In April 2021, Jamie Owen celebrated his 20th year of packaging, line working, and comradery at Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS).
Before coming to work at TVS, Jamie worked as a Supported Employment client and was placed with a job coach at a local store bagging groceries. After a year, Jamie decided to work at TVS. “I liked TVS better because they welcomed me and offered new stuff to do,” said Jamie. “I liked the people.”
Over the years, Jamie has worked in two different areas but with lots of different products from SuperCereal Plus to Bakery Mix and Pancakes. He has been working dependably to supply food to U.S. Military troop, and supplying food for food insecurities, domestic and international on our AbilityOne contracts.
“The AbilityOne contract is what helped to create jobs with flexibility and other accommodations that would not be traditionally found at other jobs,” said TVS HR Director Lauren Hayes. “TVS would not exist if it weren’t for our workers like Jamie. His effort and determination to show up every day and give TVS his all is what keeps us running and able to provide food for people around the world. We are able to accomplish our mission because of his dedication.”
Hardworking, enthusiastic, and optimistic are just a few of the words used to describe Jamie and his work ethic.
“He is one of the most dependable workers we have! He
is always on time, present, and ready to do the job that our managers have for him,” Lauren said. That kind of dependability is hard to find and we are so thankful that Jamie is on team TVS!”
However, you can’t have work and no play. “I look forward to the picnics, with bounce houses and food,” Jamie explained. Over the years, TVS has celebrated employees and their families with annual company picnics that has included catered food, bounce houses, and even dunking booths.
“Jamie is just a real pleasure to work with,” said Production Manager Ernest Williams. Ernest has worked with Jamie over the past 20 years. “He is a great asset to TVS, he is
hard working and almost always willing to do whatever is asked of him.”
When Jamie is not working to help fulfill government contracts, he can be found watching Western movies or ‘cutting-a-rug’ at a local dance or anywhere music is playing.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, TVS and Mountain Area Community Services would sponsor dances for community members to attend.
“Jamie was always dancing. It didn’t matter what the song was, he just loves to dance,” said TVS Warehouse Associate Tracie Fisher. “We would eat pizza and dance. It was a way for individuals with disabilities to get exercise and socializes with their friends.”
Tracie used to work with Jamie after work providing services and helping run errands. “He has such a positive attitude, always happy and optimistic,” she said.
Reflection back on fun memories, Ernest laughs as he remembers their bowling adventures. “We used to go bowling every Wednesday and to see him get a strike and strut back from the lane, it was something to be seen,” Ernest reflects.
Jamie’s other fun activities include, singing country and bluegrass music at the top of his lungs, talking about the Special Olympics, and spending time with his family.
“TVS is a good job. It has changed my life ever since I came here,” he said. It is because of job flexibility and the ever-changing job tasks that Jamie has been able to happily work beside the people that made him want to work at TVS two decades ago.