SW Resources helps the disabled find work

Editor’s note: This is the next in a series of articles about the member agencies of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

VIENNA – SW Resources has continually provided employment opportunities for many with disabilities throughout the community.

Since 1964, SW Resources has been providing community-based vocational rehabilitation.

SW Resources receives $27,000 from the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The organization, which is commemorating its 50th year of service this year, provides vocational services, employment and other opportunities for individuals who have disabilities.

“We have been growing for the last few years,” said SW Resources President and CEO Terah Klein. “We are continuing to grow. We have served more clients than we have in quite some time. We continue to get that number up.”

The organization uses the money from the United Way Alliance to help offset wages for its client employees.

“We can employ more individuals at or above minimum wage,” she said.

Klein said the organization is continually proud of its successes. In 2013, SW Resources served 267 client employees, paying out a total payroll of over $1.4 million.

“We were able to place 33 individuals into competitive employment or promoted into a supervisory position within SW Resources,” Klein said.

SW has hired additional job coaches and expanded its enrichment program from three days to five days a week to offer more education options and more, she said.

“We are growing, we are excited, we are helping individuals and that is what it is all about,” she said.

Being a United Way affiliated agency, SW Resources is provided camaraderie and the ability to build partnerships with other non-profit organizations in the area as well as others.

“It gives us a sense of being part of the bigger community,” Klein said.

SW Resources was able to participate in the United Way Fair at the Grand Central Mall recently. Klein was able to talk with people from around the area about what is done at SW.

“I got to tell people who we are and what we do,” she said.

Being with all the other United Way affiliated agencies allowed all of them to build a better sense of everyone’s place in the community.

“It was not just anyone standing alone,” Klein said.

SW Resources has worked hard for a number of years to overcome the old perceptions of once being “The Sheltered Workshop.”

“I tell people how we have jumped over that hurdle,” Klein said. “We have come a long way in 50 years. We continue to grow and provide community employment.”

Dave Emerick, the 2014 SW board of directors chairman, said during a recent banquet to commemorate SW Resources’ 50th anniversary he is always impressed with the level of commitment the clients bring to work each day.

“These folks come to work everyday and do a wonderful job,” he said. “It is about recognizing the clients and volunteers who make it all work.”