Vocational Rehabilitation—the Best Kept Secret in SC

Vocational Rehabilitation—the Best Kept Secret in SC


The history of South Carolina
Vocation Rehabilitation goes back some ninety plus years. The
mission statement is to prepare and assist eligible South
Carolinians with disabilities to obtain and maintain
competitive employment. People who would be made eligible for
our services must have a mental or physical disability. That
mental or physical disability must be a substantial
impediment to employment and they need V. R. services in
order for them to obtain, re gain or maintain employment
based on their individual interests skills and abilities. When this office right here at the Oconee Pickens office we have about five hundred plus customers that are on our case
load right now and our training center on a given day
we probably have anywhere from thirty five to sixty there
are here. The training center is
what we call a simulated work environment.
So my job is two fold.Number one is working with the consumer.
Providing quality services one consumer at a time. The way they
started the training center is that they get referred by the
counselor. They deem that it would be beneficial for them to
be in the training center and then we work off of an
individualized plan. Some people come to the training center
have addiction issues, some people have a newly acquired
disability, some people need to work on their stamina, there’s
just all kinds of different things. We try to meet them
wherever they are and work on their skills. I recently been
deemed disabled by the federal government and I started
collecting my benefit check and I wanted to keep busy and I
found out that I can work on the federal guidelines so I
came here. What got me here to the training center is I got on the wrong road and got into a little bit of trouble and on probation. My probation officer hooked me up with my counselor
Jeff that works here and us together we got to where I can come up here. The second part of my job is
building and maintaining business partnerships. Oconee
Pickens Training Center has ten business partnerships, and in
order for it to operate we have to have goods business
partnerships because businesses in the local community will give us contract work or resource work for us to do to train our
consumers on, and so that consumers are
working real life contracts where they have deadline and productivity requirements they have quality of requirements and so
it gives them a simulated work environment. We even use biometrics for them to sign in eveyday. We concentrate on the seven standards of job readiness Safety, Attendance and
Punctuality, Appearance, Quality Productivity, Team Work, Work
Relationships. These are transferable skills that’ll be good in any employment setting. I love this place.It cut off some things for me.I mean we get structure. The training is very
important like especially if you will work in any other job
like these experiences here we teach you how to get along with
different people because some people you may not get along with out in the workforce but just know how to control your emotions and stay professional. It varies depending on what the consumer needs at the end of the training we indeed when the job ready and then we work on job placement services such as resume writing
a mock interviews and filling out applications. I am like this
close to a job with Baxter which I never in a million years
thought I would be able to have. That was like a dream job. Manufactoring is the number one job in Oconee and Pickens county There’s a huge demand in this area,the field that work force
need. V.R. is very fortunate because we have a lot of companies that are in our training center that are manufacturing companies so
we’re actually able to get our consumers in that environment
so that helped prepare them to be able to go in to manufacture
more. So companies use us because we provide quality work.
It’s the right thing to do and it’s also cost effective.
Companies actually reach out to us. We recently had three small
businesses reach out to us. In all three instances the company
didn’t have enough employees to get the work done so very
beneficial for them and for us. We do, do a lot of different
projects. We call them project work. For the company they actually contract with us to do a specific job for them. Our
Greenville industry in particular is actually, we
assembled drill bit packages for them multiple different
types of drill bit packages all done right here. We are able to
do major job for them that provides their need for filling
those orders to those retail type stores.
In addition we offer demand driven training and customized training. An example of demand driven training would be forklift training which is an eight week in house program and at the end
they’re given a fork truck license. That is one of the hot
jobs right now in Oconee and Pickens County are forklift drivers. It’s very in demand. An example of customized training is were an actual business partner would say can you please teaches this
particular skill set where they may even be often give us a
piece of equipment major manufacturing piece of
equipment and we we train on it and and
in addition all the soft skills training that’s required for
their company and at the end they would actually hire that
person. We want to become a pipeline of employees for that
business partner. We serve a hundred thirty three
disabilities so they all require different types of work
for the training center. One person may not be able to do
this work but over here this be the perfect work for someone
else. But we really have a good mixture of different type
that we can provide for our consumers to be able to see
what they’re able to do. So it’s important for the work training
center to have different types of jobs. Some require sitting
and standing, some refine motor skills, some are gross motor skills. We want to have something that everyone can do.
Like I help other co workers with their organized fans, buttons in seals, each plastic containers in each box like I
was doing right now that’s called working in a good paste
so it makes me feel like I’m a good worker. I help build fans
here unless they want moved me to a different station and each
station is not even too difficult. It’s like something eveybody can do and easily learn. If you look at the manufacturing again that’s our number one
position that we’re trying to fill. Work training center last
year served over two hundred twenty consumers. At least half
of those consumers left with employment. Actually I just got
accepted in a contract job as a machinist. That’s what I
used to do before but at a limited capacity and I just got
a confirmation date today. ♪ We are going to be adding
about eight thousand plus square feet of work training
center space because we have more consumers we’d like to serve as well as business partners that would like us to do work for them so we’d love to partner with some money for
additional demand training for customized training so that
when we train our consumers we can provide them with skilled
employees from the beginning and we feel like that’s going
to be a win win situation if we can find that opportunity. I love this. It’s pretty great here. The managers are great and the people themselves.Like great personalities.I love them all.
I mean I love it here because I’m like I said I’m disabled.I
walk with a limp and there’s people here that also have disabilities and so it makes me feel very comfortable that you know I’m
not looked at funny or judged. I love it and I recommend it to
anybody and I’m gonna hate to leave when it comes time for me to go.I like this job because it makes me feel like an important person I am.

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