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TVS joins annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month

TVS joins annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) today announced it is joining the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Advancing Access and Equity.”

The history of NDEAM traces back to 1945, when it started as a week and focused only on people with physical disabilities. Later, it expanded to a full month, and its name and scope evolved to acknowledge the importance of increasing the workforce inclusion of people with all nature of disabilities.

“TVS is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Beth Rich, TVS VP and Business Development and Marketing. “We want to spread the important message that we value all perspectives, including those of individuals with disabilities not only in the month of October, but year-round.”

Reflecting this year’s theme, throughout the month, TVS will be educating employees on disability employment issues and its commitment to an accessible and equitable work culture.

“National Disability Employment Awareness Month reminds us of the valued contributions people with disabilities make in our nation’s workplaces, and the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 marks a major milestone in our nation’s ongoing quest to advance access and equity for all Americans,” said Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “So, from now through October, we will be exploring the act’s impact on everything from employment to community living to non-discrimination to accessible technology.”

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages—during October and throughout the year—by visiting dol.gov/NDEAM.

King Arthur Baking Company and TVS Forge a Partnership to Deliver Quality Baking Products and Empower Local Communities

King Arthur Baking Company and TVS Forge a Partnership to Deliver Quality Baking Products and Empower Local Communities

Party Animal - acrylic on wood uses abstract lines and colors to create a fun and colorful cow sticking out its tongue.

King Arthur Baking Company, based in Norwich, VT, and renowned for its commitment to producing high-quality baking products, and TVS, a distinguished 3rd party logistics partner based in Brevard, North Carolina, are proud to announce their groundbreaking partnership to enhance the availability of King Arthur’s premium baking mixes and flours, while empowering the local community through inclusive employment opportunities. As a result of the partnership TVS now blends, fills, and packs a large variety of baking mixes and flour blends for King Arthur, like their Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour and 00 Pizza Flour. 

When King Arthur Baking was searching for a co-manufacturer to meet rapidly increasing wholesale demand for their gluten-free products, TVS stood out among the competition due to their ability to maintain King Arthur’s unwavering quality standards, and their alignment with the company’s values as an employee-owned, founding B Corp. TVS shares King Arthur’s commitment to conducting business in a manner that not only benefits their organization but also positively impacts their employees and the community.                                 

“We are thrilled to embark on this new journey alongside TVS,” says King Arthur Baking Company CEO Karen Colberg. “From the pride they take in their work, to all that they do for their employees and community, we couldn’t be more grateful to have them as our partner.

For more than 50 years, TVS has been dedicated to enhancing the dignity and quality of life for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Beginning in 1967 as a day program for adults with developmental disabilities, TVS has grown to become one of the largest employers in Brevard and Transylvania County.

“As a 100% employee-owned company, King Arthur Baking has demonstrated a powerful commitment to their employees,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg. “And, thanks to King Arthur, there are now dozens more individuals with significant disabilities and other barriers to employment working at TVS and receiving a living wage!  I can’t say enough about what this relationship means to us and the impact that King Arthur Baking is making to everyone in our communities.”

The partnership of King Arthur Baking Company and TVS is already creating a ripple of positive change within the community, starting with King Arthur’s Bake for Good outreach program visiting the area in October to bring baking to the extended community of TVS employees. In addition to social impact programs, King Arthur strives to make planet-forward, people-positive business decisions in all that they do, including their commitment to source 100% regeneratively grown wheat by 2030. The partnership between King Arthur Baking and TVS aligns two purpose focused organizations to scale impact and meet increased customer demand.

For more information, please follow King Arthur Baking Company on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and visit www.tvsinc.org to learn more about TVS’ manufacturing capabilities and mission.

Michael Cook celebrates 20 years at TVS!

Michael Cook celebrates 20 years at TVS!

“I have been working here for 20 years,” smiles Michael Cook, TVS Production Associate. “It feels good to see my name above the microwave.”

A rotating slide deck on the breakroom TV displays company activities, health messages, important dates for employees to remember, and to Michael’s comment – it celebrates employee anniversaries.

“You can’t think of TVS and not think of Michael,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg. “One of the highlights of my workday is receiving a warm greeting from Michael in his own unique way. Often, his greetings remind me of something that happened years ago—and he describes the event down to the smallest detail.”

He can be found closing cartons, passing boxes down a conveyor belt, quality checking canisters to make sure they are clean before packing them into boxes, and wiping cans before they are filled with Mountain Maid Pancake and Waffle Mix. “I have always worked here,” says Michael. Throughout the years, he has also worked in the TVS Kitchen preparing lunch for employees and cleaning the warehouse space as a Quality Housekeeper.

While Michael is trained in every area of production his favorite product to work with are the almonds and walnuts. In 2017, TVS started packaged nuts for the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, which are sent to U.S. Troops around the world.

“Once he is shown how to do something, he knows exactly what to do and you never have to show him again,” said Production Manager Brian Wilson. “I have worked with Michael for four years and it is never a dull moment with him. I absolutely love it!”

Michael is described as kind, positive, smart, and as a good singer and master at song lyrics.

“Michael has a memory like the Library of Congress,” said Brian. “I enjoy talking music with him because he knows the words to any song.”

While working, you might find him dancing and working to the beat of the music.

