to correct you, they were somehow not Christ-like?

    I also find it ironic that the company example you used, Savers, is a for-profit company. That seemed to be your original gripe about DI. In fact, reading some employee reviews about Savers gave the same complaints you first stated about DI.

    Maybe you should put your feet in other's shoes who have their church/religion faulted for everything they do. You don't have to go to DI, donate to DI, or even read an article about DI. But you do need to be ready for an honest debate about DI if you choose to participate.

  • Million Bluffdale, UT
    July 22, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    I am not LDS but I am impressed with Deseret Industries. I have known out of work people and ex-inmates who have been helped to get back on their feet by the DI. There are people who need the jump start to get back into the main stream society and I believe the DI program is an excellent program. It is kind of strange to see the negative comments about the DI on this posting. I was trying to wrap my mind around their point of view but realized it takes all kinds of viewpoints to make up a society.

  • Travis Fredericks Ogden, UT
    July 19, 2013 5:22 p.m.

    In addition. I wouldn't judge those working at the DI too quickly. I personally knew some of the people who were there for things other than a crisis like my wife. Also, Stacy does in fact have many skills which has allowed her to move a little more quickly through the program than the average associate.

    But that being said, some of the people there really do need to learn how the workplace works. It's a more forgiving environment, one where the goal is to teach them how to have a job. Rather than teach them just the job. If they were to get a job at say, a fast food place, they may end up losing their job very quickly. At the DI however, they work with the individual to train them how the real world is.

    There could be any number of reasons they don't have those skills, but they are all valid. And each person there couldn't be any more grateful for the job. They made hour cutbacks to allow more people into the program. Had nothing to do with money or healthcare.

    Anyway, hope this was informative.

  • Travis Fredericks Ogden, UT
    July 19, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    This article hits very close to home for me. Why so close you ask? Because it's about my wife. And I'm the husband who was diagnosed with cancer when everything was starting to look so bright.

    A couple of quick thoughts in reading the comments. Firstly, the DI generally loses money as a business. It's a non-profit organization that doesn't bank any of the money that they WOULD make, though that rarely happens anyhow, as their costs exceed their income.

    Secondly, the DI is setup as a stepping stone. Here is what the article didn't tell you. My wife worked there a few months as an associate. She was then placed in a job, with the help of the DI, at the Humanitarian Center south of the airport. After a few months there, she returned to the DI as an admin assistant. She now has full benefits, and is on a much more supporting salary.

    I am currently in my 2nd fight with cancer. Without those benefits, and her pay, we would not be making it right now. She's in a job she just couldn't have gotten this quickly otherwise.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:21 p.m.

    Upon further reading, I can appreciate the good DI does in people's lives. As stated before, I am happy for that.

    I ask that the Deseret News cover other companies, like Savers, doing similar things and not devote such an exclusive focus on the LDS Church. There are many organizations out there like DI that deserve our attention and funds.

    As for those, particularly from the LDS faith, who claim to follow our Lord, I find your comments in poor taste. Try to put yourself in my shoes for a change. Not everyone in Utah is a member of your faith and sees these things the way you do. I am saddened that some who profess faith come on here and make comments like that.

    I am sorry if my comments came across the wrong way, but I ask for your open minds and willingness to look at these things from different perspectives than yours or the Church. I respect the LDS faith for the good it does, and I appreciate the Deseret News permission to post my thoughts. We are fortunate to live in an inspired land where we can we express our feelings civilly. Thank you.

  • GD Syracuse, UT
    July 18, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    Kolob and Benjamin you are missing the point of the article. The church isn't in it to make money. They are helping people. Welfare isn't the answer. That I know for sure. The blessing of learning how to work and finding a good job that does pay health. Most people who work at DI are gone with 7 to 9 months or earlier. Many are taken off the welfare rolls and other programs that do a service but never get people off the dole.
    All programs have their weaknesses but DI is a great program that helps get people off the dole, work, become happy contributing citizens.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    July 18, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    What a great program to help people gain the skills and experience to be self-sufficient. No comparison to government welfare programs that only give handouts and teach little.

  • aliceb portland,multnomah, OR
    July 18, 2013 6:14 p.m.

    I think those that disparage the program, simply dont know anything about it. How sad. they know so little about it and probably dont help those in need either. Their input shows what is wrong with society today. The DI is a great place and will continue to be that way.Some people dont learn how to work and dont even learn how to live, and sometimes they need to be taught. Others just like to judge and show how selfish they are with their judgements.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 18, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    Moral and ethical values are a significant part of training at DI. People are looking for ways to improve their value system to what the world needs today for efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Giving people a second-chance as with stuff and goods that DI provides is a value added benefit of all they do for people and families.

