DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Firehouse Subs is giving back to clients at United Rehabilitation Services by giving them a taste of the workforce.

“I’ve got long loving relationship with URS. I’ve got family that actually has been there for years,” smiles Firehouse Subs owner Seth Grusenmeyer. “I’ve got a cousin that’s been attending there since way back in the beginning when I believed they first opened. Their mission is something that we really believe in.”

His relationship with URS has morphed into a partnership in the last two years. In 2018, Grusenmeyer welcomed in clients and put them to work to give them real-world job experience,

“They do everything from portioning out things for us, wrapping pickles, doing the silverware– things that are different tasks that we are burdened down with that really helps us out a lot to have them in here and being able to give them training and help us at the same time,” describes Grusenmeyer.

“Their ability to make a life for themselves, and to have their own money, their own income, and the job they enjoy, I mean that’s the American dream and we want that for them as well,” says Jeremy Nelson, the Employment Services Manager for URS.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, Firehouse Subs still put URS clients to work to give them job experience. Because of Firehouse Subs’ efforts especially during this year, it has been awarded as URS’s 2020 Employer of the Year.

“They were able to go above and beyond when other employers weren’t really willing to do that right now,” states Nelson.

“I was surprised. I was really proud of my teams that have sat there and helped earn this award. This is not so much my award as it is my crew’s award,” humbly states Grusenmeyer. “This is more than just, you know, these kids helping us make a sandwich. This is, you know, actually helping them further something in their life.”

The relationship between the restaurant and URS is reciprocal.

“We feel the employers are able to get something out of it just as much as the participants,” says Nelson.

Firehouse Subs is hoping to continue to grow and expand that relationship.

“It means the world to us,” says Grusenmeyer. “We’d love to bring more in, potentially hire some of the participants that come in and help us out.”