In many towns across North Carolina the presence of manufacturing helps to create the spirit of the business community.
In the case of Boone and the High Country, the efforts of one local manufacturer not only have provided a significant boost to regional supply chains, but their revolutionary programs and services create a source of community pride. Watauga Opportunities, Inc Director Michael Maybee shares how assisting a portion of the population with developmental disabilities helped to create one of the most innovative manufacturing and job placement agencies in the country on this week’s Mind Your Business, a weekly radio program produced in partnership between the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and High Country Radio.
Maybee details the types of manufacturing services Watauga Opportunities, Inc provides to its clients. He also explains how those involved in the organization’s programs combine the ability to work in local businesses with volunteerism, and how that’s affected the social growth and pride of the participants.
“We started as a location for individuals with developmental disabilities who were being de-institutionalized. The idea came about that these folks really needed to be in the community,” Maybee said. “Watauga Opportunities opened in 1974 and a few years after that we opened one of our first group homes for people with developmental disabilities. Back in those days we would have pre-vocational activities for folks to work on. We were funded by the State but that was pretty meager. We quickly learned that the individuals we were training in both social skills and vocational skills were actually able to preform work. So the work we were doing turned into our funding source.”
Mind Your Business is a weekly production of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. The program highlights chamber members and allows for a deeper conversation about their history, impact on the community, and upcoming events. To hear your business featured on the program, contact David Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tune in each Thursday at 10am for Mind Your Business on WATA (AM1450/96.5FM).