Everyone deserves a chance to work

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Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Promoting October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month are: (from left) MATCO Services productions manager Scott Ringhiser, county commissioners David Dhume and Mark Forrest, MATCO consumer Penny Powers, commissioner David Hunter, MATCO consumer Bobby Higgins, MATCO administrative assistant Cordelia Comer, and MATCO CEO Van Viney.

(Posted Oct. 31, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Each year, MATCO Services in London repackages millions of Kelloggs products for distribution to Dollar Tree stores around the country.

To keep up with the high volume, the London-based organization, whose purpose is to provide job opportunities to people with disabilities, added a second production line last year.

London resident Bobby Higgins has worked on the line for the past two years. As a production handler, he puts products on the line, breaks down bulk packaging into retail-sized packaging, and moves skids.

Higgins and his fellow crew members do quality work, proof of which are the high marks the production receives on state and industry certification audits.

MATCO also connects its consumers with job opportunities outside its own facilities. Penny Powers is a prime example. The London resident works in quality control at the Krazy Glue plant in West Jefferson.

In such instances, people with and without disabilities work side by side, with the same pay rates and same expectations for excellent performance, said Van Viney, MATCO CEO.

“It’s real work, real jobs,” he said.

On Oct. 23, Higgins and Powers joined Viney, MATCO productions manager Scott Ringhiser, and administrative assistant Cordelia Comer in a meeting with the Madison County commissioners at which they talked about what they do.

The information shared served as one more way MATCO is promoting October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The organization also held an open house at its London facility on Oct. 26.

“The community is a part of who we are, and we are a part of the community,” Viney said. “Everyone deserves an opportunity to work.”

Commissioner Mark Forrest praised MATCO for its efforts.

“You’ve been great advocates…You make it happen,” he said.

MATCO has been providing job opportunities for people with disabilities for nearly 50 years. The types of opportunities have changed over the decades, Viney said. Currently, MATCO offers a variety of options, from positions with its in-house business lines to job connections with companies around the county.

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