Home / News / Santee Industries offering work to people with special needs

Santee Industries offering work to people with special needs

Sep 04, 2023Sep 04, 2023

Next up in 5

Example video title will go here for this video

SANTEE, S.C. — Santee Industries is a work activity center for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is opening a new location in Santee with an on-site air freshener business.

"I know that I am disabled and I have no shame in that," said Ashley Worthem.

Worthem has special needs and receives service from the Orangeburg County Disabilities and Special Needs Board. She explains that the traditional workforce doesn't always accommodate those with special needs. She says this is because there are accessibility issues.

"People with intellectual disabilities, they all need a space to be able to be themselves as well as be productive," said Worthem.

The plan is to offer job opportunities at the center to the 50 people with special needs that the agency currently serves at its older facility in Santee. Some employees will be doing janitorial and lawn work, while others will be helping to operate an in-house air freshener business.

"I love it. It's a new experience for me. It's big and I'm gonna like working here," said prospective employee Frank Wilson.

The new building is approximately 8,450 square feet. There is a technology center for people to work on their computer skills, a conference room for training, and other amenities.

The goal is to equip people with special needs with skills making them more of an asset for future employers. It will officially open its doors in Santee on August 14.

The new Santee Industries facility will cost $3.2 million and was partially financed by South State Bank.