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Greenville Greeters

Team members: Row 1 (l-r): Beth Rusch, Amanda Dow, Mike Teachey,
Miriam Dicks, Brandy Amidon; Row 2 (l-r): Brann Fowler, John Emerson

Mission

The purpose of the Greenville Greeters program is to challenge the misperceptions and false assumptions that people without disabilities have and to engage and connect with each other in a workplace setting, to shift the perception that allows people without disabilities to see the talents, skills, and abilities of people with disabilities.

Oftentimes individuals with disabilities are overlooked as valuable contributors and potential employees. People without disabilities typically see someone’s disability first, which then influences their perception of that person’s abilities.

Program Description

The Greenville Greeters is a program that allows individuals with disabilities to interact with employees of local companies by volunteering their time to greet employees at work. During this meet and greet exchange, the Greenville greeters will interact with employees as they come in to work and reference an information table that has brochures and handouts about disabilities from HireMeSC, as well as give out fun stickers that lets others in the company know they were greeted earlier today by a Greenville Greeter.

The program was launched on November 5 in partnership with Thrive Upstate and Michelin. Participants of the program are members of the Thrive Upstate community and volunteered to participate in the program.  Members of the DLI team helped prepare the participants by putting on a mock training session ahead of the program’s launch.

Thrive Upstate organized the transportation and oversight of the program participants, while the DLI members secured the partnership with Michelin, created the logo, t-shirts, orchestrated hand out materials, logistics and participated along-side the greeters. The programs is planned to last three weeks, with participants visiting Michelin twice a week for an hour each time.

For video from WYFF4, see the Greenville Greeters program in action.

Outcome Measures

The hope is that the partnership with Thrive Upstate and Michelin will create synergy between the disabled community in the workplace with several intended outcomes:

  1. Increased awareness of local companies of the abilities of individuals with disabilities to be/become employable through educational materials
  2. Provide opportunities for interaction with individuals with disabilities in the work place
  3. Provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop skills for the workplace
  4. Provide information on “sensitivity” training opportunities through HireMeSC
  5. Provide volunteer opportunities for individuals with disabilities
  6. Additional business opportunities for the expansion of Greenville Greeters