(Photo by Ken Ross)
James Tracy, director of Cherokee County Work Services, recently suggested to the Chronicle Times that the newspaper periodically publish articles detailing the jobs performed at Work Services. The facility located off of South Second Street provides employment and counseling for people with physical and mental disabilities.
One of the jobs that has been done since the start of the facility nearly four decades ago is the industrial laundry service performed for various companies in the Cherokee area.
Some of the major regular customers include Tyson's Continental Retail Deli - production gloves and visitor frocks; Advance Foods - production gloves, frocks and floor mats, and the Wellness Center - towels.
Tyson, then Wilson Foods, was the original customer of the laundry service.
Ten different businesses use the laundry service for shop rags.
The laundry uses two washing machines, one with 55 lb. capacity and one with a 95 lb. capacity.
Calvin Carver, production manager at Work Services, said that Work Services works closely with its customers individual service to meet their unique needs.
Although some out-of-county laundry services are available for industries, Work Services has a loyal following among local companies.
"They provide excellent service, they are very accommodating and the towels are clean," Denny Taylor, director of the Wellness Center said.
"We're very happy with Work Services. They bend over backwards to accommodate us and the quality of the service is very good," Jeff Blum of Tyson Foods said.
Although the laundry uses extremely strong chemicals, 12 times as strong as Clorox, the laundry has an excellent safety record.
"We place a strong emphasis on safety," Phylis Bahr, work supervisor, said. An important safety measure is the automated chemical loading system, replacing the manual chemical loading process used some years back.
The amount of chemicals in each load are adjusted based on how heavily soiled the load is. This ranges from lightly soiled items to shop rags soaked with grease.
Carver said the laundry service is a good, steady source of employment for the workers at the center and the center is looking to expand on its laundry service.