Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

Johnston County Industries workers, partners win awards

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Four Johnston County Industries nominees received recognition at the 2018 North Carolina Association of Rehabilitation Facilities awards luncheon in Greensboro on Thursday, Nov. 15.

JCI is an entrepreneurial, nonprofit corporation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities or disadvantages to succeed through training and employment.

Wesley Hix, a Smithfield JCI client, won the 2018 Vocational Achievement in the Community Award. This award recognizes the employee who has demonstrated outstanding personal achievement in his or her employment in the community.

“Wesley came to JCI after high school to receive employment services. His first job was with a restaurant in Four Oaks making pizza boxes. He is now employed at Papa John’s in Smithfield.,” said JCI marketing manager Nancy Bartholemew. “When he is not working at Papa John’s, Wesley attends JCI’s Adult Development Vocational Program. Wesley received a certificate of appreciation from Papa John’s for his 10 years of employment along with a pin to commemorate his five years. “

“JCI has helped me so much. I like the people at JCI and the people at Papa John’s,” said Hix. “I like my award, it is nice. I didn’t know I would be here this long and plan to stay.”

The 2018 Community Employer Award went to the Clayton Bakery and Café.

This award honors an employer in the public or private sector for outstanding achievement in promoting employment opportunities for individuals who face barriers to employment through disability, substance abuse or other circumstances.

“Clayton Bakery and Cafe has been working with JCI for 10 years providing employment opportunities to people with disadvantages and limitations,” said Bartholemew.

“One of the reasons why we like to use JCI to hire is because we create positions for people who may be having a difficult time finding employment, or it may be their first job,” said café owner Rich Girard. “We teach them to be a part of our team and accommodate any needs they may have to succeed in their job. We teach them to be responsible and teach them job skills they will use over their lifetime. These people are a part of our community, and we need to support them.”

JCI lead day support coach Phillip Walker of Erwin won the 2018 Frontline in the Field Award. This award recognizes an employee who consistently goes above and beyond the requirements of his or her job to make a positive difference in the lives of the people JCI serves.

“Phillip Walker has been employed at JCI for over six years and is indeed a gift to the services team. Phillip provides training to individuals preparing to transition into the workforce through JCI’s supported employment program,” said Bartholemew. “He has a genuine love for what he does and a desire to see others succeed. Phillip has turned down opportunities for advancement to remain on the front line because his passion is working directly with the individuals we serve. Congratulations, Phillip, you are very deserving of this award. “

JCI Client David Riddick of Erwin received the 2018 Vocational Achievement in a Facility Award .This award recognizes the employee who has demonstrated outstanding personal achievement in his or her employment in his or her facility-based enterprise.

“David has been a longtime member of the JCI family. David, with the assistance of JCI staff, has taken on the role of a snack bar attendant in the Erwin location,” said Bartholemew. “David continues to look for additional employment in the community, but he is happy with working in the snack bar. He enjoys his job because he gets to greet customers and ask them how they are.

“David enjoys giving smiles and putting the items on the shelves. He has gained confidence, has improved his speech and has increased his speed and stamina. David is an example to his peers and shows them that they can also have a job. Congratulations to David, he is an excellent example of how to continue to grow with the assistance of JCI’s services and through his determination.”