UNIONTOWN, PA – Oct. 19, 2020 – A donation of stylish, modern office furnishings helped students in the Brownsville Area School District turn an underutilized middle school library into a next-generation center for career preparation and development.
From a reception area desk and accessories, to comfy sofa and club chairs with tablet arms for the fireplace work area, COE Distributing outfitted the new career resource center by donating more than $40,000 in contemporary furnishings from its private-label brand OfficeSource in silver, black and blue. Four pedestal tables, 16 stools and funky, cushioned “spool chairs” round out the Center’s unique new look.
District officials will cut the ribbon on the new Future Ready Center on October 22, ushering in new opportunities for students to prepare for post-secondary life. Located in the former Brownsville Area Middle School library, the Future Ready Center was designed from the ground up by students to provide the resources and tools they’ll need to explore a variety of careers in an environment that will inspire them.
“We wanted it to be a modern, urban design with large open spaces and an airy feel” said Lynn Jellots, a Brownsville Area teacher who coordinates the Center with librarian Jennie Karwatske. “We want the students to feel comfortable when they are here and out of the traditional school setting. Mr. J.D. Ewing from COE made a generous donation above and beyond our expectations, offering furniture designs that met our vision for the Center.”
The FRC will afford students opportunities to complete career interest inventories then gain familiarity with various careers, explore internship and job shadowing options, increase preparedness for success in post-secondary institutions and obtain industry-based credentials. It also will be an information hub where students can conduct research and monitor opportunities for scholarships, internships, employment, SAT exam dates and upcoming workshops.
Through partnerships the district established with organizations such as the Workforce Investment Board, Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, post-secondary institutions and Career Link, students will benefit from workshops on topics such as employment skills, public speaking, financial literacy and time management. A video library highlighting the requirements, challenges and rewards of various careers and a snack bar providing critical work experience to help middle and high school Life Skills Support students achieve competencies and transition to the workforce are other highlights of the new facility.
The project was an ideal collaboration for COE. Not only is President and CEO J.D. Ewing a Brownsville Area High School graduate, he volunteers with community groups that mentor students to become productive members of the workforce. At COE, he’s implemented a rigorous interviewing and hiring process and instituted special training for Rising Stars and a host of offerings to help all employees continually grow both personally and professionally.
“Our strength as a company comes from our employees,” Ewing said. “I’m passionate about employee engagement and about sharing with the next generation and equipping future employees for success.”
COE Distributing is a national office furnishings distributor and manufacturer with a passion for creating inspiring work environments. A family-owned business since 1947, COE sources high-quality office furniture with forward-thinking, well-planned design from around the globe. Our developers collaborate with skilled manufacturers to bring exclusive products to market, ensuring each piece meets unwavering quality standards. A burgeoning manufacturer, we’ve also produced new product lines, enabling us to nimbly adapt in rapidly changing industry conditions. Based in southwestern Pennsylvania with distribution centers in North Carolina and Texas, COE boasts an enthusiastic team dedicated to delivering the right solutions for our customers. A distinctive product development process, go-to-market strategy, supply chain capabilities and exceptional service propel us into unparalleled space in the market.