JONESVILLE — The open house for the S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department’s new Union County office drew a number of representatives from local government, business and educational institutions, all of whom welcomed the department’s decision to locate it office in the Jonesville Municipal Complex.
The municipal complex is the former Jonesville High School which the Town of Jonesville acquired from the Union County School District in 2009. The town, however, uses only part of the building for the offices of the mayor and town clerk, police department, and the meeting room for the Jonesville Town Council. The old school cafeteria now serves as the Jonesville Senior Citizens Center.
Much of the rest of the building was unused, but that began to change in 2012 when the town agreed to lease the old library to the Vocational Rehabilitation Department for use as its Union County office. The office, which is a satellite of the department’s Gaffney office, had been without a permanent home since the Employment Security Commission office on the Duncan Bypass in Union closed. The department’s Union County office operated out of temporary space provided by various county agencies.
The lease agreement with the town, however, enabled the department to renovate the old library and move its Union County office there in December.
On Tuesday, the Union County office held an open house at its new location and those in attendance included Union County Chamber of Commerce Director Torance Inman who welcomed the department’s decision to locate in Jonesville.
“It’s nice to be able to have South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation have a satellite office here in Union County,” Inman said. “So often so many of the organizations that assist in helping those with special needs integrate back into the workforce are in other locations making it difficult for Union County citizens to be served. We’re very happy that vocational rehab decided to locate here in Jonesville.”
Also attending the open house was Kathy Jo Lancaster, Site Coordinator for the Union County Advanced Technology Center, who said the office remaining in Union County would benefit students at the center who make use of its services.
“We have partnered with them on some of our programs,” Lancaster said. “We have a number of students that may need some additional help through vocational rehab such as job search skills and students with special needs.
“I don’t know what we would do if students had to drive to Spartanburg,” she said. “They want to take their classes here and they also need to connect with agencies that provide services in Union County.”
Jonesville Ernest Moore also attended the open house and praised the department for its decision to move its Union County office into and its renovation of the old library.
“I feel great about it, I’m so glad we had some spare room for them to use and help the people of Union County find jobs,” Moore said. “They’ve done a beautiful job on this space. I think they spent around $30,000 on remodeling and it is beautiful.”
Donna Scoggins, center manager for the department’s Gaffney office, also attended Tuesday’s open house and thanked Moore and the town for their help.
“We’re very happy they were able to let us come in here,” Scoggins said. “We are very happy to be here. We’re happy to have the office space and the computer training are for our Union County clients.”
Established in 1927, the S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department provides services that enables South Carolina residents with disabilities to become and remain gainfully employed. The services are provided through the department’s offices and satellite offices throughout South Carolina.
The office in Jonesville serves approximately 200 clients in Union County with a staff that includes two counselors, a job coach, and a vocational evaluator.
“In general we provide services to help people with disabilities obtain and maintain employment here in Union County,” counselor Ashley W. Harris said. “We provide counseling services, job search and placement, and on-site job training. We also provide alcohol and drug treatment. We also provide services for people with physical disabilities like physical therapy and other accommodations related to physical disabilities.”
The office, which is located at 131 N. Main St., Jonesville, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information about the S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department, its Union County office, and the services it provides, call 864-475-5000.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.