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Hilltop Industries Earns Elite ISO 9001:2000 Quality Distinction

Hilltop Industries, which provides gainful employment to well over 300 community members with developmental disabilities, has been successfully certified to the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System Standard for its packaging and assembly operations at 3 East State Street, Mt. Morris, NY and 2569 East Avon-Lakeville Road, Avon, NY.

 

Hilltop Industries is the vocational rehabilitation division of The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, the largest not-for-profit organization providing services to individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in Livingston and Wyoming counties (NY). By operating under a mission to provide evaluation, training, and productive employment to individuals with disabilities, Hilltop Industries employs a workforce that is not only one of the area's largest, but also one of its most unique and diverse.

 

With its latest achievement, Hilltop Industries joins a very select group of not-for-profit vocational rehabilitation programs to be certified to the ISO 9001:2000 standard, which provides a credible, third-party verification that a company meets customer requirements, continually improves processes, and deploys effective management systems. The number of Arc chapters across New York State with a similar designation is in the low single digits.

 

“This is certainly a story about abilities, not disabilities,” says Kellie Kennedy, Director of Day Services for Hilltop Industries and The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming. “In achieving certification, Hilltop Industries was required to demonstrate the same high levels of customer focus and quality that are found at leading companies around the world.”

 

Certification was issued on April 30, 2007, and will remain valid until April 29, 2010 under Certificate Number 209942. It was awarded after an in-depth audit of business methodology and processes, which began more than 2½ years ago when Hilltop Industries’ management committed to implementation proceedings in September 2004. The audit process was performed by Bureau Veritas Certification, which is the most widely recognized certification body in the world. Internally at Hilltop, the comprehensive process included a review of all audit findings and revised documents, quality procedures, forms, and work instructions. Another critical component was educating individuals with disabilities enrolled at Hilltop Industries (also called “consumers”) about ISO certification, and including them as part of the process.

 

“It was an important learning process for many consumers,” explains Wanda Caldwell, Production Coordinator. “Auditors would ask them about the meaning of quality. Not only did they need to understand our quality policy, they also needed to be able to communicate it. As an added benefit, many consumers grew to more fully understand the ways in which their work meets the quality expectations of our customers.”

 

Hilltop Industries’ full range of services includes vocational evaluation; on-site vocational training; job placement and employment support; day habilitation; transportation; case management; and linkage to supportive services such as recreation, self advocacy, clinical services, guardianship, and service coordination.

 

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a highly recognized, non-governmental organization composed of a federation of national standards bodies from 157 countries. Its standards specify the requirements for state-of-the-art products, services, processes, materials, and systems. Because "International Organization for Standardization" would have different abbreviations in different languages, the abbreviation “ISO” is derived from the Greek word “isos,” which means "equal".

 

For additional information, contact The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming Public Relations Director Jeff Thomas at jthomas@lwarc.org or (585) 658-2828 ext. 128.