Non-profit Vector Industries seeks Waynesboro, Augusta County community help on renovation project

vector hopemanIt’s an ambitious goal. Vector Industries plans to move into its new space on Hopeman Parkway in Waynesboro on or before Oct. 1. T-minus four months and counting, work continues at the 82,000-square-foot space that has been home to Corning and most recently Matt’s Supreme Cones to equip the building to accommodate Vector’s unique employment base.

“We’re so excited about this opportunity,” Vector Industries CEO Chrissy Johnston said, leading a recent tour of the facility renovations, which got under way earlier this year.

“It comes with a number of challenges. Trying to get a building this size ready for the diverse populations that we serve is a challenge. But if you don’t have a goal, you can just flounder forever. So we’re setting our sights high. We’ve set an Oct. 1 target date to move the first employee in here, and we’re working hard toward that goal,” Johnston said.

Founded in 1969, Vector Industries employs and trains persons with diverse disabilities to enable them to reach their potential as productive community members.

The non-profit announced in February that it had closed on the building at 1300 Hopeman Parkway that will allow Vector to expand its offerings in warehousing, light assembly and office space.

The Hopeman building more than doubles Vector’s available space.

“It’s our hope to be able to improve this facility to be state of the art and something that will carry Vector into the future for decades,” said Johnston, listing key focal points to the design for the Hopeman Parkway property, which include lighting in the warehouse area of the facility, a new breakroom/lunchroom for employees, new bathrooms that are ADA-compliant, and exterior improvements to include picnic tables and an outdoor pavilion to allow employees benefit from fresh air during moderate climate months.

Vector Industries is working with other corporate and community partners for funding assistance for its move to the Hopeman Parkway facility. Augusta County-based Parker Bows, a corporate partner of Vector Industries for more than 10 years, was the first major player to come on board with a financial contribution toward the effort.

An architect is working with the nonprofit on the design phase of the moveid. Once the design is finalized, Vector Industries will identify individual projects that corporate and community customers can sponsor, Johnston said.

“We’re approaching our corporate partners to see if they can help us with this endeavor. We’re not quite sure what that’s going to look like, what the final price tag is going to be, but we know the community is behind us, because they have been for more than 45 years, and we’re excited about the potential to work together with the community to get this effort off the ground,” Johnston said.

– Story by Chris Graham