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TVS expands commercial and government production capabilities

TVS expands commercial and government production capabilities

In an effort to continue meeting demands for both commercial and government contracts, TVS has invested in expansions to help speed up production and efficiencies. Over the past month, TVS has installed a brand-new line to help fulfill the growing demand in commercial supplements business, along with adding new robotic arms to government contract lines packaging with Instant Nonfat Dry Milk (INDM) and SuperCereal Plus.

Commercial contracts –

To better accommodate the growing relationships within TVS’ commercial business, TVS installed a new supplements line that was up and running in mid-June. The line was a necessary addition to differentiate between commercial and government business.

“The new supplement line increased capacity and production by more than double,” said TVS Sales and Marketing Manager Nan Higgins. “The employees on the line appreciate having the innovative equipment and the new responsibilities associated with these upgrades and take great pride in the additional numbers produced at the end of each shift.”

Higgins explains that the new line works from beginning to palatizing. “The supplement canisters are placed on table that feeds the bottle onto the converter belt,” she said. “The bottles are rotated and blown out with ionized air, filled to bottle count with capsules, topped with cotton, lids added, labeled, and heat sealed before being hand inspected, packaged, placed into cartons, and palletized.”

TVS will continue to update and expand its commercial division to continue meeting the demands of current business and allow space for new customers.

Government contracts –

Over the past 1.5 years, TVS has experienced a significant growth of INDM business to help combat the rising food insecurities across America and SuperCereal Plus to assist children facing hunger worldwide.

The new robotic arms are the newest addition to the new XYRJ machines that were installed late 2020 and early 2021. The robot arms move filled bags of Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk (INDM) and SuperCereal Plus into boxes before being sealing and robotically moving and stacking onto pallets.

Prior to this addition, the boxes were packaged and sealed by hand before being stacked onto pallets.

The new robotic equipment has increased milk packaging by 2.5 times when compared to production a year ago. “We needed additional packaging capacity to keep up with a growth in demand while trying to stay within an existing building footprint,” said TVS VP of Operations Steve Green. “This capacity increase has meaningful impact in that the additional output alone provide close to a million incremental gallons of fluid milk per month, when reconstituted, for needy Americans seeking nutrition from food pantries.”

Another benefit of the robotic arms is the relief of intense labor. With production packaging large numbers of cases of INDM a day, the new arms allow employees to continue work, in less labor demanding positions. Part of the expansion was in an effort to continue providing jobs for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment in a less strenuous work environment while increasing TVS’s overall health and safety.

TVS has also purchased another XYRJ Triangle Machine. The factor test will be in December 2021 with installation expected to be in the first quarter of 2022.

“The growth we have experienced in the last year can only be compared to when TVS first commissioned milk in 2000,” said Green. “We could not have made accommodations to meet these demands without the broad support system of the TVS Board of Directors and our senior executives.”

Read more about TVS’ new XYRJ machines from ProFood World Magazine!

TVS celebrates Jamie Owen for two decades of dedicated work

TVS celebrates Jamie Owen for two decades of dedicated work

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.


TVS increases capacity to continue assisting with international famine relief efforts

TVS increases capacity to continue assisting with international famine relief efforts

Brevard, NC (May 11, 2021) — Food insecurity has surged in recent years across the world. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, more individuals are affected or at a higher risk than ever before. To help combat this growing rate of worldwide food insecurity, Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) installed new equipment during the 2020 year to continue meeting increased demands with the production of its SuperCereal Plus (SCP) blend.

“As a supplier of further processed grain based and dairy commodities to USDA, USAID, and the US Military, TVS is pleased to announce a significant increase in plant capacity to process and package SuperCereal Plus,” said TVS VP of Operations Steve Green. “This was made possible by forming a strategic alliance with grain suppliers in the US Midwest along with extensive engineering studies and capital investments in high speed processing and packaging equipment.” 

Currently TVS’s expansion has continued to support SCP production with an overall increase of 55%. Green said, “following 10 years of direct product experience and newly increased plant capacity, we are prepared to support USAID feed programs for another decade.”

SCP is a specially formulated cereal that offers complete nutrition for children ages 6-24 months when combined with fresh drinking water and used in conjunction with breast milk.

“TVS’s SuperCereal Plus business and our assistance with international hunger relief is something that we’re particularly proud of as an organization,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg. “We worked with the USAID and the World Food Programme to aid in the formulation and development of this complete nutritional supplement, and we continue to supply this product to various parts of the world.”

The manufacturing and packaging process of SCP began collaboratively with the USDA in 2010.

“As one of the first suppliers of SuperCereal Plus in North America, we are proud to invest and grow with our distribution partners to continue supplying a nutritious feeding supplement to families and children of developing nations that are in need,” said Green.

TVS has recently produced 1600 metric tons, or 3.5 million pounds, of SCP to aid in global hunger assistance efforts. Over the years, many regions of Africa and various other areas of the world have received TVS’ SCP.

Click here to read the full PDF.

Joshua “Living the Dream” Smith — Quality Technician

Joshua “Living the Dream” Smith — Quality Technician

Featured employee Joshua Smith quality checks a Super Cereal Plus bag.

“It is a family-oriented business, I love what they offer to individuals with disabilities. This is especially important to me since I have a child with autism.”

Featured employee Joshua Smith quality checks a Super Cereal Plus bag.
  • Graduated from Rosman High School in 2010
  • Started at TVS in May 2018
  • First job at TVS: Quality Technician (level 1)
  • Quality Technician (level 2), in a nut shell: “Making sure lot codes are correct and upholding the integrity of our bags and products. It has a lot of paperwork and organization but it guarantees that the equipment is working correctly and that the products are safe.”
  • Why Quality? “I knew I wanted to work in quality because of paperwork skills and I knew that TVS was a great place to work because my Mother-In-Law used to work here.”
  • Career goals? “Continue moving forward in the company by first becoming a level 3 Quality Technician and be able to provide for my family.”
  • Previous Work Experience: Gaia Herbs in Shipping and Receiving and as a Liner Accelerator Tech and Press Tech.
  • Favorite part about working at TVS? “The people are one of the best parts. I am a social butterfly, I love talking to everyone especially coworkers and INTERACT participants.”
  • Favorite TVS memory? “I am currently enjoying coaching the TVS Softball team and I also really have enjoyed past company picnics.”
Michelle Ekeanyanwu — Quality Technician

Michelle Ekeanyanwu — Quality Technician

Featured employee Joshua Smith quality checks a Super Cereal Plus bag.

“It is an ongoing job and I am excited to become more knowledgable with Safe Quality Food (SQF) rules and regulations.”

  • Grew up in Connecticut, moved to Brevard after High School
  • Started at TVS in May 2008
  • First job here: Production member
  • Quality Technitian, in a nut shell: Ensure the integrity of our product and make sure the product meets the customer specifications and make sure all the paperwork is correctly processed.
  • Why TVS? “Employers like this are hard to come by. I enjoy the flexability of my job here, along with the care and benefits offered by TVS.”
  • Previous work experience: Continental Treves and WelchAllyn
  • Favorite aspect of TVS? “The support and care that the company has for employees.”