Philanthropic Spotlight: Thumb Industries

Thumb Industries is a non-profit that has made a substantial impact in the thumb area for more than 46 years. That is almost half a century dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for many Huron and Sanilac county residents. How much do you know about this impactful organization?

Job Skills Training

Beyond its front-facing thrift store, Thumb Industries serves more than 250 disabled individuals and more than 80 staff at three locations throughout Huron and Sanilac counties. One of the Thumb Industries foundational services provides job skills training to people with vocational disabilities. Job skills training helps these individuals build employment experience and achieve job readiness. In addition to training, Thumb Industries can also help individuals find real employment opportunities. You can read more about job training and placement from Thumb Industries on the employment services page on their website.

Employee Services

Through the job skills training and placement services, Thumb Industries offers an “employee services” resource to local businesses seeking assistance with retail, janitorial, lawn, or manufacturing services. Employers who have job opportunities including, but not limited to, the services mentioned above, can contact Thumb Industries to help find a match that suits their employment needs. Employers may also qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, that encourages employers to hire a specific group of individuals by reducing the employer’s tax liability by as much as $2,400 per qualified employee. To learn more about the job placement services you can visit or contact Danielle McKimmy, Employment Specialist, by phone at (989) 269-9229 ext. 21.

Business & Education Opportunities

In addition to job skills training, Thumb Industries also provides other opportunities and services to our community. They have “micro-business” opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs interested in starting their own business, some include custom jewelry, handmade crafts and cards, research and consignment on eBay, and more. To help 18-26-year-olds transition from school to employment, Thumb Industries also provides opportunities for job-shadowing, employment, and connecting with colleges.

Recycling Program

Since 2009, Thumb Industries has maintained a recycling program that has recycled more than 3,855 tons of material. The program accepts paper and plastic products labeled with a #1 or #2, considering that they have been rinsed or cleaned out. For a full list of what the Thumb Industries Recycling Program accepts, click here. The Recycling Center is located at 666 Woodworth Street in Bad Axe (just west of the railroad tracks).

Thumb Industries Inc. celebrated it’s 46th birthday on October 24th, so we wanted to reach out to executive director, Rhonda Wisenbaugh to ask her about what this brand new year might entail for the organization and community.

“Thumb Industries is very proud of our accomplishments over the past 46 years. We are grateful for the overwhelming support our local community continues to provide to our organization. We look to see continued growth in our retail sales and manufacturing services. This year Thumb Industries Inc. looks to increase competitive placements for the individuals we serve. Our job is to assist employers in meeting their needs by connecting them to a capable, untapped workforce they may not have considered in the past.”

You can learn more about Thumb Industries Inc. and all the wonderful opportunities and services they provide for our community at the website You can also follow them on Facebook at Thumb Industries, Inc. and Thumb Industries Thrift Store.

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