About 80 percent of adults with disabilities are unemployed in West Virginia. For more than 40-years PACE Enterprises in Monongalia County has doing it's best to curb that number.
PACE has received the annual "State Use Excellence Award" from The West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. An award voted on by PACE's peers.
It was awarded to PACE for it's shredding department, which is the first of its kind.
"It's a special award, it is a prestigious award. It's the first time PACE has been awarded in the State Use program," said PACE CEO Greg Morris. "When we get an award from the state association it's meaningful to PACE our clients and staff."
PACE's Shredding division is highly sought after by the company's workers.
As Lewie Shine puts it, the clients see it as manly work. Shine oversees workers each day sorting, shredding and destroying confidential materials.
He also knows first hand what PACE means to families with disabled children.
"When he was in school, he was in school and you weren't worried," said Shine who son works for PACE. "When he got out you wonder what are they going to do? Now he has a purpose just like I do. I get up and go to work, just like his mother, he gets up and goes to work, he gets ready and is excited about going to work. He's more excited to go to work than I am."
Shine's son Adam works in PACE's BeeHive Cafe. He's in charge of building boxes used for the cafe's very successful boxed lunch program.
"He comes to work, he meets his friends and coworkers here. It keeps him busy and gives him a purpose. He really enjoys it here," said Shine.
The BeeHive Cafe is a full service diner as well. It's boxed lunch program and PACE's shredding services compete commercially with other companies across the area.
PACE also has a janitorial department that maintains Mylan Park and an I-79 rest stop.
"We're rewarded everyday and feel grateful to come into work and see the looks and joy on the faces of our clients that work here. We like to think we're helping them enrich their lives and provide meaningful work opportunities for them," said Morris.