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TVS donates over 800 items to Life Changers Outreach!

TVS donates over 800 items to Life Changers Outreach!

During the first two weeks of October, TVS collected over 800 items to donate to the Life Changers Outreach program in Pisgah Forest. This is TVS’ largest donation of canned food in recent history.

“The canned food donation was an absolutely overwhelming response,” said Life Changers Program Director Aaron Britt. “It is all about community and what we can do to help each other.”

The items included boxes of macaroni and cheese, soups and broths, rice and beans, cereals, and much more. Even as the last day for donations was ending, employees were still showing up with items to donate leaving an exact number unavailable.

The event was organized by TVS, Benefits and Recruitment Specialist Catherine Tinsley and TVS Administration Assistance Kayde Hopkins.

“It was so great seeing the employees of TVS come together in just two short weeks to support such a great cause,” Tinsley said. “I am so thankful to be a part of such an amazing company that gives back to the community I am excited to see how our next few drives go!”

Life Changers Outreach is located in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina at the River Church and has been in operation since 2015.

These donated items will be use to feed the men and women that are currently housed and enrolled in the program to better their lives and build a relationship with Christ.

Life Changers Outreach focuses on helping men and women struggling with various types of bondages or life-controlling issues through Biblical studies, Christian counseling and worship. They offer a non-medical, non-psychiatric approach that focuses on achieving inner-healing for deep rooted issues that are often at the center of addiction.

From now until the end of October, TVS will be collecting slightly worn winter clothing, along with new scarfs and gloves, to donate to the nonprofit as well.

You can learn more at http://lifechangersoutreach.com/home

Celebrating Becky’s 45 years at TVS!

Celebrating Becky’s 45 years at TVS!

Becky Alderman and Nancy Stricker standing in front of wall of TVS celebrations and awards.

After 45 years of dedicated service to TVS, COO Becky Alderman retired on October 2 following a surprise retirement celebration that honored her hard work, friendships, and impact throughout the community.

“Using the mission as her compass, Becky always lead TVS, its mission, and its people to a better place,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg.

In 1975, Becky was hired as the Program Director after graduating from UNC – Chapel Hill with a degree in Sociology. Over the years, Becky had been promoted and grown into the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“I never planned to do the work I’ve done, but was unexpectedly led to TVS and have never looked back,” Becky said. “What I hope is the key accomplishment in my career, achieved through years of small and large actions, is helping to increase the stature of people with disabilities and other challenges in our community.”

Her determination and hard work have been some of the leading factors in helping grow the company into what it is today with contracts with the USDA, DLA Troop Support, USAID, and other commercial businesses.

It has also led for countless success stories assisting adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment find jobs, both in the community and at TVS.

“Becky’s dedication and perseverance are evident in all the lives she has changed, including mine,” said Lauren Hayes, Human Resource Director. “I am thankful to have worked beside such a great role model.” 

Just before Becky’s last day, TVS held a surprise retirement party in her honor. The spacious company cafeteria was transformed with floral lanterns, balloons, a large cake, and the smiling faces of coworkers, families, and community members. Becky is not an easy person to keep a secret from and it took everyone to help keep Becky occupied while the party planning committee finished decorating and welcomed Becky’s family, friends and other special guests.

The event definitely caught her off guard as she was greeted by cheers and almost endless applause when she entered. After the shock, Becky was presented with a lovely gift basket filled with various gifts and a celebratory shirt for her 45 years at TVS. A special treat was a personalized photo album/memory book complete with personal wishes for a happy retirement from dozens of TVS team members and other close colleagues. Following this, a series of special awards were presented to Becky.

Celebrating her achievements one award at a time, Lauren Hayes presented the first award, a SourceAmerica Certificate of Recognition. 

TVS has been a member of the SourceAmerica network for 20 years, beginning with the contract for packing instant non-fat dry milk for USDA. Source America’s mission is to protect and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities by collaborating with policymakers in the U.S. Congress and other Federal government leaders and connecting them with goods and services from their member NPAs.

In a farewell to Becky the SourceAmerica Product team said, “We are so thankful for all of the support you have given to people with disabilities, TVS, and SourceAmerica.”

The next award was a Certificate of Appreciation from the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, presented by Derrick Edwards, the Business Services Representative for the Land of Sky Regional Council, for Becky’s many years of engagement with the Board.

The Mountain Area Workforce Development Board is a partnership of private business executives and leading workforce development organizations in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania County. The purpose of is to provide policy, planning, oversight and funding for local workforce development programs and address any workplace issues as they emerge.

