Tyler's OIT program is back after short hiatus - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TYLER (KLTV)

Tyler's OIT program is back after short hiatus

We have a follow-up on a story we first told you about just last week. It's back to business for a Goodwill program that provides jobs to the disabled. The hardworking men and women in the Opportunities In Tyler program were laid off as the companies that contracted them starting cutting back. But as KLTV 7's Christine Nelson reports, the program and the workers are back, hopefully this time to stay.

For nearly two weeks, the sound of this assembly line at Opportunities In Tyler was silenced, but not anymore.

Wade McDonald has cerebral palsy, and has put in 40 long years in Goodwill's employment program for the disabled. He's barely missed a day of work before the lay off.

"Because of the economy, it didn't pick up like it should. I had to stay home," said Wade.

"Everybody's like well, what can we do to help. And that's the first step, what can we do to help. And they're all looking at resources in their company to see hey, is there work that we can send you guys?" said Steve Houston, the contract manager for OIT operations.

That's what made the difference - companies like Trane who recently contracted them to assemble this kit for large air conditioners. Initially, OIT thought it would be January until they can get more contracts in. But it would be days after our report aired that they were able to call at least 50% of their employees back to work.

"Because we did see a decline in the economy as it was, but as we get more jobs we say man we're going to do this," said Mitch Grayson, the OIT sales manager.

But it's more than just a 9 to 5 for these individuals.

"Yes, I'm really excited to be here. I just love it here," said OIT employee Katie.

"This is a good place to be...we love it here," said OIT employee Cheryl.

Being here every day gives them a feeling of self-worth that hopefully no one, not even the economy, can take away in the future.

For more, visit OIT's website at: www.tylergoodwill.com.

Christine Nelson, reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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