Quadco is working with an increasing number of individuals with disabilities who want to work in the community and is helping more of them find jobs.
“There is a lot of emphasis on community employment,” Quadco Executive Director Bruce Abell told board members at the regular monthly meeting of Quadco’s Administrative and Non-Profit boards on Tuesday (June 25).
He pointed to Ohio Governor Kasich’s Employment First Initiative, where people with disabilities, especially young people reaching graduation, explore employment opportunities before pursuing other programs.
Mr. Abell also talked about a Department of Justice settlement in Rhode Island that is making sure people with disabilities receive supported employment and integrated day services in that state.
He pointed out these are exactly the kind of services that Quadco has been providing and offer to people in the area.
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“We can be the solution provider,” he said. “We have become more of a preferred provider, and because of that, we’ve seen an increase in people wanting our service.”
There has been an increase in the number of people getting jobs with the assistance of Quadco’s employment services,
Sharon von Seggern who manages Quadco’s Northwest Employment Services, told the board that she has seen an increase both in the number of people referred to them for employment services and the number of people they have helped get a job.
Last month she reported that five people were employed through their services. Three were in restaurants, one at a church and the fifth as a farm hand.
She told the board members recently another person went to work for a local restaurant and one joined a cleaning company.
She also noted that others are participating in job assessments, where they get to try-out how they like a job in an actual work setting in the community.
On top of that, there are young people who are working with them during the summer who are getting work experience to see what they might like to do when they graduate.
Mr. Abell said these and other efforts made by Quadco are helping people to get jobs and decide what kind of jobs they most want, as well as get out into the community more.
He pointed to an up-coming cruise-in being held by the center. He said a lot of the people at Quadco enjoy classic cars and race cars. The NASCAR Club that meets each week at Quadco’s Northwest Products division is, by far, the most popular club that meets at their Archbold facility.
So, Quadco is hosting a cruise-in on Friday, July 12 from noon to 4 p.m. Owners of classic cars are invited to bring them to Stryker that day, and the people at Quadco are in the process of having special t-shirts made up for the event.
Mr. Abell noted that the cruise-in will be at the Stryker High School parking lot, and the whole community is being invited to come join the people from Quadco to look over the cars.
Bill Priest, Director of Marketing, pointed out the fun people had going to the summer picnic Quadco held this month at Ruihley Park in Archbold.
Mr. Priest showed the board photos of people enjoying games of cornhole, bingo, and basketball out in the park. They especially enjoyed one game that sprayed water on staff members.
He said they had a grilled lunch with a dance in the afternoon and root beer floats and cotton candy for treats.
Mr. Abell pointed out the center has made a commitment to field trips and outings by various groups at the center, such as a trip to the movies this month to see Monsters University, that allows individuals to enjoy all that their area has to offer.
He said that the center is encouraging the planning teams of the individuals and the referral agencies to take a broad view of the opportunities that lead to community employment and inclusion on a case-by-case basis.
All of these efforts are a part of making sure that individuals get out to work and enjoy their area communities, he said.
In other board deliberations, the board members voted to join the Northern Buckeye Insurance Health group and heard the annual audit report by Jim Rensi from the Certified Public Accounting firm of Luderman and Konst in Defiance.
Mr. Rensi said the audit report was a clean opinion.
The audit covered the 2012 fiscal year at Quadco, which ran from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.