By Shirley Shuman
Last Tuesday, Peggy Tingler, a representative from the Division of Rehabilitation Services presented Jack Holcomb, executive director of Precision Services, a Distinguished Service Award for the business’s work with individuals who have problems qualifying and/or finding jobs. Holcomb, who has held the position of executive director since 1989, said, “The agency refers employees to us and we provide job training.”
Some of these employees start training at Precision Services upon graduation from high school. However, Holcomb emphasized that they train individuals of all different ages. The older employees are people who have difficulty finding jobs, and of course those hired immediately after graduation are perceived as ones who need additional skills for the job market.
Among the skills taught at Precision Sources is document imagery. Holcomb noted that the company has had a statewide contract for these services since 1995. Another is providing janitorial and lawn duties for the rest area just north of Burnsville. The executive director said this contract has run from 1992 to the present. “These individuals maintain the rest area 24 hours a day,” Holcomb said, “and we currently have 14 or 15 people working there. It has been a really good contract for us.” A third skill they teach the employees is document shredding.
Precision Services began in 1980. Holcomb explained that “some concerned citizens wanted to find something for children with disabilities, somewhere to go after finishing high school.” David McChesney, a former Director of Special Education for Braxton County Schools, was among those citizens. After the agency was established, McChesney and his wife Joan served on the board of directors. The first Executive Director was Liz Kantor-Bright. Dot Goulis followed Kantor-Bright and served for a time. Then Karen Short served as executive director. Holcomb succeeded her.
Many employees move on to other jobs, but the agency has a few who have been there for “24 or 25 years.” There are also employees who have no disabilities. Here Holcomb explained “The Division of Rehabilitation Services doesn’t want these individuals to be segregated so we try to have some people who have no disabilities working here at all times,” he said. “Currently the ration is 78 percent with disabilities and 22 without.” Workers receive higher than minimum wage, and the agency sometimes is actively looking for employees, especially for the document imaging department.
Jack Holcomb is happy with his work. “I’ve worked here since 1980. I enjoy working here. I don’t crawl out of bed any morning of the week,” he emphasized. Perhaps that is a definite factor in the success of Precision Services.