VIP, Inc. A Win/Win Strategy For The Community, Employing People With Disabilities

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In a new interview published in Labor Today magazine Wendy Rogina, the president and CEO of Vocational Improvement Program, Inc. (VIP), along with her husband, Rick, vice president and CFO, talk about their dedication to serving people with disabilities by providing them with meaningful work opportunities.

You have to get a real feel for what people with disabilities can bring to the workforce, and see what capabilities they have despite their disabilities.

In the recent article published by Labor Today Magazine Wendy Rogina rarely says no to a job opportunity for one of VIP’s clients. “Whether it is a graveyard or a swing shift, we try to make it work as best as we can.” The staff members at VIP, receive competitive wages and benefits, opportunities for advancement, and an open door policy. They ask their staff for all sorts of input, “because we feel they are at the forefront of what we do."

As mentioned in the Labor Today Magazine article Vocational Improvement Program, Inc. serves dozens of major businesses from three facilities located in Hesperia, San Bernardino, and Rancho Cucamonga. With major customers like Nestlé, Sears, Toys”R”Us, Pechanga Resort and Casino, Vons, and Home Depot, VIP’s success is evident.

VIP, Inc. was established in 1986, to support people with disabilities in the workforce. The Roginas built VIP, Inc. with the goal of not relying solely on state funding. Rather, they modeled their new company after existing “labor” agencies, except that VIP would exclusively use a specialized workforce.

VIP accomplished this by hiring a comprehensive training and support team to assist their many clients and growing list of employers. Now, with 150 staff members and an exceptional board of directors to back them up, VIP offers employers a wide range of services, including diversity training, job coach classes, and much more.

The Roginas are visibly impressed with the workers they represent. They proudly speak of their clients who work cheerfully alongside their mainstream counterparts; not complaining, paying attention to detail, and working extended hours when needed.

In the interview, Wendy says that having persons with disabilities in the workforce raises morale. “We hear that time and time again,” she says.

Labor Today asked what sets VIP apart from other agencies and why they have been so successful, Rick Rogina says, “Typically it’s our staff and our training. It’s our guiding principles that we implemented from day one: We respect, we promote (and) we reward our clients from the beginning.” For the businesses and corporations that use VIP, their workers come prepared and VIP continues to support them with services such as transportation and training. Rick says. “VIP has got it covered … whether it’s one group of three clients and a working team leader, or dozens and dozens of our clients working at one facility.”

The Roginas are clearly proud of what they have accomplished, and what VIP, Inc. has to offer their clients, staff, employers, and the community. “Our clients are very capable of doing more than entry-level jobs,” Rick Rogina says. “With 700 currently in our program … it’s the number of lives we‘ve touched. We’ve had several thousand (clients) over the years. VIP’s like a big family. I hear it daily from our staff (and) our clients, ‘We don’t want to work anywhere else other than VIP.”
---- Sean Reynolds

For More Information
Contact Shirley S. Yamano
(909) 483-5924

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Dwight Cromie

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