South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department

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Training center grand opening in Lyman

Senator Scott Talley presents Lyman Area Administrator Jennie Thomas with the state senate proclamation for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

A grand opening ceremony was recently held for VR’s newest Training Center, located at the Bryant Center in Lyman. This training center joins a network of 32 locations across the state that help people with disabilities find or maintain employment.

Senator Scott Talley began by reading a senate proclamation recognizing October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Other speakers included Representative Rita Allison, who described the almost 20-year journey from the idea for a VR facility in the upstate to its realization, and former VR client Giovanna Gomez, who shared how staff at the Lyman office helped her overcome numerous barriers to find employment success.

Former VR client Giovanna Gomez (right) receives the Lyman Office Client of the Year award from Julie Atkins, Area Client Services Manager.

Since June, in partnership with Sloan Construction, the new training center has offered classes in heavy equipment operation, including OSHA 10 certification and simulator training, that give VR clients an advantage when seeking employment in road construction. The training center also features an on-site call center, in collaboration with BPO American, where VR clients field live calls for a variety of businesses in a small-scale call center environment.

“The Job Readiness Training Center can replicate practically any job,” says Jay Weisner, Training Center Manager. “Our clients work on simulations just as if they are reporting to work at a company.” Training coordinators work with the clients to supervise and train them not only to perform the task at hand, but also to learn the concepts important to being successful in any workplace, such as punctuality, safety, workplace etiquette, and chain of command, while assessing their abilities and strengths.

A number of businesses were recognized for their partnerships with VR, including Sloan Construction, BPO American, DARE Foods, Concept Packaging, Corrugated Container, SSRC Quality Theatrical Distribution, North American Rescue, Inman Mills, and SEW Eurodrive.

Guests attending included business and community leaders from around the upstate.