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  Success Stories

DARS works with employers across the Commonwealth to place clients into employment positions suited to their strengths and supportive of their accommodation needs. Here are some of their stories.

DARS and Didlake: Hiring Consumers and Breaking Records

DARS referred more than 100 job candidates to contractor Didlake, who was tasked to fill custodial services jobs for three naval facilities in the Hampton Roads area. Hear from Didlake representatives who worked with DARS' business services and job placement staff in a 6-month timeframe to recruit, train and hire 110+ full-time employees.

Ron Burleson

Ron and Sue Burleson own and operate a cattle farm and greenhouse business in Unionville, Va. They tell the story of Ron's rehabilitation and return to the family farming business based on help from DARS and AgrAbility.

Lowe's Home Improvement

Mike Kinger, general manager for Lowe's Regional Distribution Center in Pittson, Pa., spoke at DARS' Champions of Disability Employment event in Staunton, Va., sharing Lowe's success in hiring people with disabilities at its distribution centers.

The Hershey Company

Employees from the Hershey Company's Stuarts Draft plant and corporate office toured Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center to learn how it facilitated the work assessment process for Hershey's H.E.R.O.S program.

The Heritage Inn

The Heritage Inn, an assisted living facility in Charlottesville, Virginia, has partnered with DARS to hire several of the agency's clients. Mary Payne, director of nursing, shares her experience working with DARS and one of DARS' clients, Lorinda Coyle, who was hired as a Certified Nurse Aide.

Lorinda Coyle, a Certified Nurse Aide at The Heritage Inn, describes her experience working with DARS and WWRC, which lead to her current job as a CNA. Lorinda previously worked as a personal care assistant and decided to go back to school and take nursing classes. At WWRC, she learned additional nursing skills and received state certification as a CNA. Then her DARS counselors worked with her to find a job.

The Richmond Flying Squirrels

The Richmond Flying Squirrels hired nine DARS clients for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. "We found the employees to be very important to our success," said Todd "Parney" Parnell, Squirrels' vice president and chief operations officer, "because here at the Flying Squirrels, the game day employees are our front line." Fans entering the baseball stadium may encounter six different seasonal Squirrels employees before they reach a full-time staff member: ticket sellers, ticket takers, ushers, concession workers and catering staff, he explains. "We really need our game day employees to project the energy we have, the enthusiasm, the customer service that we have, and the DARS [clients] certainly did that."

Marvin was a DARS client who the Squirrels hired as a grill cook in concessions for two seasons. "It's been beautiful. It's been a challenge, but it's been beautiful... working with the family of the Flying Squirrels," he says. Marvin's hard work and positive attitude led Parnell to emphasize the value of the relationship with DARS to the team in his remarks at the DARS 2012 Champions of Disability Employment awards ceremony. "Moving forward we could do more with DARS, and we encourage everyone to really give DARS a chance," he says.

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