JCI has been operating the historic Selma Train Station for 17 years. Ms. Pevorrice Banks, Team Lead, and her co-worker Marty Finch have been employed since the opening of the station in the Station Attendant Program partnership with JCI and the North Carolina Department of Transportation in November of 2002.
“I was new in town and searched out assistance from the Department of Social Services and they referred me to JCI,” Banks said. “I was reluctant, but I decided to go because of my life situation and the need for help supporting my family.”
“I went to JCI. I was facing depression at that time, but I participated in the program and took life skills classes, employment classes, and completed my evaluation. As I was finishing up the program the next stage was to find a job. Patricia Little, with JCI, came to the train station when it was being renovated with the offer of me working here. So that fell in place with what I needed to do in my personal life. I was scared because I had always been socially phobic. I was afraid of customer service duties and dealing with the public. I didn’t know if I was ready for that, but I took the job, and the experience has been amazing for me.”
“Even though I was an introvert, I learned how to communicate with people, be sociable, and learned so many skills I didn’t know I had. It brought me out of my shell, and it was a blessing. I became more observant and learned how to communicate with people effectively and on the level they need because you never know what someone may be facing or dealing with during their travels,” Banks added.
“As I progressed, Donna Gilmore, my Employment Specialist, told me about the Team Lead position and offered it to me. NCDOT didn’t have Team Leads at staffed stations, but because of our success, they created them at other stations.
I have always said that I would refer JCI to people that have been faced with any challenge because they do help. JCI opens up opportunities for people like myself,” said Ms. Banks.
Finch added, “I participated in other programs, but was not able to find a job where I would be sedentary; my doctor told me that this was necessary for my health. I tried to find a job on my own, but none were a fit for me, so I went to the local Vocational Rehabilitation office, and they referred me to JCI. Donna Gilmore was my Employment Specialist, and she told me to give this job a try, and I have been here ever since. It’s going to be hard to drag me away from here! I was trained well, and I learned my duties and how to manage my time so that I would be obeying my doctor’s orders. Customer Service is not always easy, but I do my best to help the customers with what they need. As long as the trains are running, I have a job!”
“NC DOT Rail is fortunate to have JCI as a partner in its Station Attendant Program,” said Alison Boswell, Customer Service Manager, Rail Division, North Carolina Department of Transportation. “The team at our Selma Station provides passengers with a SAFE, reliable and enjoyable experience 365 days a year. These employees meet four trains daily with top-notch customer service and participate in community events throughout the year, ensuring passenger rail will remain an active part of the Selma/Smithfield community. Many thanks to JCI and all you do for Rail.”
“There are a total of four employees at the station today,” said Tim McHugh, Customer Service Agent, Rail Division with the NC Department of Transportation. “The group led by Ms. Pervorrice Banks is Marty Finch, Tommy Price, and Elliot Parrish. Each of them has stepped up and been the first contact when having to facilitate alternative transportation and/or an emergency situation. NCDOT Rail Division and Amtrak are extremely fortunate to have hard-working and determined employees.”
JCI is an entrepreneurial, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to empowering people with disabilities or disadvantages to succeed through training and employment. JCI is an equal opportunity employer/service provider.