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Employees and clients celebrate at OSI party

Organization is marking its 50th year helping mentally and physically disabled people.

Organization is marking its 50th year helping mentally and physically disabled people.

December 09, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Like countless other businesses at this time of year, Occupational Services Inc. held its Christmas party this week, with revelers enjoying a holiday meal and dancing.

Many of the 175 clients of OSI, people who might otherwise not have a job to go to, gathered Thursday at the American Legion.

"I love it. I really love it. We all need a break," Michael Lohman said of the party.

Lohman, who makes shingle samplers that are used by a roofing company, said he has worked at OSI since 1996.

"It's a good work place. A good environment," said Lohman. "The people are very nice and the clients are very nice."

OSI is marking its 50th year helping mentally and physically disabled people find a productive place in society, through subcontracting and vocational rehabilitation services, said Executive Director Michael Jamison. Most of the clients, about 125 of them, work in OSI's shop on Redwood Street, doing assembly work, packaging, print and bulk mailing, and other jobs, he said.

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A wood shop makes grade stakes for surveyors, contractors and utility companies, Jamison said.

Lohman's work, putting together the samplers of shingles made from recycled materials, is one of the more complex tasks, Jamison said.

"I like doing the hard ones," Lohman said.

Most of the clients are sponsored to be in the program by the Franklin and Fulton Metal Health/Mental Retardation or by Pennsylvania's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Jamison said.

"What makes our program of value ... is our services are supplemented by our production income," Jamison said.

OSI works with about 85 businesses, either doing subcontracting work in its shop, placing clients with businesses or providing them training on job sites.

Sam Faust said he packages pipes at OSI, but has also worked off site at businesses, including the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter Thrift Shop in Chambersburg.

Most of the clients, however, were not thinking about their jobs. Instead they were dancing enthusiastically and singing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

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