Orangeburg Area

VR client receives Student of the Year Achievement Award in Orangeburg

VR client David Tanner Smith recently received the Orangeburg Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Persons with Disabilities Student of the Year Achievement Award.

Tanner was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and and intellectual disability at a young age. Although he has difficulties with social cues and abstract concepts, Tanner is friendly and outgoing. Through hard work, and with the help of tutors and family, he received a high school diploma from Glenforest School in Columbia, SC.

Hard work leads to opportunity

The Orangeburg Office recently celebrated the first graduate of the Janitorial Advanced Training Program (JATP). Melissa Friedman is happily working as the newest housekeeping technician for Orangeburg Rehabilitation and Health Care Center.

After earning a Job Readiness Training certificate in the Orangeburg Training Center, Melissa became the second candidate to enter the JATP, which is organized and administered by Stephen Kesler, Vocational Assessment and Career Specialist. Once she completed the JATP, she began a job training opportunity with Orangeburg Rehabilitation and Health Care Center.

Job coaching leads to internship and employment

Zavan Boyd, former client, is thrilled with his job at Family Health Center, and with the services and opportunities he has received from VR.

Zavan, who has ADHD, began working with VR when he was in high school and continued receiving counseling and guidance throughout his time at Benedict College. After graduating with an Accounting degree in May 2017, he attended job preparedness classes and learned a variety of skills at the Orangeburg office's training center.

Employers show 'heart' for disabled workers

Local businesses are being honored for employing people with disabilities, a practice that Orangeburg County Disabilities and Special Needs Board officials say is much appreciated.

The Greater Orangeburg Area Mayors’ Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities held its annual awards breakfast on March 22 at Cornerstone Church. The Orangeburg Rotary Morning Club hosted the ninth annual event.

Among those honored at the breakfast were Hi Cotton Greenhouses, Small Employer of the Year; Orangeburg County, Medium Employer of the Year, and Husqvarna, Large Employer of the Year.

Eugene Peele Jr., a North Middle/High School senior, was named Student of the Year.