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Glen Raven making healthy living easier for employees

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When it comes to being healthy, even with a busy work schedule, Glen Raven employee Virginia Johnson said “there’s no reason for someone at Glen Raven to be unhealthy.”

Johnson works at Glen Raven Custom Fabrics on Liberty Highway in Anderson. What she said was in response to the wellness programs the company has in place to make healthy eating and living opportunities easily accessible. The company has an on-site gym and weight room, canteens with reduced-price healthy food options as well as a nature trail.

“It’s awesome,” she said of the options available at Glen Raven. “I take advantage of it every day. I walk, exercise in the gym and I eat healthy. I used to weigh almost 300 pounds, and when I got on the weights I lost a whole person. It took about a year.”

Glen Raven employee Bernard White likes to use the on-site gym at work. He also participates in cycling and basketball. (Photo by Teresa Cutlip)Terri Belk, wellness and employee relations manager at Glen Raven’s Anderson facility, said a health and wellness program has been in place there since 2010.

“I started here in 2010 and that is when I would really say our wellness program started as far as monthly events and themes, and having an on-site gym, nature trail, and providing a lot of incentives for our employees to get involved, and really just making things engaging and fun,” Belk said.

The voluntary wellness program at Glen Raven provides activities and services for associates, as well as a reduced insurance premium if they participate. The company also has two nurse practitioners, a diabetic educator, occupational health nurse and a phlebotomist on-site.

“So what that means is that they get their bloodwork done on-site, through our clinic here and the nurse practitioners go over those results with them,” Belk said.

The company also offers a shoe purchase program, where Glen Raven pays a certain portion toward a pair of tennis shoes, then the employee is responsible for the rest. There is a bike purchase program where the company pays $240 a year toward the purchase of a bike, or any maintenance on that bike, as well as kayak program where the company pays $240 toward a kayak.

There are about 725 employees at Glen Raven in Anderson, and Belk said 82% participate in the wellness program. About 40% of the employees take advantage of the shoes/bike/kayak offering.

There is still a portion of people not engaged in the various activities. Belk said it might be that they just don’t care about those kinds of things, or they might be taking advantage more of the clinic and keeping their chronic disease managed. She said they might be eating healthy items at the canteen. “There are a number of ways people can be involved – and sometimes we don’t capture all of that in our numbers,” she said.

“So many of our associates appreciate it and love it. It’s given them an opportunity to know more, to do more, to be proactive with their health,” Belk said.

Employee Bernard White, of Anderson, takes advantage of the wellness programs. He said he works out in the gym and participates in cycling and basketball.

“With this facility, it’s convenient, you don’t have to run across town. You can just come on in after your shift and workout,” White said. “If you have to drive across town that gives you time to think about it and you might change your mind.

“When it’s convenient it’s beneficial long term.”

Belk said the company’s health and wellness activities “go along with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina initiative LiveLifeBlue. “As a worksite we are living up to those expectations,” she said.

Glen Raven has been recognized twice – in 2013 and 2016 – with the LiveLifeBlue Award from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. The award recognizes South Carolina companies that set the bar for corporate responsibility in the area of employee health and well-being.

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-720-1223.

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