SA Concepts is a company based in Springdale waging a battle on two fronts.
They're helping Walmart strip old 18-wheelers, and providing veterans with a fantastic job, so they’ll have the time and money to attend the University of Arkansas. Walmart used to pay other companies to dispose of decommissioned 18-wheelers, but now they're using SA Concepts to turn what would have been trash into something beautiful.
The veterans tear out all of the reusable materials out of retired 18-wheelers, and use the wood and steel to make furniture.
Co-Owner Drake Vanhoover realized the potential early on.
“We started tearing out the materials and realized that this wood is beautiful and too nice to throw away. So we started making beautiful pieces of furniture with it,” Vanhoover said.
The non-profit companies pays the workers 40-thousand dollars a year, working only 25 hours per week.
Vanhoover says that schedule gives the veterans time to attend class, study, and take care of the bills.
“We employ veterans who are full-time in school. We bridge that gap between their military services and completing their degree.” Vanhoover said.
Without this program, most of these veterans would have to work full-time, and chip away part time at college. Joshua Peacock says he doesn’t know where he’d be without this program.
“It's made a tremendous difference. People say they want to make a difference when we get home and sometimes they turn their backs. This job allows us to take care of our families instead of struggling to make ends meet,” Peacock said, “This gives us full-time wages and we only have to work 25 hours a week. This helps us get closer to getting our degree. It puts everybody there.”
The jobs are only for military veterans enrolled in college.
If you know of a vet that could benefit from this program you can contact SA Concepts at http://www.saconcepts.org