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Cremona, Italy. In the yard, there is worker who is moving iron materials. The warehouse is big, 1,300 square meters, there are tables as big as truck that are full of tools, high technology machinery to work iron, worker facing their tasks. This is a perfectly working industry. The one in charge is Enzo Zerbini, who says that they are still going alright despite the economic crisis. SSL

The corporation was started in 1996, before the arrival of Zerbini, by the Community Pope John XXIII. The aim of the corporation was to lead simple tasks for the young men coming from prisons and therapeutic communities. Even though they were putting a lot of effort in it, debpts were raising and the corporation was about to close. Hence, they chose to go further.

Primo Lazzari, leader of the community in Lombardy and president of the corporation, asked Enzo to get involved in the project sharing with the weakest ones his skills and abilities in the field. Zerbini had two paths enrolling in front of him: a carrier in the biggest corporations and enterprises or risking it all for “Il Calabrone”. He felt challenged by the second path and he chose to demonstrate that it is possible to start a real social corporation, which can be competitive on the market and be winner”.

Therefore, he agreed with his wIfe to leave his enterprise and risk everything for this new adventure. The beginnig is hard, he explains, “because social corporation are usually exploited – and he adds – we accepted some underpaid jobs, but we stopped that. We did not want to be part of this”.

Those who work in this enterprise are considered “waste” by the society, no one trusts them, they are prisoners, young men who left the society. This is a slap to those who do not believe that it is possible to be redeemed by mistakes. This workers are ‘disadvantaged’, but they want to show society that they can start a new life and that they are worth something, so they give it all in every task. For some of them the social corporation is just a step in their education, others are open-ended workers.

Surely, the humanitarian project does not forget that it is necessary to be competitive to succeed. This is why, “Il Calabrone” always invests in new technologies to make the results better and faster. Enzo affirms that machinery does not take work from men, it is just a big hand to make men more productive, even if they have limitations.

The project is to add a cutting department to give a job to seven people more who could have difficulties in finding a job because of their past. This will be in the new 900 square meters warehouse, and maybe they will buy one more. They are also working on the production of a particular machinery they will sell without any help of other corporations. “If you give these young men the possibility to express themselves and get better – says Enzo Zerbini – they do incredible things”. The stone that was rejected by the builders has become the corner stone, this is the core of this social corporation, which is competitive at every level and is not forced to cutting policies, but is expanding.
Loosely taken from “Sempre”

Translation provided by Mary Ann D’Costa

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