VR3: Making a Difference
Q1, Quality One, Quality happens one person at a time
VR3  Ready...Reliable...Results February 2015

Glisson soars at Boeing

Former VR client Heath Glisson is a manufacturing technician at Boeing South Carolina, where he helps assemble 787 Dreamliners.

“This is the best job I have ever had!” proclaims Heath Glisson.

Heath is a Manufacturing Technician at Boeing South Carolina in North Charleston, helping assemble 787 Dreamliners.

“Heath has many of the highest-valued traits that Boeing looks for in its teammates,” says Mayo Powell, Final Assembly Manager.

“I had been trying to find a job for a while and was getting really depressed. I was even losing motivation to look anymore,” recalls Heath. “My energy level was really low.”

Heath took the advice of a family friend and contacted SC Vocational Rehabilitation in August 2012.

“I lacked confidence in what I could do anymore,” he remembers. “It had been ten years since I graduated high school, so I felt like I had lost a lot of knowledge.”

“Heath had been in manufacturing before and really wanted to get back into it,” says Shannon Reed, Charleston Area Client Services Manager. She felt he could do much more than he thought he could. “He just needed a little help with building his confidence and refreshing his skills.”

In January, after completing a WorkKeys refresher course, Heath entered the Charleston Work Training Center.

“The Training Center was great,” says Heath. “I was able to get back into a routine, brush up on my skills. And it helped pull me out of my depression.”

“Some of the things we focused on with Heath were an understanding of safety requirements, how to follow standard operating procedures, and helping him establish good work habits,” says Gene Adams, Charleston Maintenance Specialist.

Learning new skills and building confidence motivated Heath to gain the experience he felt he needed. He went on to take a lead role at the Work Training Center and helped oversee a contract.

With his progress in the training center and good WorkKeys assessment scores, Heath was ready to pursue a training opportunity for an Assembler position at Boeing.

Reed contacted Cathy Clower, Charleston Business Development Specialist, to schedule a pre-screen interview for Heath. Clower is the point of contact for Boeing and understands what they look for in a job candidate.

“It was clear from the pre-screening interview that Heath would be an ideal candidate for the Boeing Pre-Hire Opportunity Program (PHOP), administered by readySC,” says Clower. The program requirements included transferrable skills from his prior work history, WorkKeys scores, basic computer skills and the ability to handle the physical demands of the position.

“In addition, Heath had an amazing record from the Work Training Center with perfect attendance,” says Clower. “He was never late, a real team player, and would be an asset to any company.”

By January 2014 Heath was entering Phase 2 of the PHOP training program at Trident Technical College.

“It was tough!” states Heath. “Sometimes you would have multiple tests in one night and you would see people fail-out, so the pressure could get to you. But Cathy and Shannon always kept in contact with me. They were very supportive.”

In August, Boeing hired Heath.

“Heath is on the team that installs the floors, carpets, and galley mats,” explains Powell. “He is good at all of those, but where he has really found his calling is the main passenger doors on the plane. He knocks that work out of the park.”

Assembling a 787 Dreamliner is a complex task requiring focus and attention to detail. “Heath has the tenacity to stick with it. He doesn’t get frustrated. He just stays with the job until it is done. You can set your watch by it.”

Powell’s teams don’t always work a standard eight-hour day. Sometimes they may work additional hours to meet delivery requirements for Boeing’s customers.

“Heath is the first one to step up and volunteer to stay to complete what we need to meet our commitments to our customers. That is a huge blessing to the team.”

“Boeing is a great company to work for,” says Heath. “You are able to work as much as you want and with the expansions that are taking place I think I will have the opportunity to move up.”

Powell agrees. “With his skills and attitude, Heath is creating opportunities for himself for a career in many fields within the Boeing Company.”

“I plan on being here for a long time,” says an excited Heath. “I am very glad I came to VR.”

Around the state

Transition students tour Boeing

Transition students in Charleston recently toured Boeing South Carolina, where they learned about a variety of jobs including assembly, marketing and finance. They were divided into groups in which they had to work together to raise money, advertise, and build an airplane. In the process, they learned about all aspects of running a business.

