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TVS Participants ‘Bake for Good’ with King Arthur Baking Company

TVS Participants ‘Bake for Good’ with King Arthur Baking Company

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Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) participants from INTERACT spent last Friday morning learning how to bake scones from scratch with the King Arthur Bake for Good program thanks to the recent partnership between TVS and King Arthur Baking Company.

“Baking is a wonderful way to connect with others,” said Bake for Good Program Manager Amy Driscoll. “We were thrilled to have a chance to meet some of our TVS partners and share our love of baking.”

Bake for Good is King Arthur Baking Company’s free outreach program with the main goals to learn, bake, and share. TVS participants practiced math and science skills while making scones from scratch.

They learned to measure dry ingredients, mix in butter, and were able to customize their scones with either blueberry jammy bits or cinnamon.

“Even our participants that don’t like to get their hands dirty were kneading and working the butter and flour mixtures like champs,” said TVS INTERACT Supervisor Brooke Wilson. “Working with King Arthur crew was a wonderful experience – everyone was kind, helpful, and inclusive.”

Each baker made half a dozen scones to enjoy later and share with family and friends. After the event, the INTERACT team was able to keep the extra baking supplies to support their baking club at TVS.

“The Bake for Good event was a great way to show how business and mission can be even more interconnected,” said TVS VP of Business Development and Marketing Beth Rich. “Having King Arthur as a partner is a benefit to TVS and our community in so many different ways, and we could not be happier working with them.”

Looking ahead, King Arthur Baking Company will be in the Greenville area from November 2 – December 22 for their pop-up store and has plans to continue teaching the Bake for Good program in schools across Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

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.

Successful Art Showing for TVS No Limits Artists

Successful Art Showing for TVS No Limits Artists

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

During the month of April, the art exhibit “Just Passing Through” was shown at the Transylvania Community Art Council (TCArts) gallery. This annual show promoting the Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) “No Limits” artists highlights a variety of subject matter, different medias, and lots of color.

“At the Arts Council, we look forward to the “No Limits” artists’ exhibition each year. The quality and variety of the artwork in the exhibition is exceptional, and each artist has his or her own unique style,” said TCArts Executive Director Kathy King. “My favorite part of the show is the opening reception and visiting with the No Limits artists, most of whom really enjoy talking about their artwork – and seeing it exhibited in the Gallery.”

This year the TCArts hosted two separate opening receptions to accommodate all the “No Limits” artists. Both day and evening receptions welcomed community members, family members, and artists as well as snacks and beverages for refreshments. Visitors had a variety of painted animals, geometrically country quilts squares, and other nature themed media to see.

“From the flowers to the feet, to all the funky animals we painted, it was all a lot of fun. Many days we went home covered in paint ourselves,” laughed TVS INTERACT Supervisor Brooke Wilson.

TCArts remits 100% of the sales price to the artists and this year, the gallery did exceptionally well with 75% of the artwork having been sold.

“I feel like after the first few hours of the show being on display it was already a success. In my opinion, success is measured by much more than just monetary value,” reflected Wilson. “Success was looking around the gallery and seeing nothing but smiles and joyful conversations amongst the artists, families, and community members.”

Looking ahead, the TVS “No Limits” artists will be featured at the Transylvania Chamber of Commerce as their featured Artist of the Month in August and is planning an internal holiday themed art sale near the end of the year. 

Click here to read the Transylvania Times article about the event.

Highlights from Just Passing Through

Cory Thomas celebrates 10 years at TVS

Cory Thomas celebrates 10 years at TVS

With over a decade of experience at TVS, Cory Thomas can be found working in almost any production area. Cory is able to flow between all the different lines and provide additional support wherever it is needed.

“Cory has been a regular fixture here at TVS! Over the years, Cory has performed a variety of jobs at TVS and takes his work seriously,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg. “I have always appreciated his loyalty and dedication to our mission and company.”

Cory was originally hired on second shift, palletizing and case sealing on lines producing SuperCereal, Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk (INDM), and Bakery Mixes.

