A new swagger at DRTC

Youth sporting over-sized, custom championship rings; working professionals taking meeting notes in pad folios; agencies handing out branded health-related promotional items at trade shows. What do they all have in common? The Swag Team working in DRTC Promotional Items.

Our detail-oriented team carefully inspects each item that passes through DRTC, ensuring quality while providing an extra level of benefit for customers across the state and beyond Oklahoma’s border. Promotional items companies typically ship orders directly to customers. At times there can be errors with the imprint, functionality, or even quantity; at DRTC, you know your order is 100%!

Three ladies inspecting padfolios while sitting around an oval table in DRTC's awards showroom. Various trophies and medals are in the background.
Pad folio inspection

On this day, a large order takes over most of one work floor. Individuals are removing pad folios from a cardboard box, inspecting the zipper, and making sure they include a pad of paper—300 in all. Each one is pored over, looking for imperfections. If it doesn’t pass the test, it doesn’t go to the customer.

“We catch issues with the items,” said Shon, who proudly recounts providing quality control. She says depending on the item ordered, she can go through a whole box of up to 1,000 items.

“I like to have fun with it,” added Shon.

Dennis enjoys the pace of the job. “It’s fast and furious,” he jokes.

Lindsey inspecting reflective shirts for ODOT. A large stack is in front of her, as well as at the end of the table.
Lindsey inspecting reflective shirts

Lindsey agrees. She’s also on the Swag Team and has helped check all kinds of items, from custom-branded apparel to medicine containers and even emergency kits.
“I think it’s pretty awesome,” said Lindsey.

Their work is well known and greatly appreciated. Among the most notable jobs: custom youth baseball championship rings. Moore Youth Baseball Association (MYBA) is a repeat supporter of DRTC. Last year, MYBA ordered 2,400 championship and finalist rings for its tournament. In 2020, they ordered 4,000.

“Those went over like a hit,” said MYBA Tournament Director Matt Purser. “It’s been a smashing success.”

 

Closeup of 10 Moore Youth Baseball Association championship rings.

MYBA first started working with DRTC in 2011 through a trophy order. Over the years, though, the need for tournament trophies shifted to championship rings. The larger-than-life rings feature a custom MYBA design in various colors and stand out for the young athletes who earn them on the field. For Matt, the partnership extends beyond the diamond.

“We try to do as much local (business) as we can,” said Matt. “You guys are running a good business and that’s why we keep coming back.”

The District Attorney’s Council (DAC) is another repeat supporter of DRTC and stands behind the work of the Swag Team. Dale Rogers Training Center has several items listed in the State Use Program which provides work opportunities for people with disabilities.

“Quality and workmanship (are) fantastic,” said Tina Harman with DAC. “We truly love that your mission embodies putting people to work.”

Back at DRTC, quality control continues as workers discuss their favorite Pokémon characters (Lindsey & Shon prefer Pickachu, while Dennis likes Charizard, by the way).
They’re bringing a new kind of swagger to businesses, agencies, and nonprofits alike.

How can your group provide more work opportunities at DRTC? Email PromoSales@drtc.org, visit our website PromoPlace.com/DRTCpromos, or stop by in person to learn more.

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

Governor’s Awards 2019

Congratulations to all of the 2019 Governor’s Disability Employment Awards winners! DRTC was well represented at the 34th annual awards ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion: five Employment Services Program participants and seven partnering businesses received honors. DRTC’s Employment Services Program works with Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services to match individuals’ capabilities and skills with job openings in the area, helping them learn the job at no additional cost to the employer. Do you own a business and want to partner with our award-winning program? Email SupportedEmployment@drtc.org.

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Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

Success stories: Craig

Craig Parr is a tall, strapping young man with a smile as big as his heart. On this day he sits next to his mom Theresa, with his arm around her, as he patiently poses for photos and answers questions. He’s a little nervous at all the attention, though, and his mom quietly reminds him to relax. He responds with a smile and a kiss on her cheek.

Craig, on the right, kisses his mom, Teresa, on the cheek.
Teresa and Craig

At 18 years old, Craig attends high school and is taking a course on small engine repair at Francis Tuttle. His relationship with DRTC began at Camp Tumbleweed, which he attended for three summers. The Camp’s grounds are on the DRTC campus. Campers, aged 14-21, have fun, work on self-advocacy skills, enjoy arts & crafts and take a variety of field trips. Craig’s favorite? “Harkins Theatre,” he says unequivocally.  Equally unwavering is his popcorn preference. “Salt and butter,” he says.

In addition to Camp Tumbleweed, Craig participated in DRTC’s Transition School-To-Work program, which was the next step in his school’s special ed program. He’s proud to announce that he’s just gotten his learner’s permit, which his mom acknowledges like all moms do, with a slightly nervous smile.

Craig giving a thumbs up while standing next to a fire engine.

“Craig’s self-advocacy has really become stronger since he’s been a part of DRTC,” Teresa says. “The training here really encourages them to tell someone when something isn’t right and how to (act) at a job. He’s made so many friends. He loves everyone, and he loves being here.”

This is Craig’s senior year, and one of the highlights of high school has been his career with ROTC. He’s an officer and a member of the Color Guard. “I like ROTC. We get to do fun things,” he says. His training shows. Craig is a confident, polite young man with a great sense of humor. Bowling with the Special Olympics in a special needs league is another favorite pastime, and he also likes to volunteer with other nonprofit organizations through DRTC.

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.