Production Associate Joanna Morgan has worked with Michael for the last eight years. “He really is a good singer; much better than me,” she laughed. “He is cheerful and smiley with a positive attitude. Michael always says, ‘good job Joanna’ and then gives me a high-five. He high-fives everyone when the achieve things.”

Michael is a fixture at TVS – to echo his supervisor and coworker, “he is loved by all, and he is one of my favorite people to work with.”

Michael’s fun and kind personality is reflected in his life outside work. He enjoys The Cracker Barrel, Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake, and Michelangelo – the orange Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

When not at TVS, Michael is enjoying the company of his dogs, Apollo and Nova, along with his 4 cats. His other hobbies include watching game shows like The Price is Right and his favorite sitcoms, Three’s Company and The Jeffersons.

Michael also mentioned past adventures at the Mountain State Fair, where he loved to ride the Ferris Wheel and drive Bumper Cars. He has also been involved in the Transylvania County Special Olympics participating in bowling, soccer, swimming, and track and field competitions.

Reflecting over the years, Michael said, “Today has been a great day.”

 

TVS Programs Receive Highest Mark on 2023 CARF Audit

TVS Programs Receive Highest Mark on 2023 CARF Audit

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TVS recently received a 3-year Accreditation from CARF, International. The accreditation is an indication of TVS’ dedication and commitment to improving the lives of the individuals we serve in our group homes, day programs, and employment services. TVS was reviewed against 1,126 Quality Standards. At that end of the review, there were no recommendations! Now that is something to be proud of!  According to CARF, an accreditation report that identifies no recommendations is achieved in only 3 percent of CARF surveys.

“What an accomplishment,” said Program Director Carla Hill. “This achievement by TVS is the result of many caring and dedicated Direct Support Professionals and Supervisors who believe that helping individuals have the lives they choose is good for the individuals and the community.”

At TVS, CARF evaluates our employment supports, job development, group homes, INTERACT, and Life Skills. The CARF accreditation is an acknowledgement of quality and TVS has been proudly accredited since 1984!

Want to know more about our CARF accreditation?
Click here to view our TVS Programs Monthly Newsletter, In The Loop!

Lynn Brewer Celebrates 15 Years at TVS!

Lynn Brewer Celebrates 15 Years at TVS!

“Lynn is a master manager, planner, arranger, and always with the individual in mind. Person-centered is how she lives her life,” says TVS Programs Director Carla Hill. “She treats every individual with dignity and respect, helping everyone she supports to speak for themselves.”

Lynn Brewer is celebrating her 15th anniversary at TVS. She does a little bit of everything as the Residential Coordinator including staffing the group homes, handling any maintenance needs, and making sure services and needs for all the individuals are met including doctor appointments and other necessary engagements.

 “She is so awesome. She takes me to all my appointments and hangs out at the house. We have peppermint tea together,” said resident Laura Newton.

“One of my favorite things actually happened during the pandemic. I would take everyone out one at a time; to go and do whatever they wanted,” reflects Lynn. “The residents were always together, and this gave them a little break from that, and I was able to learn what everyone loved to do, one-on-one.”

“She knows how to find places to have fun,” Carla says with a smile. “From train and boat rides, to musicals, 3D movies, Special Olympic Games, and more – if a resident wants an experience, Lynn does everything she can to find an opportunity.”

There have been around 6 or 7 beach trips over the past few years. Both Lynn and the residents remember the beach trips. “Going to Surf City!” said resident Taylor Love excitedly, when asked what fun things he and Lynn have done. “She is funny. We make funny faces back at each other.”

Lynn has always worked in services. When she was first hired at TVS, she was working with individuals on the production line before being asked to help with residential administration. Lynn took over the Tanjer House Group Home in 2008 and a year later the Fisher Road Group Home was established, later followed by Individual Supported Living. 

“I remember saying, ‘I want to work there one day,’” said Lynn about TVS. “I am thankful and grateful to do what I do and to do it here, with all the support. My favorite part of this job is about being an advocate for the individuals we serve.”

Lynn’s fun and caring nature started with her first job at Disney World while she completed high school and before transferring to Greensboro College to pursue a teaching degree in Special Education. “In my senior year I realized that I didn’t want to teach,” said Lynn. “I realized that when these individuals grow up, they will still need services.”

She added a minor in Social Work before graduating in 1982. It was during this time that she also met her husband, Terry, at choir practice. They have been married for 37 years and have two children.

In college, Lynn worked in the residential field and started at Transylvania Association for Disabled Citizens, Inc (TADC) after moving to Brevard. She continued her career as the Activities Director at College Walk and as the United Cerebral Palsy Manager until she welcomed her first daughter.

At TVS, Lynn is dedicated to, “making their lives normal by helping them live the life they want to lead.”

Being Person-centered is an aspect of all the TVS Programs. “Lynn is the most understanding and thoughtful person, she always truly cares about each of us,” said residential DSP Carolyn Trapp. “She has a way of seeing things outside the box. I’m just so glad she has been with TVS for 15 years. She is the best supervisor ever, and a very good friend.”

When not at TVS, Lynn and Terry are very active in the AVL City Church helping with the music and hospitality. She also enjoys reading books and traveling to see her children in Georgia or Seattle. “I have great friends and a great husband. We try to laugh a lot and survive being married,” laughs Lynn. “It’s a simple life, but a life I love.”

Reflecting on the last 15 years at TVS she says, “I am always amazed by how little I know and how much I am still learning. I hope to stay humble and able to learn.”