    The article in May 2013 about Deseret Industries is significant for commenters to read and understand.

  • Burke Olsen, Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 4:03 p.m.

    Although it is not our practice to correct misinformation published in the comments section of, I am going to break with tradition. Some of the comments on this story have not taken into account all the facts about Deseret Industries and its core purpose.

    I invite you to read the portion of this Mormon Newsroom report that refers to DI.

    Burke Olsen
    Content Director,

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    July 18, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    I don't understand how some of the "skills" that they teach need to be taught to adults. Showing up to work on time? Showing up for EVERY shift? Working, while your being paid to work? Maybe these people lived charmed lives up until their stint at the DI, but I learned this stuff when I was a kid, how do you make it that far into adulthood and not understand how jobs work?

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    July 18, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    I am a graduate of the DI program. Dave was my boss. I cannot say enough good about the program. Each employee has a ward member to mentor them. Each employee is interviewed by their supervisor once or twice a week to see about there job looking progression. I was only there for three months and took two different training classes. These were taught by experts who had many many years teaching. They paid for me to take a fork lift class online at the Bridgerland school. This would have cost me several hundred dollars. So every donation that results in a sale gets put back into the program to pay the employee so they don't have to take government assistance.Training and schooling are part of the program.
    I would say that the time I spent there were the best time of employment. Good hearted people and lasting friends.Made me see that there were a lot of people worse off than I. I am thankful for that great experience. President Heber J. Grant was truley inspired to start the program. Great article Thank You..

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    4th try! DNews moderators: PLEASE explain what is wrong with the following post?????

    @Brother Benjamin Franklin

    "I am happy that DI helps people. I just think people should be just as willing to consider other alternatives first."

    I am positive that most people working at the DI do just that - consider alternatives first - and take better opportunities when they come along. I just got off the phone with somebody who cannot get work anywhere because of past legal issues. The only place she could get work was the DI. Not everybody that works there is in that situation of course. But thank goodness for the DI in these situations.

    "I question the motives of a place that enables people to work in an outlet that the church makes money on."

    The DI is a non-profit organization and a division of the welfare services of the LDS Church. It may not be EXACTLY what some people think it should be, but to me its motives are to help the less-fortunate in society and it appears to me that the evidence supports that.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    To "Brother Benjamin Franklin" you don't quite understand what goes on with the job training.

    I know people that are job coaches at the DI, and they tell similar stories about what they do.

    For example, quite often they have to teach the DI workers that when you are scheduled to work a shift from 8 to 5, that you actually have to show up for work at 8, not whenever you feel like it. Some have to be taught that you can't just sit around doing nothing and expect to have the job for very long.

    They are teaching people how to work. Simply handing them a voucher for food and clothing will never teach them how to work.

    Tell us, what other organization is there out there that does what the DI has been doing to teach people how to hold down a job?

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    July 18, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    DI provides many benefits that go far beyond what is stated in the article, and those who have disparaging views are simply negative. I'm sure not everything that happens at DI is wonderful, but that is because human beings with all our foibles, are in charge. I served a "service mission" in SLC and had the opportunity to work with a sweet non-English speaking woman who worked at DI for an extended time because she didn't have skills for most jobs. The work at DI provided income, and gave her a chance to contribute. I appreciate DI and the overall picture it provides!

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 18, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    Just because DI is in the community does not mean it has all the answers to one's problems. I think DI means well, I simply disagree that it is accomplishing much of anything other than being a place where people can get cheap stuff and the occasional diamond in the rough item.

    I am happy that DI helps people. I just think people should be just as willing to consider other alternatives first. I question the motives of a place that enables people to work in an outlet that the church makes money on. It almost seems a form of sneaky exploitation to me.

    You are entitled to your opinions, as I am to mine. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • Bill Tibbitts Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    At a time when some Utah state legislators are trying to say that the LDS church needs to set up a statewide network of charity healthcare clinics, it is good to be reminded of how much good it is already doing here in Utah.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 18, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    One thing I believe that is happening with the DI is they are basically able to increase those in training as the numbers that need to be trained has not decreased in the past couple of years.

    Thanks for the DI and those that administer those programs for those that have needs in so many areas of their life.

