Program Services During COVID/2020

The Pandemic Did Not Stop Services For Clients.

The Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has changed how we can provide Pre-Employment and Employment services to those we assist with preparing for competitive, integrated employment.  Over the last few years, we had an in-person presence at the local high schools in Macon, Jackson, and Swain Counties and Cherokee Central School. The shutdown in March of 2020 forced us to scramble. We, like much of the world, are becoming proficient at the Virtual Meeting.  Despite the sudden change in service delivery method from primarily in-person to virtual services. We successfully assisted over 50 program participants.

Our business partners and community collaborators such as DVRS (Division Vocational Rehabilitation Services), VAYA Health, Western Carolina University’s School of Teaching & Learning, NCWorks, MARC, Inc., Swain County Community Resources, Rotary Club, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Cashiers Chamber of Commerce, Jackson County Citizens Academy, Leadership Cashiers, Jackson County Special Olympics Planning Committee, Region A Partnership for Children/ Family Support Network, have been in step with our workforce development efforts throughout it all. We are all struggling to pivot and adapt, but our partnerships remain strong despite slow-downs and shutdowns. Our host businesses (have been willing to engage with our program participants. We continue to offer actual and practice interview opportunities, job shadows, job samples (where social distancing was possible), and continued communication with our organization related to their staffing needs.

Thank You!

As we roll into 2021 with uncertainty about when and if our previous “normal” will be back this year, we wish to thank our business partners listed below, ongoing commitment to our programs. These training opportunities prepare participants for real jobs and connect them to local employment opportunities.

Jackson County: Insight MarketingGreat Commission CoffeeHomeBaseK & R Services • Craftsman Builder • Eminence SalonCity Lights Bookstore • Ingles Market (Sylva) • Harold’s SupermarketJackson County Department on AgingCullowhee United Methodist ChurchThe Farmhouse Mercantile & Coffee ShopCarolina Custom InkHillman Family Auto Repair Creekside RestaurantState Farm Insurance

Macon County: Macon County Historical SocietyWalmart of Franklin • Burger King of Franklin • Old Edwards InnMacon Program for Progress Inc. • Highlands Inn • Lowes • Sonic

Cherokee/Qualla Boundary: Cherokee Boys ClubBirdtown Community Center

Swain County: Everett Street DinerHeavenly Fudge Depot

Moving Forward

If you are a business that would like to partner with us to provide training opportunities for our clients, please get in touch with Laura Smith -Program Services Director

 

WestBridge Vocational is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services that bridge the gap between people with disabilities or disadvantages and gainful employment. We support our mission primarily through our work as a leading manufacturer of disposable surgical products for major medical companies.

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