LINCOLNTON – Salem Industries, a local company that helps special-needs “consumers” find employment, held its annual Independence Day luncheon organized by United Way of Lincoln County July 3.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve at this event each year and continue this great tradition,” United Way of Lincoln County Executive Director Kathy Vinzant said in a press release. “The clients at Salem Industries work hard, and it is a blessing to see our community show their support for the mission of Salem Industries.”
This year’s celebration was sponsored by the First Citizens Bank branches in Lincolnton and Denver. Jeremy Love, a business banker at the Lincolnton branch, and Sonya Hanson, manager of the Denver location, volunteered to help organize the celebration.
“It was a rewarding event for a lot of hard-working folks,” Love said in a press release. “The United Way, largely through the advocacy efforts of Kathy, serves the needs of so many in Lincoln County. Their 14 partner organizations help grow and develop our community. You’d be surprised at the great impacts you can achieve through such a small investment of your time and money.”
The event included a patriotic hot-dog luncheon prepared and served by United Way and First Citizens volunteers, and live music was provided by DJ Darren Henley, who took time away from his post to join the Salem Industries staff on the dance floor.
The workers at Salem Industries complete various tasks ranging from assembling drill bits to bundling kindling for firewood during the winter months. Companies including Bosch, Duke Energy and The Timken Company send the work and then provide paychecks upon completion.
Salem Industries throws parties for other holidays as well, including at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Halloween.
Working at Salem Industries not only helps develop technical skills, but also social skills in an environment with people who have similar conditions. Most of the workers live with relatives or in group homes, and cherish the opportunity to bond with others away from home.