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Area Meetings Continue in St. Louis Region

Director Russ Kuttenkuler reported that the May 15 Area IX (St. Louis vicinity) Regional Meeting was held with six out of nine shops attending at Canterbury Enterprises in Shrewsbury.

The group discussed a wide variety of topics, including MASWM’s efforts to hire an executive director, transitions to competitive employment and legislative challenges and other issues. Details included:

• Executive Director contract position – thoughts and ideas on candidates.

• Transition to Competitive Employment legislation threat. Informed group of Legislative Committee’s update at the April meeting. The group is keeping their boards appraised on the situation, while trying to avoid too much information on “possible” issues.

• Membership meetings and training, including ways to reduce the time and cost of attending, ways to offer discount for staff training, and the possibility of regional training sessions.

• The status of the MERS Goodwill building sale and shop update. MERS Goodwill plans to continue operations and is looking for a new building to better fit their work. They do have backup location options.

• Cardboard recycling issues include difficulty finding outlets. Shops that are recycling also need to start/increase charging customers for services.

• Shops are seeing significant increases in prevailing wages. The group discussed increasing prices accordingly.

• Shops need/want more employees and are having a hard time hiring. The group discussed trying to improve connections to the Special School District and other service organizations for people with developmental disabilities such as TASK in St. Louis.

Thanks again to Charlie Fischer of Canterbury Enterprises for hosting and buying lunch.

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MASWM The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers
If you have questions, please contact: President Aaron Martin – (816) 796-7070 or amartin@jobonekc.org;
or Legislative Co-Chairs: Kit Brewer – (660) 263-6202 or kbrewer@rcsiemployment.org
and Brian Hogan – (816) 483-1620 or bhogan@bvinds.org