The last award of the day was the most significant and memorable. Brevard Mayor Jimmy Harris surprised the group by presenting Becky, on behalf of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award.

This prestigious award is among the Governor’s highest honors, reserved for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities

through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. Becky was nominated by her husband, Jim Alderman, with letters of recommendation from close friends and colleagues.

The celebration was not all awards and public figures.

The No Limits artists performed a new song, “Rise Up” by Andra Day, in sign language outside of the TVS building. The Life Skills group presented Becky with a handmade piece of artwork. The acrylic art piece was framed and the floral watercolor image contained the names of all the Life Skills participants and the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) that work in the program.

As one of the last events of the day, TVS held a Flowering Cherry tree planting ceremony out front near the road. The tree represents all the growth that Becky has cultivated for TVS and is a reminder to continue to grow the mission through the many seasons ahead.

The bittersweet celebration was a beautiful way to celebrate all the achievements Becky has accomplished in her career. As she begins a new chapter in retirement, enjoying her garden, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends, TVS wishes her the absolute best.

Becky Alderman with husband, Jim Alderman
TVS Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

TVS Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Brevard, NC (October 6, 2020) – TVS (Transylvania Vocational Services) today announced its participation in 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 “Increasing Access and Opportunity.”

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Click here to read the full PDF

New, Temporary Community Inclusion Services in Response to COVID-19

New, Temporary Community Inclusion Services in Response to COVID-19

Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) has partnered with the North Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (NCDVR) to offer a new service called Community Inclusion. This service was created by the NCDVR in May as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of the Community Inclusion Service is to provide current individuals whom are supported by Vocational Rehabilitation with a way to navigate new challenges within the community and local employment industry. Recipients are supported by a TVS Employment Specialist through individualized education that is customized to the needs of each individual.

“The biggest benefit of these services is that individuals are able to see how all aspects of life can and do affect employment,” said TVS Employment Specialist Megan Pilley.

The Community Inclusion Service focuses on four main categories, all designed to help an individual adapt to changes in their community or job. These categories include: 1) Job Preparation, 2) Disability Awareness, 3) Health, Safety and Wellness, and 4) Independent Living.

Individuals are able to choose from a wide variety of topics within each category, based on what is most useful to their personal lives. These subcategories cover topics highly relevant to issues surfaced by COVID-19 such as how to conduct a virtual or phone interview and how to access additional resources through telehealth services.

“By awareness being brought to these areas, we expect to see individuals becoming more involved in the community and have confidence regardless of the current lifestyle changes,” Pilley said.

To qualify for the service an individual must have an active case with NCDVR. A NCDVR counselor determines eligibility after a person applies for the service and approved individuals can receive up to 50 hours of inclusion service trainings.

This service is being offered for a limited time and is only expected to remain in effect until the end of the year.

For more information please call your local Vocational Rehabilitation office, Brevard: 828-883-2190 or Hendersonville 828-692-9184.

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the ADA

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrated its 30th anniversary on Sunday, July 26 and TVS dedicated this past week to celebrating the law by sharing information through a social campaign on our Facebook page.

The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. It was signed into law by George H.W. Bush in 1990.

This law has paved the path for individuals with disabilities in our workforce.

The week-long social media campaign on Facebook offered key facts about the ADA, quotes from TVS employees reflecting on ‘what the ADA means to them,’ and external links to learn more information.

TVS also had their two social media quotes shared on the SourceAmerica website as part of a collaborative article where multiple NPAs reflected on memories and the importance of ADA over the past 30 years.

We invite you to also read more stories celebrating the ADA at the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities website.

View the full collection of Facebook posts from July 27 – July 31 below!

USDA Food Aid Contract Creates More Jobs at TVS

USDA Food Aid Contract Creates More Jobs at TVS

Brevard, NC (July 27,2020) — Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) has been awarded another contract from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for packaging instant non-fat dry milk. This will more than double the packaged milk output from the facility.

The USDA is purchasing the dry milk to provide food aid to an expanded list of food banks across the country as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and its impact on the United States and its territories, Guam and Puerto Rico.

“The USDA is working hard to carry out their mission of assisting American farmers and citizens in need. The rise in unemployment due to the pandemic has resulted in an increase of food insecure families and caused a major surge in domestic food aid programs,” said TVS COO, Becky Alderman.

To accommodate this production surge and meet the demand, TVS is hiring more employees on three shifts and increasing the number and speed capabilities of machines packaging the milk. The company is actively recruiting for an estimated 25 job openings, within nine different job categories, including production workers, inventory assistants, sanitation workers, production supervisors, and material handlers.

Click here to read the full PDF or to view the Transylvania Times article.