MORE THAN RECYCLING
By Ethan Colbert
he public’s perception of the Pike County Sheltered Workshop is
likely that it deals exclusively with recycled materials, such as cardboard, soda bottles, and other plastics. However, Sheltered
Workshop Administrator Julie Moore says there is much more going on behind the scenes.
“People don’t understand the abilities of our people,” Moore said in an interview with the Bowling Green Times. The Pike County Sheltered Workshop employs 33 individuals with disabilities or impairments. The local workshop also employs an additional five administrative staff. The employees at the Sheltered Workshop range in age from 19 to 73.
“People really don’t know all that we can do,” Moore said later. On Monday, the staff at the Sheltered Workshop split in to several different teams. Two teams were committed to completing an order for Stark Brother’s Nursery.
“We are assembling a flyer for Stark Brother’s,” Moore said. “We are putting together six different flyers and making them into a booklet.”
Moore said the employees were hoping to make 5,000 booklets on Monday. Another two sheltered workshop employees were tasked with shredding paperwork from local businesses. “We just received a contract order for 2,800 pounds of shredding from the Pike County Sheriff ’s Department,”Moore said.
An additional six employees were sorting out recycled materials that were donated at one of the recycling trailers in the county. Those trailers have diverted 25 tons of material away from the landfill, according to Moore.
Later in the afternoon, Moore said the staff at the Pike County Sheltered Workshop would work on preparing one-pound bags of organic fertilizer and lime for Speed Commerce, a ship- ping
company based in Louisiana. Also on Monday afternoon, two or three employees would work on a project from Pepsi’s
distribution facility in rural Bowling Green. “Pepsi brings us their outdated or expired soda, we dump it, and then we recycle the bottles,” Moore said. “It is a simple thing, but it is a job that our employees can do.”
Ultimately, Moore said the Pike County Sheltered Workshop is greatly aided by the local business community. “These projects are very important,” Moore said. According to Moore, the work within the Sheltered Workshop helps the 33 employees feel like contributing members of the Bowling Green and Pike County community.
“They love their jobs,” Moore said of her employees. “They really want to succeed at their job. They really want to make sure that they are performing at the best that they can perform.”
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