UNITED STATES: Many hands make light work of distributing Volvo CE’s Spirit magazine in the United States, Canada and Mexico
by Stephanie Anderson Witmer
You have probably never heard of Pennsylvania-based Occupational Services, Inc (OSI), but by reading this issue of Spirit, you have nevertheless become a recipient of the organization’s work.
Since 1957, OSI has been providing employment opportunities in Franklin and Fulton counties for individuals with intellectual or physical disabilities or mental-health diagnoses. This private nonprofit organization is hired by companies – large and small, global and local – to perform a myriad of services, from stuffing envelopes with utility bills and printing business cards to putting labels on paint cans and attaching mixing wands to tubes of sealant. OSI also manufactures some of its own products, including wooden crab mallets and freezer gel packs. Every bit of sorting, stuffing, packaging and producing is done by OSI’s 145 employees or ‘clients’.
“Our clients are eager to become contributing members of the community, and projects like these are the catalyst they need,” says OSI Production Manager Jeremy Waechter. “They possess a wide variety of talents and skills and have an enormous sense of pride in their work, which shows in their level of commitment, quality and attention to detail. Our products speak for themselves.”
OSI packages and distributes 12,000 copies of Spirit which arrive shrink-wrapped in large stacks on wooden pallets. The magazines are unwrapped and divided among nine work centers and clients are tasked with filling around 3,000 packages with magazines, ranging from a single issue for a small independent dealer to large boxes containing hundreds of copies. Sealed and weighed for postage, the packages are then picked up by the US Postal Service for delivery far and wide.
This is not the first time Volvo CE has partnered with OSI. A year and a half ago, for example, it donated a baler and hydraulic fluid to OSI, which Waechter says allowed the organization to set up a recycling service.
Being the exclusive North American distributor of Volvo Spirit gives OSI’s clients an opportunity to sharpen motor skills and learn multi-step processes, Waechter says. Not only that, it also brings more visibility to OSI, its mission, and its workers.
“Our clients have capabilities beyond what people expect,” says OSI Executive Director Linda Mayo. “That’s why we’re excited to deal with global companies like Volvo CE, because they understand our clients can do this.”