2014 Awards Banquet

By BRETT DUNLAP (bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com) , Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Community members came out to the Grand Pointe Conference Center Tuesday evening for the SW Resources Awards Banquet.  Judy Sheppard, owner of Professional Services of America Inc., and Buddy Graham, the company’s vice president and COO, announce they have secured projects with a California company that will bring jobs and opportunities to SW Resources. We have come so far and we are now serving over 250 individuals each year.” said Terah Klein, president and CEO of the organization. ”It is quite amazing the with progress we have made and everything we have been able to do. “We continue to grow and we have expanded the services we have been able to offer. One thing always remains the same – we are proud to offer wonderful services to assist individuals with disabilities in gaining and maintaining meaningful employment. That is what SW does and that is what we will continue to do,” Klein said.

DSC_0391In 2014, SW Resources assisted 281 individuals, paying out over $1.5 million in wages, helped 30 individuals find permanent housing, placed 57 into competitive employment and helped 61 people through the SW Food Bank, Klein said. ”It is more than just putting people in a job; we do so much more than that, our staff goes above and beyond to help make people successful.”

Receiving Tops on the Job Staff Awards were Susan Lancaster (January), Matthew Elder (February), Ted Stahler (March), Aaric Deenis (April), Hope Doherty (May), Phillip Feemster (June), Scott Dotson (July), Christian Uppole (August), Victor Collins (September), Lisa Hall (October), Annette Morris (November) and David Fields (December). Catherine Wharton, office manager for Eye Doctors of Vienna, said they have had SW Resources’ client employees do work, including office work – filing, shredding, and scanning documents. ”It has really been a pleasure working with SW,” she said. ”The employees have come and got to experience being part of the workforce and out in the community. Through the work the clients do, the people in their office learn about team building”

Client employees spoke about what SW Resources has done for them. Scott Dotson, who is hearing impaired, used sign language to convey his comments with Levi Brady interpreting for the audience. Dotson works for SW and drives for Simply Water, delivering water. ”I am very grateful for SW for helping me get my driver’s license and the opportunity to drive for them,” Dotson signed. ”I want to thank all the people I deliver water to for taking the time to really try and communicate with me, even when they don’t know sign language.” Dotson said when he first came to SW, he was frustrated and unsure what he wanted to do and how he could go about accomplishing what he wanted. ”I was very bitter, but very motivated at the same time by not knowing what to do,” Dotson signed. ”Somedays I felt like I wanted to be hearing like everyone else, but many other days not so much.’ It is hard for deaf people to find good employment,” he said. There are people who think deaf people are unable to do certain work, he said.

Klein, along with Judy Sheppard of Professional Services of America Inc., announced a new opportunity for SW Resources. Sheppard’s company has been working with a company, Liqui Box, which had work done through SW Resources. The company has two projects and asked if Professional Services of America Inc. and SW Resources could do the work. ”It says a lot about West Virginia, a lot about SW and a lot about the workforce in West Virginia,” Sheppard said. ”My opinion is we produce good workers and honest, hardworking people. This would not be possible without SW.” These projects, in addition to a project known as the “widget project,” which has been going on for a couple of years and is growing, will create an unspecified number of new jobs and new opportunities for SW Resources. ”We are starting on our flip-cap project with (Professional Services of America Inc.) and Liqui Box here very soon,” Klein said. ”We are trying to finalize all the details for that to find out quantities and how many jobs, all of the fun stuff.”It is very exciting news. It will mean more employment opportunities for our people,” Klein said.