    Thanks to the volunteers and employees that give support and care for these people who are wanting to improve their life for themselves and their families.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 18, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    We live in a Red State that in some ways wants to have people self-sufficient. That is not always the case and this state has many families that are impacted by politics that not necessarily shows kindness in everything that is done.

    DI has a positive influence on people and the Church Welfare program is similar.

    What a great opportunity for people to learn skills and feel productive in ways that some would beg to have in other locations even in the United States of America. It is a training ground that produces output for people that are working at all levels. What a blessing the people in DI locations have to put their efforts to good working conditions, even without the benefits that were changed due to the ACA that was passed into law. The effects of that law was to pass it and then read it. There was a significant impact, even on the poor and downtrodden that were supposedly to benefit from that ACA.

    We elect people to represent us but unfortunately, politics and lobbying by groups such as AARP and others sway the process for money, dollars, and even tax benefits. All financial gains.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    @Brother Benjamin Franklin

    "I can see how one can interpret this article to mean that good is happening here, but wouldn't these people be better off using LDS Church welfare or some other temporary solution until they can locate employment."

    I am sure some of the DI workers are indeed being helped by church welfare. Also, it is better to work while looking for better work. Deliberately choosing to not do any work at all can be a turn off to potential employers.

    "For example DI made the decision to cut back employee hrs so it wouldn't have to provide health insurance benefit."

    DI never provided health insurance in the first place.

    "I don't blame DI for making the decision but to say that the DI or any other LDS church welfare program can take care of the poor among us without governmental welfare is just plain wrong."

    I am in a bishopric in my ward, and I know numerous people that are being assisted by LDS welfare instead of government welfare.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    July 18, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Bro Benjamin...did you even READ the article?

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    July 18, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    No mention of the fact that DI is managed to earn a profit and not strictly as a charitable undertaking. Also DI standing without federal welfare doesn't work. For example DI made the decision to cut back employee hrs so it wouldn't have to provide health insurance benefit. Medical coverage will have to be provided by medicaid. I don't blame DI for making the decision but to say that the DI or any other LDS church welfare program can take care of the poor among us without governmental welfare is just plain wrong.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    July 18, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    Gosh, Bob. It certainly would. I guess some of them never thought of such a novel concept.

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 18, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    @ Brother FRanklin..............if there were jobs out there. It's not simply choosing between two jobs, it's about finding a job and getting job skills.

    They can find jobs while working. It's not an either or proposition. It gives a person some self worth while they may be unemployed. Better than doing nothing and hoping for a job.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    July 18, 2013 4:12 a.m.

    Would it not be better if LDS brides had a skill, and could contribute to the home, even if the husband is able?

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 18, 2013 4:06 a.m.

    I can see how one can interpret this article to mean that good is happening here, but wouldn't these people be better off using LDS Church welfare or some other temporary solution until they can locate employment.

    I do not believe it is necessary for a place like DI to exploit cheap labor from the community when there are already more than enough places that one could work to acquire those skills. Going and working at a place like DI just seems like a crutch for someone if anything. Why not put those skills to use in the marketplace where it can benefit everyone in society, not just the purposes of the LDS Church?

    I simply am not of the opinion that there is anything that a place like DI can offer that is any better than what is already out there for someone.

    I furthermore believe that such mass employment factories can have a negative impact on our economy by slowing the progress of these folks in finding proper employment.

    DI may mean well, but I have never thought DI was a community benefit if it is siphoning workers and dollars from our community's economies and taxes.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    July 18, 2013 3:51 a.m.

    Deseret Industries doesn't pay a decent wage and they don't provide health care . So much for "caring" about people. All they care about is getting credit for the "caring".

  • nielsen American Fork, UT
    July 17, 2013 11:45 p.m.

    I worked there for about a year and let me say it changed me. I met amazing people they helped me so much. I wanted to do receptionist work so they had me do a business partnership. I also went through the advanced job search and I now have a job that I love doing with coworkers that I am surrounded with that I enjoy. DI was the place that started everything for me. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been blessed to work there. Best experience of my life.

  • Chris from Rose Park Hartford, CT
    July 17, 2013 10:42 p.m.

    I worked a summer at DI between my Junior and Senior year of high school. It was a wonderful summer. I met many wonderful people at DI. It truly is a wonderful place.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    July 17, 2013 10:10 p.m.

    What a great place to give and watch lives change. Congratulations to DI and all that work there.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    July 17, 2013 9:11 p.m.

    This is just amazing. I wish government entities would get a clue, rather than just handing out EBT cards to people without helping them know what to buy (healthy food) and how to improve.