When Jan Abrahams was ten years old, he suffered from a hip ailment that threatened to deprive him of any type of active future. “My mom asked a specialist if I would at least be able to be a gardener,” recalls Abrahams, “and the specialist said ‘yes’, so I decided that is what I wanted to be.” And that is exactly what the 54-year-old from Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands has done.
In the town of Someren Netherlands, you may run into a sleek green Land Rover with the name “Rudi Swinkels” on the side. He will most likely be pulling a trailer with a Walker Model MD in it and some grass clippings.
Drielanden in Harderwijk has been in business 27 years, and today employs 180 people year-round and 270 during the high season. The full-service landscaping company has two other locations in Holland, and also does work in Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Groen & Bouw, located in Zwolle, is one of 80 institutes throughout The Netherlands that employ handicapped workers. The company, which is partially subsidized by the government, puts approximately 900 people to work in four market sectors: construction, painting, printing, and green care and maintenance.