• 50°

‘Dream partnership:’ Apseed and Rowan Vocational Opportunities team up

SALISBURY — For Greg Alcorn, founder and CEO of ApSeed Inc., a newly forged partnership with Rowan Vocational Opportunities is a dream come true.

ApSeed is a local nonprofit organization that provides electronic readers loaded with literacy apps to at-risk children to age 4. Since its founding two years ago, ApSeed has relied on volunteers to customize and load software to its devices.

But organizing a group of volunteers and coordinating a time became a logistical problem as ApSeed grew and started distributing more devices. Now, Alcorn said, that’s no longer a problem.

“You might have 15 volunteers, you might have two. This way, we’re able to control that step,” he said.

ApSeed is now a contracted customer with Rowan Vocational Opportunities, a local nonprofit agency that helps train people with disabilities in life and occupational skills.

“It’s great. It’s really helped. … It’s community networking at its best — a nonprofit helping a nonprofit,” Alcorn said.

At Rowan Vocational Opportunities, clients work out of a converted classroom in an assembly-line style. They unbox and program each device before settling it in its bright blue, custom cover.

“It’s kind of like any other vendor or contracted company we get involved with,” said Greg Yelton, executive director of Rowan Vocational Opportunities.

ApSeeds’ current shipment is its largest yet — 2,500 devices, or “seedlings,” that will be disturbed in Rowan and Davie counties.

Clients are trained in their job and gradually speed up as they learn the ropes. The contract helps provide clients with a paycheck, a steady job and a chance to socialize. And each product goes through a quality check before it’s boxed and shipped.

“We want it to go back to our customers perfect,” Yelton said.

Yelton said that some people are skeptical of the work at Rowan Vocational Opportunities, but he and the clients who work there brush it off and push themselves to be the best they can be.

“We specialize in proving people wrong,” Yelton said.

So far, Yelton said, clients have programmed and packaged about 1,032 seedlings.

“At first, they were doing 10 a day, and by the third week, they were doing 100 a day,” Alcorn said. “So they’ve gotten to where they’re taking a huge step for Appleseed.”

Rowan Vocational Opportunities also has a warehouse and the ability to move large numbers of devices at a time — something that ApSeed has lacked, previously apart from a partnership with Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

The partnership with ApSeed started in May, and both Alcorn and Yelton said it played into what the organizations are all about.

“This sort of fit with our mission of helping those who can’t help themselves,” Yelton said.

Alcorn said he’s in awe that the partnership is helping two different demographics that are often overlooked — at-risk children and people with disabilities.

“It’s a dream partnership for us,” Alcorn said. “It gives me goose bumps to know that we can use (RVO) to support, as my mother called it, the voiceless demographic.”

For more information about ApSeed, visit www.appleseednc.org. For more information about Rowan Vocational Opportunities, visit www.rowanvocopp.org.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 



Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators


Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police


Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies


After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status


39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual


Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership


Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education


After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both


East Spencer after school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status


Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame


Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame


J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine


13 deaths reported in Rowan, county stresses need to receive second dose


10% of Rowan residents receive first dose; eight COVID-19 deaths reported this week


North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander to retire


UNC School of the Arts may go for online learning due to COVID-19 spread


Greensboro site to administer 3,000 daily vaccine doses starting March 10


Update: $1.9 trillion relief bill passes House, moves on to Senate


Lady Gaga’s dogs recovered safely


Update: FDA follows advisers’ recommendation, OKs single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from J&J


Post wins 18 N.C. Press Association Awards


Cooper vetoes bill that would force K-12 schools to reopen


Lanning named Spencer’s fire chief