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The News of Orange County- OE Gears Up for 42nd Anniversary


Hillsborough, NC – More than four decades ago, a group of parents saw a need in Orange County. Now 42 years later, OE Enterprises has become a force in helping thousands of people living with disabilities find work all over the area.

To celebrate its lengthy history, the staff at OE Enterprises is putting the finishing touches on a BBQ For a Cause, a fundraising event to be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, at its administrative offices at 348 Elizabeth Brady Road.

“We have this wonderful space,” CEO Margaret Samuels said. “We were wondering how we could use this space to the best of our ability. … One of the things came up was how we could utilize this for a fundraiser. So we formed a committee, and this is the idea that everyone came up with.”…

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The Times News – Craft and Reading Program Keeps Seniors Busy

Burlington, NC – Nearly a dozen men and women at OE Enterprises gathered in small circles to place beads and sea shells into glass keepsakes while listening to Alamance County Public Libraries employees read a story about a pigeon demanding to drive a bus. (Spoiler alert: The pigeon was not allowed to drive the bus.)
The craft and reading was part of OE Enterprises’ activity program, which began last year, for older adults who are no longer able or want to work. Once a month, representatives from the library hold a craft and reading for the OE Enterprises employees participating in the activity program.

“I like the activities,” participant Billy Thompson said. “And I like what we do here.”

The “OE” in OE Enterprises stands for opportunity for everyone, Program Support Lead Solow Williams said. The company hires individuals within the disabled community to fulfill jobs while gaining job and community skills. If they are no longer able to work or don’t want to work, they are able to spend their time in the activity program.

“Our facility offers individuals training to work in the community,” Williams said.

Kate McGhee, occupational training specialist, oversees the program and does a variety of activities with the group, including taking them on day trips, going out to eat, playing bingo, offering cooking demonstrations and crafts, among other items.

“We hope they have a positive experience with the library,” said Michelle Mills, ACPL associate director of community relations. “We really just like reaching out to as many different demographics as we can.”

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WRAL- Duke Students’ Device to Help Disabled Workers Wins Award

DURHAM, N.C. — Four Duke University students took second place in a national competition to create technology that helps disabled people perform better in the workplace.

Michael Chao, Ian King, Esther Lee and Shengnan Xiang won $5,000 in the AbilityOne Network Design Challenge.

They created the Easyshrink Heat Gun Safety Device in conjunction with OE Enterprises, a nonprofit community vocational rehabilitation program for adults with disabilities.

By pushing one button, a worker can set off a heat gun in an insulated box that strikes a bottle set on a motorized turntable for a preset amount of time.

In tests, the device reduced the chance of burn injuries, increased output quality and increased productivity by employees with significant disabilities by 180 percent.
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