Palmetto Center strengthens relationships in Williamsburg County

Williamsburg County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission staff members attended an orientation at Palmetto Center on January 15, where they learned about operations at Palmetto Center. The orientation also helped build upon the working relationship already in place for serving mutual clients in the Williamsburg County area who are in need of inpatient addiction treatment services.

The Kingstree VR office coordinated the event with Palmetto Center staff members.

Palmetto Center in Florence and Holmesview Center in Greenville, both operated by SCVRD, are residential substance abuse addiction treatment facilities that help people confront their addiction and replace it with a sober, rewarding lifestyle, including the achievement of successful employment. The centers are also a resource for SCVRD’s Job Retention Services for employed persons whose jobs are jeopardized by addiction.

Find out more at treatmentcenters.scvrd.net.

Photo (l to r): Sylvester Sarratt, Williamsburg ADAC Counselor; Jackie Graham, Williamsburg ADAC Director; Viola Lawrence, Williamsburg ADAC Treatment Director; Melissa Fulton, Williamsburg ADAC Counselor; Sharon Battle, Kingstree VR Counselor; and Lori Matthews, Kingstree VR Counselor.

Resources for transition students in Laurens

Laurens High School Seniors attended a Transitional Information Session at the Laurens Area Office on January 26.

Carolyn Shortt, Laurens Transition Coordinator, along with Courtney Mills, High School Liaison for VR, presented information to 22 high school seniors. Chad Ulmer, Area Supervisor, and Byron Smith, Business Development Specialist presented information regarding counseling, tuition assistance, internship opportunities, interviewing techniques, soft skills classes, and the Work Training Center.

VR Counselor Nitoya Roberts was key in contributing to the success of this program.

Q Quotes

Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.

—Thomas Jefferson

Did you know...

...that we have 20 Business Development Specialists (BDS) around the state to serve the workforce needs of South Carolina businesses?

To find the BDS in your area, call Stephen Marshall at 803-896-4250 or visit bds.scvrd.net.


February 4 - The Greenville Area Office and Holmesview Center will hold our Annual Workplace Health Screening.
February 13 - The Tim Tebow Foundation “Night to Shine” Prom, an event sponsored for special needs high school students. Counselor Vaneasha Danzy, along with staff of the Greenville County School District, will be volunteering.
  For more information, call 864-297-3066
Rock Hill
February 11, 10am-2pm - Job Fair featuring employers from Rock Hill, York, Chester, Fort Mill and Charlotte, including Verizon Wireless, New Hope, Texas Roadhouse, Sam’s Club, and Charlotte Area Transit (CATS).
  For more information, call 803-327-7106
February 24, 10am-1pm - Job and Talent Fair Expo at the SC Works building in Aiken. This event is a collaborative effort with SC Works and DSS. All attendees will participant in an intense job readiness preparation.
March 4, 9am-11:30am - The Business Partner Expo will introduce current and potential business partners to VR and the services we provide. Attendees will tour our facility, and learn about our capabilities and how we may be able to meet their needs.
  For more information, call 803-641-7630 or 800-861-9410
February 25 - BounceBack seminar.
  For more information, call 803-896-633 or 866-206-5184
February 25, 9am-12pm - Job Fair.
  For more information, call 864-882-6669 or 866-313-0082
February 26, 9am-12pm - Job Fair.
  For more information, call 864-224-6391
March 4 - The Lancaster Area Office is hosting a BounceBack seminar for individuals with criminal backgrounds, which is designed to help them learn more about available community resources. In addition to discussing employment tips and strategies, guest speakers from local agencies will provide information to assist the individual in returning to the work force.
  For more information, call 803-285-6909
March 12 - Spartanburg Job Fair.
  For more information, call 864-585-3693 or 866-451-1480

Preparing and assisting eligible South Carolinians with disabilities to achieve and maintain competitive employment

VR3 is published by the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD), 1410 Boston Avenue, West Columbia, SC 29171.
The Public Information Office provides all news and information. News material may be reproduced with credit to VR3. In accordance with federal and state laws, SCVRD does not discriminate against any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability in employment or in provision of services.