Thursday, April 6, 2006
Marshall Industries in 17th year
By SUE WATSON
Marshall Industries, a work program for clients with developmental disabilities, will celebrate 17 years of operation July 1. The center, located in the Johnny Taylor Building in Holly Springs, has provided light assembly jobs for clients of the North Mississippi Regional Center, celebrating its 33rd anniversary this year.
Twenty-two clients, most who have been employed over ten years at Marshall Industries, are being served, according to Ruthie Gatewood, a director of four of the 11 workshop centers operated by NMRC. Four clients have been working since the inception of the program in Marshall County and three new clients were brought in this year, she said.
Gatewood works to find new jobs for the clients and would like to have more local industry work orders, she said.
“This is vocational training in a realistic work environment to prepare them to work in the community,” Gatewood said.
Clients live at home and their families provide the transportation to work. They work five and a half hours a day, with three floor supervisors, a director, and a secretary helping clients with any needs.
Gatewood said clients have on-site support and counselling available if they need it.
The workshop center has never been short of work but more jobs could be offered if more work comes in, she said.
Some of the assembly work done at the center includes cleaning of fishing lures for Strike King, packaging of hardware items, and shrink wrapping products.
Three local companies have provided work orders for Marshall Industries since it opened - Parker-Hannifin, The South Reporter and Wenco.
Currently work comes from IPS in Collierville, but Payne Manufacturing in Olive Branch has supplied work orders.
Gatewood said clients are paid based on production.
“It’s a great group of very dedicated workers,” she said. “We love what they do and we try to make their day here as enjoyable as possible.”
Chancery Clerk Chuck Thomas and his wife Sue were among a group invited to have lunch with clients at Marshall Industries several weeks ago. Another open house will be held during Christmas.
Thomas said he would like to see more local industries provide work orders for the center and even transportation provided.
Dr. Carole Haney, director of NMRC, expressed appreciation to both the state legislature and citizens of Marshall County for their support of NMRC services in the area.
“We are extremely grateful that the Mississippi Legislature has supported our expansion of services so that our clients may live closer to their families and loved ones,” she said. “We at NMRC appreciate the partnerships we have with local officials and the community to enhance the quality of life for persons with disabilities.”
Programs like this offer citizens with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities the opportunity to live and work in their home communities.
The workshop centers, located in 11 counties, provide jobs for about 480 clients.
Some of the workshop specialties include custom packaging, upholstery, collating, ultrasonic welding, simple to complex assembly, sorting, use of drill press, inserts, stuffing envelopes, sewing, glue work, folding instruction sheets, precise trim work, recycling, bagging small parts, furniture assemblies, inspecting, manufacturing wood products, thermo-sealing and repackaging.
Businesses use the workshop centers for short runs, overloads, salvage work, year-around production and seasonal demands.
Counties providing NMRC workshop centers include Alcorn, Calhoun, DeSoto, Grenada, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Marshall, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tate, Tippah and Tishomingo.
For more information call John Lyons, at 662-513-7726 or Tom Hoar at 662-513-7844.
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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