Grant will make room for SCI to add warehouse, jobs

By Vicky O. Misa | Vicky.misa@news-star.com | (405) 214-3962 | Twitter: @Vicky_NewsStar
The Shawnee News-Star
South Central Industries, Inc. (SCI) hosted its Spectacular Olympics event last year, as locals from area businesses and organizations teamed up with SCI clients to compete in several games and activities.

South Central Industries (SCI), 204 N. Louisa, has received a 2020 Community Economic Development (CED) Grant award from The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “SCI is one of only seven organizations in the nation to be awarded this round for funding,” Project Manager Holly Ehtisham said. “The funded project will create 40 jobs in the Shawnee community, and result in the construction and operation of a new warehouse for South Central Industries to expand product offerings.” The total funding from CED was $800,000 and the project is already well underway, she said.

“The construction phase will wrap around May of 2021 and the project is set to stay active with CED and HHS until 2025,” Ehtisham said.

South Central Industries remains committed to utilizing local Oklahoma resources for this project, and is excited to be able to create more vocational opportunities for individuals with disabilities, she said.

SCI was founded in Shawnee in 1981 to provide vocational training and employment opportunities to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Over the years, SCI has expanded to a campus with seven vocational sites and two group home residential facilities.

A major source of the nonprofit’s funding is through the sale of items like PPE, janitorial/sanitation, food service, office and furniture to state agencies, Oklahoma businesses and individuals.

In March 2020, the SCI Supply store opened. This store site, at 622 W. Ayre in Shawnee, is open to the public and allows for in-person shopping, Ehtisham said.

“The addition of the new warehouse space using the CED grant will enable SCI to expand on current contracts with state agencies and local businesses, as well as develop new federal contracts,” she said. “Many of the new jobs created will focus on product fulfillment such as receiving, importing/exporting, fulfillment, delivery, order receiving, accounts receivable, accounts payable, etc.”

SCI Executive Director Tina Hanna said SCI is humbled by the support received from the HHS to expand its program, funding and mission.

“The jobs this new facility will afford are aimed at individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the job coaches who will work alongside them to ensure their success,” Hanna said. “We are thankful for the encouragement of our local community and are excited to see what the future holds.”

For more information, visit southcentralindustriesinc.com.