June 7th JazzFest at Victory

Thorndale, PA – Victory Brewing Company and Handi-Crafters are celebrating their 2 year partnership producing Taste Victory, a Victory beer variety 12 pack. The partnership has provided job opportunities for people with disabilities who are responsible for assembling the variety pack.

Handi-Crafters provides Victory with a Mobile Work Team of 10 individuals responsible for repackaging 3 of Victory’s most popular beers, Prima Pills, Hop Devil and Golden Monkey into a single variety pack. The team produces 720 twelve packs on a four hour shift.

The partnership began in May of 2007 as Victory looked to test the sale of the Taste Victory product in a neighboring state.

“We entered this partnership with a very basic business need. We needed this product to be packaged by hand and we did not want to have our staff do it,” remarks Bill Covaleski, co-founder of Victory Brewing Company. “We cannot mobilize enough people on staff to do the job without sacrificing other important plant operations. We wanted to hire an outside workforce to do this and Handi-Crafters had a good reputation that we felt could meet this need.”

The partnership has blossomed over the past two years, taking on much more meaning, as well as producing great results.

“It became much bigger than that as the project developed,” continued Mr. Covaleski. “I walk past the workers almost everyday they are here and as I watched them work and heard the camaraderie, deriving pleasure from their work, I could see that sense of fulfillment. There’s a positive vibe, there’s no strife, it’s just a happy crew.”

The fruit of everyone’s labor with the project has paid off. According to co-founder Ron Barchet, “We went from distributing Taste Victory in one state, to now six or seven.” Expansion now includes special distribution to Wegmans stores in Pennsylvania, including its location in Downingtown.

The owners and staff at Victory have made a point of incorporating the crew into their team and treating them in many ways like they are Victory employees themselves. “We’ve made a point to create a safe environment for the guys, no different than if it was our own crew doing it,” comments Mr. Barchet. Handi-Crafters’ crew even joins Victory staff in the restaurant for lunch.

The partnership has also worked out very well for Handi-Crafters. “It’s a great opportunity for individuals to take skills they’ve learned at Handi-Crafters and apply them to a job in a real work setting,” commented Ray Vito, a work crew supervisor. “Clients enjoy going to Victory because their staff treat them like they are part of the team.”

In celebration of this successful relationship and in recognition of its two year partnership, Victory is hosting JazzFest, June 7th, featuring the areas most accomplished jazz musicians, with proceeds to benefit Handi-Crafters.

The 19 piece Victory Jazz Orchestra is comprised of musicians that have played with such greats as John Lennon, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Stan Kenton, Pat Martino and Liza Minelli. Orchestra Leader, Al Moretti, owner of Moretti Music of Downingtown and key organizer of the event, has a special interest in its success. Mr. Moretti’s son, Gus has worked at Handi-Crafters for 11 years.

Handi-Crafters is a non-profit organization started in 1961 that provides job opportunities for over 400 individuals with employment barriers. Opportunities include supportive employment, jot training and job placement. Handi-Crafters works with over 50 area business as a key component in their supply-chain and product development. For more information visit www.handi-crafters.org.