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NW Works in Profile: Jake Wharton

Image of Jake Wharton. A caucasian man wearing a black button up shirt and a gray blazer stands smiling at the camera. He has brown hair and a brown beard. Behind him is a forest.

For NW Works Facility Manager Jake Wharton, no two days are alike.

“[It’s] making sure contracts are fulfilled, customers are happy, trying to help out with employees,” Wharton said during a rare break in his day. “Keeping the relationships with our vendors, out looking for new businesses, always looking for the next great thing.”

Wharton, who celebrated his sixth anniversary with the company on July 27, has worn a lot of hats during his time with the company. He says he was introduced to NW Works by Charles Harbaugh, former Business Services Director at NW Works, while Wharton was working delivering pizzas and trying to figure out what to do next career-wise. Wharton started working the night shift on the Hood line as a Business Services Employee, before getting promoted to a Business Service Coordinator, and then into a supervisory role where he gained more responsibilities in the company.

“Then Eric [Walker] stole me,” joked Wharton. “[He] brought me over to the government side.”

Working with Walker, Wharton learned about the AbilityOne contracts NW Works fulfills with our government partners as well as the ins and outs of facility management. With the departure of Business Services Director Charles Harbaugh, Wharton has returned to his roots in managing the business services within NW Works. He’s facing the new challenges of the position head-on, acknowledging that changes are coming down the pipe in terms of the end to 14(c) certificates and the new business ventures NW Works is considering.

“It’s going to look a little different,” Wharton said of the company’s future. “I just want it to be the best that it can be. I would like to help implement and install some new processes and some new business lines. Build from the ground up and make sure everything flows in the right direction.”

Despite not knowing much about the population NW Works served when he first applied, Wharton says the clients and the mission of the organization are the reason he’s continued working at NW Works.

“My favorite thing is just walking through each room and interacting with the clients,” Wharton said, adding that clients never fail to ask him how he’s doing or ask about his family members. “It makes it worthwhile coming here.”

Although he was born in Manassas, VA, Wharton moved to Winchester when he was three years old and primarily grew up in Middletown. He continues to live in Middletown, with his fiancee, Carly, and their dog, Sophie.

Wharton is always open to new business opportunities regarding NW Works. He can be contacted at jwharton@nwworks.com or by phone via 540-877-6137.

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