Giving back comes in many forms, and helping others is a thread that runs common through the staff, volunteers and dedicated employees of the YEI! family. Production Technician Brandon Roxburgh is no exception when it comes to fine people in the community who want to help businesses with production work in a timely and efficient manner. Under the supervision of Jon Ballard, Brandon has found a niche that allows him to help his peers, and make an impact on the community. Enter the partnership between Yavapai Exceptional Industries and Creative Feet.
It was a match made in heaven when Creative Feet inventor and owner Clare Rowley decided to partner with YEI! to move her production and assembly facility for her product—an after-market feature for high-tech sewing machines. She discovered an area at YEI!’s newest location at the Antelope Point at Eastridge (AP@E, for short) facility that could be dedicated to her product, and slowly started sending little projects over for the YEI! guys and gals to fulfill for her. That did not last long, however. Rowley was quickly astounded by the production and assembly, as well as what YEI! does to give back to the community. She decided to move forward with using YEI! more aggressively so she could focus on areas like marketing and promoting her products through the extensive travel she does for trade shows.
The Creative Feet production area is overseen by YEI! employee Brandon Roxburgh. To someone from the outside, the production area for Creative Feet feels overwhelming and technical, but those doing the work perform seamlessly and efficiently, and make assembly look like a breeze. While only on board at YEI! for less than a year, Brandon adapted quickly to the YEI! environment, and now trains and mentors his peers on what it takes to bring Creative Feet into an increased inventory. Performing tasks like cutting and measuring covers to protect garments while sewing, to assembly and packing using precise measurements, to using heat guns that melt and shrink the wrapping, Brandon and his partner Dylan help fulfill inventory and add energy to this growing company.
Says YEI! Director of Employee Development Bill Bazzell, “Brandon’s father reached out to YEI! about integrating Brandon. We never know if someone will be a good fit for a production partner, but the moment I first met him, I knew Brandon would be a perfect fit for our company. He displayed calmness and consideration, and was eager to get to work. Brandon quickly learned that, though others would help him, the task of getting better was ultimately on him. He was more than up to the task.”
YEI’s! marketing team made a quick trip to Antelope Point at Eastridge to see and meet the guys behind the scenes. With a quick wit and an easy-going demeanor, it was a pleasure for our team to meet with Brandon and talk about his role with YEI!
Brandon, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. What role to do you play in helping Production Partner Creative Feet?
YEI! works on three main products for Creative Feet, including multiple different stabilizers, and the actual feet that affix to the stability part of a sewing machine. We’ll soon be packaging Octihoop, also.
What enticed you about working for YEI! after graduation, and what brought you here?
I sustained an injury when I was 10 that left me visually impaired with sensitivity to my head, so I didn’t hear about YEI! until a year ago after I graduated from high school. It just intrigued me that YEI! said they were a place for disabled people to find work. My father contacted Bill Bazzell, and Bill was more than willing to accept me without funding.
So you’ll be able to work your way up into doing different parts of the production?
Definitely. I have big plans for myself. I also plan on going to Yavapai College for sign language.
What are the hours you work, and what do you after you’re done here at YEI!?
I work from 7 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, and then I usually go to the gym after work.
What do you like best about working here at YEI!?
I just like helping people around me, and seeing some people being able to work, some who are struggling and being confident that I can help them. That’s really rewarding for someone like myself. Dylan is my partner here at YEI! and I’m trying to learn sign language because of him. We got along because I tried to learn his language, and he took me on as being a side partner in the stick and rinse, stick and tear, and all that.
While YEI’s contractual basis with the Department of Developmental Disabilities often funds services for individuals who fit within certain criteria, there are also those who provide opportunities for non-funded individuals, outside of the contracts with DDD. YEI! provides such opportunities, which are sustained through contracts with the community and philanthropy. Brandon is one of those cases who was in need of vocational training coupled with the care that YEI! provides, and did not fit within the guidelines of DDD funding. Says Supervisor Jon Ballard, “Opportunities to help folks like Brandon and watch them blossom into the work is one thing that makes YEI! one of the best parts of our community and I am so proud to be a part of it. “
If you would like to find out more about how the production team can partner with your business, YEI! would love to give you a tour of any of their facilities throughout the Central Highlands and discuss opportunities for the future of your business.Be a part of the solution and make a difference in the everyday lives of those who are supported by the efforts of YEI! and its extended community within Arizona and beyond.
With employees like Brandon Roxburgh who find gratification in helping the community, you won’t be disappointed in what YEI! has to offer. Give us a call: The Tour Will Make Your Day!
Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI!) is a charitable organization founded in 1974 to support adults with disabilities. YEI! has been providing job training, employment, volunteer placements, and support services for these developmentally disabled adult residents of the cities and towns of the Central Highlands. Their program of “Developmental Employment” includes the award-winning “Community Contribution Corps” (community volunteer placements) and has been continually accredited at the highest level of service by the National Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) since 1978.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Brad Newman, 928.713.1979 firstname.lastname@example.org