Reaching new heights

By Tatiana Peralta 06/21/2021
Reaching new heights

Perseverance. Leadership. Dedication. Those are the three words JP Industries’ CEO uses to describe one of the most invaluable employees at her company. 

Samantha Hanes is a force to be reckoned with. In just five years, she has found every opportunity to learn and work her way up the ladder to become an Assistant Project Manager on the JPI contract at Fort Huachuca. Her role is to clean, disinfect, and keep the Army installation clean so everyone on base can focus on their tasks safely. Samantha works through the AbilityOne® Program, one of the largest sources of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities.  

Despite being forced to start her career from scratch due to mobility limitations after a car accident, Samantha never stopped reaching for the stars. She knew that if she could just prove herself and demonstrate her abilities and talents, there would be no limit to what she could accomplish. After three years, JPI surprised Samantha with a promotion. 

CEO Dorvita Parker wishes all 66 of her employees had the same attitude, personality, and charm as Samantha. “She continues to strive, she helps her project manager, and he can’t do without her. You would think she is a machine. She is so dedicated to JPI, and I am very proud and honored to have her here. I can pick up the phone and call her and she instantly knows the answers.” 

“Being promoted was such an honor,” said Samantha. “It was one of the most exciting moments. Once it happened, I was ready to get my hands even more dirty, and work harder and smarter.” 

Today, Samantha mentors, leads, and trains other employees with disabilities on this contract. “With my personal experiences, I can relate to everyone that works on my team and better understand their needs,” she said. “Because I love the people I work with, it never feels like this is a job.”  

With her new position came new responsibilities. Aside from troubleshooting challenges that may arise, Samantha fills in for staff when they are absent, and works directly with Army leadership if there are any concerns. Although her role can be challenging at times, Samantha works well under pressure and consistently delivers.  

The success of JPI, one of approximately 700 nonprofit agencies in the SourceAmerica® network, is very important to Samantha. Since the organization has supported her in every step of her career, she wants to give back. Samantha wants to ensure that all stakeholders know how much of an impact the organization has on its employees and the community at large.  

As a person with a disability that oversees other individuals like her, Samantha knows the potential and talents this workforce can bring to the table. “My philosophy is that people with disabilities will work harder and go above and beyond simply because they want to keep and excel at their job.” 

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