Now, Cory prefers to work in Supplements. “My favorite spot is on the supplement line, I enjoy the flow of the work and the atmosphere,” said Cory. “I enjoy having the chance to talk to my coworkers.”

In Supplements, Cory can be found blowing out canisters, palletizing, or any other job they need him to do. “Cory is a hard worker with good work ethic,” said Supplement Production Lead Richie Atwell.  “He does his work with a smile.”

Cory works by the motto, “drive to go home or don’t steer.” Or in other words, care about what you do.

“I enjoy watching Cory grow and appreciate his willingness to work in new departments,” said Dietary Supplements Operation Manager Brian Wilson. “I am very proud of his recent progress in his personal life.” 

Cory is native to Transylvania County, and has been involved with TVS for 12 years. Before graduating from Brevard High in 2011, Cory completed his high school requirements by finding employment through Vocational Rehabilitation at TVS.

Over the past 10 years Cory said, “I am able to do more jobs and spread my wings more. I have become more well-rounded and have started to try more.”

When Cory is not at work he can be found practicing Taekwondo, working towards his black belt. Cory is also trained in Kick Boxing and Muay Thai. He has already competed in two different tournaments and aims to keep getting better and better.

Cory also enjoys hanging out with friends, swimming, hiking, social events, and being online. If you are ever looking for Cory on a social media network, it would help you to know that Steven King is his favorite author, as well as, the name of the hotel owner in The Shining.

He can be found in tropical locations on vacation. While his favorite location was Jamaica, he also enjoyed visiting the Bahama’s, Cayman Islands, and Myrtle Beach.

Looking back over the years, Cory remembers all the company picnics, riding inflatable animals in the field out back, evenings together celebrating Christmas, and has lots of memories with good people – some of which are no longer here.

Cory looks forward to continue growing at TVS and moving into whatever position his credentials will take him.

When asked to share some stories about Cory, Brian smiled and said, “I have some great stories involving Cory. They just cannot be repeated here.” 

TVS employees donate Back to School supplies!

TVS employees donate Back to School supplies!

TVS employees continue to give back to our community! Over the past two weeks, TVS employees donated almost 1600 school supply items to the Sharing House.

The Back to School program provides free school supplies for all low-income students (K-12) living in Transylvania County. The Sharing House estimates to serve 600+ children in 2022!

“This school supply drive was very successful; we easily doubled the amount of donations we received the previous year. TVS employees show a lot of support for our donation drives, my favorite thing about each of our donation drives is seeing the employees so willing to give back to our community!” said Catherine Whitley, HR Generalist. “We decided to host the school supply drive again this year because of who it is benefitting. We all get to see the benefits of this drive in our community and kids. Helping them have a successful school year is a great feeling.”

The largest amounts of donated items included 164 rulers, 135 spiral notebooks, 126 packs of #2 pencils, and 116 packs of Crayons. However, TVS employees also donated hand sanitizer, dry erase markers, disinfecting wipes, and much more.

“This donation drive is our 2nd largest since TVS began donating back in the fall of 2020! Our record is 1700 hygiene items which were donated to S.A.F.E. in 2021,” Whitley said. “Though we didn’t quite pass that during this drive, we are thrilled with our employee participation!”

Prior to the school supply drive, TVS employees also donated dog food to the Labor of Love Pet Rescue during March of 2022.

 

“It is such a nice feeling being able to give back to this dog rescue,” said HR Administrative Assistant Kayde Hopkins. “Our support with this donation helps fosters care for the pups before they reach their forever homes.”

 

The total donation equaled just over 40 bags of dry dog food, over 40 bags of treats, and 3 cases of wet food.

Looking ahead for the rest of the year, TVS plans to host the 3rd annual “Give Back, Get Back” donation event. While the donation drives have not been released, TVS employees can expect to have three more ways to give back to their community.

Last year, TVS employees donated to Life Changers Outreach, S.A.F.E., and Operation Christmas Child.