VR3: Making a Difference
VR3  Ready...Reliable...Results October 2013

Recycling Partnership Brings State Recognition

Randy Edwards, Operations Manager of USA Supply Products.

“Utilizing SCVRD services ‘makes sense,’” says Randy Edwards, Operations Manager of USA Supply Products.

While a partnership has existed for several years between USA Supply Products and SCVRD, Edwards saw additional possibilities. In March he added a recycling component to SCVRD’s West Columbia facility. VR clients in job readiness training began utilizing USA Supply’s patented “recycler machine” to sanitize and clean laundry detergent containers.

“By April clients were busy cleaning, filling, labeling and packaging 30% of our product line,” recalls Edwards. “This saves time and labor.”

It has also enhanced services to clients. USA Supply’s cleaning and packaging system has provided the structure for a number of VR clients to be trained in the recycling process. “It gives VR clients an opportunity to understand and improve standard operating procedures,” states Robbie Stabler, Lexington Work Training Center Manager.

SCVRD clients James Johnson and Johnathan Prevost use USA Supply’s patented “recycler machine” to sanitize and clean laundry detergent containers.

“There are mechanical requirements to the process that have to be followed properly to avoid leaks or spills,” explains Stabler.

“We increased our recycling ability by double the capacity within only a few short months,” Edwards says proudly, “which allowed us more time to go out on the road servicing our customers or bringing on new business.”

The partnership between USA Supply and SCVRD was recognized recently by the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) South Carolina Smart Business Recycling Program for extraordinary efforts to recycle and keep South Carolina green. This effort is eliminating a significant amount of waste that otherwise would be thrown away in landfills. DHEC made an award presentation to USA Supply and SCVRD.

Left to right: Stacey Washington, Environmental Engineering Associate, Mining & Solid Waste Management, DHEC; Leslie Yasinsac, Program Coordinator, Bureau of Land & Waste Management, DHEC; Robbie Stabler, Lexington Work Training Center Manager; Lanie Robinson, SCVRD Custodial Manager; Johnathan Prevost, SCVRD client; Josephine Hagin, former SCVRD client; James Johnson, SCVRD client; Randy Edwards, Operations Manager, USA Supply Products.

“We are excited about this partnership, says Stacey Washington, Environmental Engineering Associate with the DHEC, “because it shows how returnable/reusable containers can benefit the customer, as well as the vendor.”

“This partnership saves the environment by not having these containers in a landfill and saves the customer and vendor money in landfill fees and container purchases,” she adds.

A true example of “reduce, reuse and recycle,” the partnership goes full circle.

Former SCVRD client Josephine Hagin fills small containers with USA Supply laundry detergent.

Once USA Supply’s detergent products are packaged SCVRD utilizes the product.

“The detergent is provided to residential clients to use in the laundry facilities and VR staff uses the detergent for washing linens and blankets,” explains Lanie Robinson, Custodial Manager at SCVRD’s West Columbia campus.

Increasing their recycling capability was just one way the partnership with SCVRD helped USA Supply.

“This partnership helped our small business alleviate some growing pains,” says Edwards. “If you want to help give back to society and help your business grow at the same time, SCVRD definitely can be the answer.”

Around the state

Job fair success at Lexington

The Lexington office recently held a highly successful Job Fair. So far, two clients have been placed on Skilled Workforce Apprenticeship Training (SWAT) opportunities with the Department of Motor Vehicles, two clients have interviewed at DoubleTree Hotel, and two clients are being considered for opportunities with Babcock Center. Another client is preparing to begin work as office manager at Sharpe Heating and Cooling. The Department of Social Services and SC Health and Human Services also expressed interest in a number of clients.

Did you know...

…that SCVRD clients assemble, package and distribute lifesaving equipment used in combat and by law enforcement and emergency responders around the world?

SCVRD occupies a portion of North American Rescue’s facility in Greer, providing valuable job skills training to 45 VR clients per day. They assemble litters, create subassemblies for products and pack backpacks and smaller kits, adhering to demanding standards and quality control.

“I don’t believe North American Rescue could have grown anywhere close to the pace we have without SCVRD,” says Jim Carino, Vice President of Operations at NAR. In addition to providing training opportunities, NAR has hired several VR clients as full-time employees.

“It’s cost-effective for us and an effective use of tax dollars,” says Carino.


National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM raises awareness about the benefits of employing people with disabilities and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

The theme for 2013 is “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task.”

SCVRD offices around the state will be holding a variety of events as part of NDEAM, including Disability Mentoring Day, which provides job-shadowing opportunities to high school juniors and seniors.

Get more information about NDEAM


October 15, 11:30-1:30 - Open House.
  For more information, call 864-489-9954 or 866-451-1481
October 22, 3:00-5:30 - Open House.
  For more information, call 864-475-4500
October 17, 11:30-1:30 - Open House.
  For more information, call 864-585-3693 or 866-451-1480
October 8 - Open House.
October 14 - Disability Mentoring Day.
  For more information, call 803-534-4939
October 10 - Open House.
October 21 & 22 - The Transition Students at Strom Thurmond High School will tour the Wild Turkey Federation.
  For more information, call 800-861-9410 or 803-641-7630
October 16 - Disability Mentoring Day.
  For more information, call 843-522-1010
October 16 - Disability Mentoring Day.
  For more information, call 888-577-3549 or 843-538-3116
Lyman-The Bryant Center
October 17, 12:00-1:30 - Disability Mentoring Day.
  For more information, call 888-322-9391 or 864-249-8030
October 25, 9am - Open House.
October 31 - Disability Mentoring Day Luncheon. Students will be partnered with business partners and mentors from the community matching their vocational interests to learn more about their field of work.
  For more information, call 843-740-1600
October 4 - Jeans Day fundraiser in support of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the United States.
October 25 - Disability Mentoring Day, featuring a guest speaker, career fair, job shadowing, and lots of door prizes for the students.
November 9 - Staff will participate in the “Run for Thought” 5K Trail Run and 1 Mile Walk/Roll at Conestee Park. This event raises awareness about brain injury.
  For more information, call 864-297-3066
  The following tours of local businesses are scheduled for students:
October 28 & 29, 9:15-1:00 - Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) School of Aviation Maintenance.
October 30, 9:15-1:00 - Horry Telephone Company.
  For more information, call 843-248-2235

Enabling eligible South Carolinians with disabilities to prepare for, achieve and maintain competitive employment

VR3 is published by the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD), 1410 Boston Avenue, West Columbia, SC 29171.
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