Team Naväge: Vocational Guidance Services (VGS)
RhinoSystems, Inc. Wins Prestigious Small Business Partnership Award
July 11, 2017
Brooklyn Heights, OH
RhinoSystems, Inc. (RSI), the developer of Naväge Nasal Care, received the prestigious Small Business Partnership Award from SourceAmerica for its employment of individuals with significant disabilities. RSI has been in partnership with Vocational Guidance Services of Cleveland (VGS) since 2013, placing individuals with physical and mental disabilities in various employment roles at its Brooklyn Heights manufacturing and distribution facility.
RSI will receive the award on Thursday, July 13th at its headquarters in Brooklyn Heights, Ohio, from Chris Stream, SourceAmerica’s Executive Director, Navy Accounts Team/Chicago Field Office. RSI was selected by SourceAmerica from among small businesses across the country for its efforts to promote individuals with significant disabilities in the workplace.
“This award really belongs to our VGS associates. They are simply extraordinary – they love their work, they love each other, and they love our company. Frankly, they make all of us at RSI better people, and we’re honored to be associated with them,” said Martin Hoke, founder and president of RSI, the creator of Naväge Nasal Care.
The award highlights the positive impact that RSI has had on VGS’ ability to educate other local companies that employing individuals with significant disabilities works, and that it’s a win-win for both the worker and the company.
RSI has collaborated with VGS, an Ohio non-profit vocational rehabilitation agency, since 2013 to engage individuals with disabilities. “We are so fortunate to have found such a great partner in VGS,” explained Martin Hoke. “Without their support, we never would have known how to make this happen.”
Initially assisting with the production of Naväge SaltPods, and then expanding to the preparation of customer orders, the number of workers with disabilities engaged through VGS has grown at RSI to 15 individuals.
Earlier this year, RSI hired four individuals from the VGS program as permanent production employees of RSI – thus fulfilling VGS’ ultimate goal of permanent placement of the individuals it serves in non-subsidized, community employment.
“We’ve learned that because of their challenges, people frequently underestimate what individuals with disabilities can do,” said Cameron Murray, RSI’s Production Manager. “So we’ve really enjoyed seeing those individuals who’ve worked hard to earn employee positions at RSI. On the days we presented the four VGS workers with job offers, it was tough not to get choked up seeing the amazing flush of pride on each of their faces.”
VGS Presents Partner in Rehabilitation Award to RhinoSystems
In 2015, RhinoSystems was awarded Vocational Guidance Services’ Partner in Rehabilitation Award. This award is presented to a private-sector company to recognize and honor its support for employing individuals with disabilities in furtherance of VGS’ mission to, “Prepare people with barriers to employment for a brighter future.”
When RSI was given this award, there were seven individuals with developmental challenges working here. That number has since risen to 28 in July, 2017. We’re proud and delighted that these folks are highly valued members of Team Naväge.
More importantly however, not only do we recognize their obvious contributions to our company, but we also believe that at a subtler level they’re a big part of our growth and success. If you could spend even a few minutes on the production floor with them, we think you would know what we mean. It’s very, very special to have these folks on our team.
Founded in 2007, RSI is a pioneer in the saline nasal irrigation industry with over 50 issued patents worldwide and numerous trademarks. Naväge Nasal Care is the world’s only nasal irrigator with gentle powered suction. RSI is certified to ISO 13485:2003, the internationally
recognized standard for medical device manufacturing, and it is committed to maintaining the highest quality standards so that its products meet the needs of its customers and the expectations of its stakeholders. Naväge products are available online at navage.com, Amazon, and others, and Naväge will be available in CVS Pharmacies across America beginning this August.
With a history that dates back to 1890 in Cleveland, Vocational Guidance Services (VGS) is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 agency that provides a full range of vocational rehabilitation services including job training, transitional employment, and job placement for people with disabilities or other barriers to employment. Its mission is: Preparing People with Barriers to Employment for a Brighter Future. VGS serves nearly 3,800 individuals each year in 26 counties throughout the state of Ohio, with facilities on both the east and west sides of Cleveland as well as in Elyria, Painesville, and Columbus. VGS is changing lives and strengthening our communities through services that educate, empower, and provide the opportunity to earn a paycheck.
SourceAmerica is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been devoted to making the American Dream more accessible for individuals with significant disabilities for close to 40 years. As an advocate for the disability community, SourceAmerica creates programs such as Pathways to Careers to empower people with disabilities who seek meaningful employment.