RAOC Loves to Work Month
This October Rockbridge Area Occupational Center (RAOC) is not holding a fancy fund raiser, is not promoting a raffle, not looking for donations of any kind. Instead it is only asking for suggestions from the citizens of the county to help find work for its employees who have mental, intellectual or physical handicaps. The organization has declared October as the RAOC Loves to Work Month and invites area residents to call or drop in at the office to contribute ideas that might help RAOC employees find gainful work. With the whole country having difficult financial times over the past few years, RAOC’s ability to get work has been gradually and seriously impacted as many of the local businesses and organizations lost work themselves. The result is that many businesses were then forced to reduce the amount of work that they were able to provide RAOC. And this, Executive Director Willy Funkhouser states, is why RAOC needs the county’s help in finding work. He explains “There may be businesses or opportunities for work that we don’t know about. We are reaching out to ask for ideas, suggestions, and leads that will result in a partnership that will benefit two businesses, RAOC and their own.”
Many of the RAOC employees have done piece work at the center for some of the industries, businesses, and institutions in the area that include Munters, VMI, Hollister, Washington and Lee, and HDT. Examples of the work performed include product assembly or material preparation. In addition, RAOC offers quality shredding services that include shredding bins dropped off and delivered, slide- to- photo production, and outdoor furniture construction. Another branch of the work crew performs yard care that includes mowing, mulching, debris removal.
RAOC workers truly do love to work as evidenced by a recent survey of the employees. Almost all of them listed “work” as one of the things they most enjoy because it gives them a meaningful occupation and because it gives them a chance to be part of something, to not be forced to sit at home alone because of a disabling handicap. Board chair Kathy Kvach states that she frequently observes these people doing their jobs and is always impressed with their work ethic, their attention to detail, and their pride in what they do. She says she is also impressed that most of the employees state that they wish they could have more work. RAOC wants to know if you can help make that wish come true during the RAOC Loves to Work Month. Talk to Willy Funkhouser at 1913 Sycamore Avenue Buena Vista, VA 24416 or call (540) 261-6159 with your ideas.