Viva Tierra Organic, a leading organic produce firm, has been nominated by Washington Vocational Services for an award from the Washington Sate Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment for their partnership with the Sedro-Woolley Adult Transition (SWAT) Program.

The company has participated in the program since its inception in 2009. Through SWAT, disabled young people are matched with employers so they can build skills, develop good work habits, identify vocational interests, set goals, and participate in work experience. Students participate in office tasks such as file destruction, shredding, alphabetizing, filing and stamping envelopes. Completing work tasks builds student confidence and strengthens social and communication skills. Viva Tierra provides guidance and interaction that helps the students develop their employment potential.

In addition to providing valuable work experience, Viva Tierra has donated office supplies, desks, tables, filing cabinets, and other items to a fundraiser to help purchase iPads for the SWAT students. This technology has allowed students to enhance their communication skills and provides additional learning tools.

"Working with the SWAT kids has been wonderful," says Erin Long, Accounting Lead for Viva Tierra. "The enthusiasm the kids bring to their work is infectious. The growth we've seen in their skills and their confidence over their time in the program is extremely gratifying. We can really see the benefits of this program; not just for the kids and the community but also in the increased sensitivity in our staff for people with different abilities and needs. The kids inspire and teach us, as much or more as we teach them."

For more information:
Addie Pobst
Viva Tierra Organic
Tel: +1 360-855-3195