Handi-Crafters announced last week that longtime employee Chuck Epright was the recipient of a prestigious state award for his leadership and service by the Pennsylvania Industries for the Blind and Handicapped. 

Epright is a photo license technician at the PennDOT Photo License Center, located in Oxford. He has worked there since 2004 after seeking out Handi-Crafters following a diving accident left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair in 1993. Epright searched for about four years to find a job until Handi-Crafters was able to help. He said that he really enjoys his job and likes to meet new people every day. He drives to Oxford from his home in Parkesburg and works 20 hours a week at the Photo License Center, and is considered the senior employee on the team. 

Epright was the only regional employee to receive the distinguished State Manager Award, which is presented each year. Pennsylvania Industries for the Blind and Handicapped State Manager Jeff Holt presented the award and recognized Epright for his leadership, his ability to mentor the other staff, and for his dedication and desire to succeed. Epright was also honored for his customer service.

Christine Broome is Handi-Crafters director of employment and youth services and is Epright's supervisor.  Broome said she is proud of Epright.

"Chuck sought a job. He didn't let his disability stop him," she said. "He is a terrific employee and works hard."