- Christopher Barstow
- Wednesday, February 15
I sat down with Karren Hill Gordon, Business Development Specialist with the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department to talk about how they can help your small business. Check out her answers below.
1. Please tell me a little about yourself and what you do at the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department?
I am a South Carolina native with service in public and private sector. I have been employed with SCVRD since 2014 as the Business Development Specialist (BDS) in the Richland Area.
2. What services does your agency offer small businesses and what are the costs involved?
SCVRD offers many services to small businesses at no cost. It only requires time and transparency for the partnership. Services to businesses include planning, recruiting, access to untapped labor pools and training. Additionally, we offer contract opportunities for businesses that find it more cost effective to outsource a project. Such work is completed by the individuals in the VR program (Consumers) at the Training Center.
3. What are the benefits of using SC Vocational Rehabilitation vs using a temporary agency?
SCVRD provides support services to the business and the consumer during the initial training and hiring process. Our goal is to match the right employee with the right job in the right career.
4. How do you ensure businesses are getting quality employees, who will stay with the company after being trained?
Research shows that many businesses have a higher retention rate of employees referred by SCVRD. In addition, the SCVRD team works to provide quality candidates that meet required qualifications stipulated by the employer. While accommodations may be needed, no standards are lowered.
5. Are there certain types of businesses that are more suitable to use your services than others?
No. However, many small businesses appreciate incentives such as the tax credits and training programs that are financed by SCVRD.
6. Is there a company that really stands out which has thrived after using your services? If so, tell us a little about it.
SCVRD has a long standing partnership with Canteen Vending as the business recruits directly from the agency multiple times during the year for talent. Job Try Outs (JTOs) are frequently used and provide seamless onboarding with the company.
7. Do you help companies create training for trainees and do you provide them with any financial incentives?
Yes, the training programs provide compensation to the consumers. Consumers are paid prevailing wage for the position while in training and SCVRD offers Workers Compensation Coverage while the consumer is on site for training. Others services may include the purchase of uniforms and/or other work related items.
8. If a business owner wants to contact you, what is the best way to do that?
Karren Hill Gordon
Business Development Specialist
516 Percival Road
Columbia, SC 29206
9. If there anything else you would like to share with small business owners?
SCVRD is always excited to develop business partnerships to carry out its mission as well as meet the needs of business to help them thrive and improve quality of life for the communities in South Carolina. If you are interested in learning more about the agency or would like to tour our Training Center, please contact me. Also, SCVRD offers Job Retention Services to businesses for their current workforce. Lastly, SCVRD has a Recovery Center in Florence which offers a four week residential recovery program to help employees who may be impacted by the effects of alcohol or other substance abuse.
Richland Library's state-of-the-art Business, Careers and Research Center is the perfect place to work on your résumé, practice your interviewing skills and explore new business and career opportunities. Whether you're looking to schedule an appointment with a Career Coach or need assistance with small business resources, our team of highly trained librarians and Career Coaches is here to help turn dreaming into doing. Learn more or schedule an appointment, here.