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Branson Meeting Features Vital Topics, Training and More

Outstanding training plus discussions of opportunities and challenges for Missouri workshops were part of the two-day MASWM fall meeting in Branson, Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

Held at the Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center, the event drew over 70 people from nearly 50 Missouri workshops. MASWM’s new Executive Director Katie Jones was welcomed and quickly helped with both long- and short-range planning. Katie had previously attended the recent District 8 meeting and visited several workshops.

Monday’s sessions began with a morning meeting by the MASWM-MESA Board of Directors, which was also attended by several managers and workshop staff, plus representatives of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Workshop Division.

Another highlight involved three Monday afternoon training sessions coordinated by Board member Linda Kimrey. The training began with SWIM veteran Leslie Miles presenting “Work Comp 101,” a comprehensive overview of state and federal law, frequent injuries and how best to report claims,

The second and third sessions involved extensive participation by workshop managers and staff. The first involved accurately calculating overhead costs to help workshops remain solvent. Both new and experienced managers enjoyed the program.

Video of the Work Comp 101 training is available in the Resource Library of this website.

More information on the training sessions covering calculating overhead and the "musical roundtable" on workshop challenges is available here.

The third training featured a “musical roundtable” where managers moved to different tables featuring questions and answers on widespread workshop jobs. Intense discussion covered areas such as packaging, assembly, recycling, document destruction, janitorial services and lawn care were featured. Linda noted the program was designed to answer a common challenge facing many managers: “We didn’t know what we didn’t know, but we knew what we wanted to ask. But then we didn’t know who to ask!”

Additional topics were employees with disabilities wishing to return to workshops from community employment, new manager training, development of best practices and workshop certification. Dan Gier, director of DESE’s Workshop Division, reported that a new shop is being organized in Iron County.

Tuesday’s membership meeting included added discussion of a recent Department of Labor action and the Missouri minimum wage increase that will raise workshop payroll costs

Upcoming annual meetings include the annual gathering in Jefferson City Jan. 27-29, with meetings on the 28th and the annual legislative breakfast Jan. 29.

Monday evening’s dinner was somewhat bittersweet. SWIM representative Leslie Miles is making her retirement official and was honored by members for her longtime service.

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MASWM The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers
If you have questions, please contact:
Executive Director Katie Jones, – (314) 369-5244 or executivedirector@moworkshops.org
President Aaron Martin – (816) 796-7070 or amartin@jobonekc.org;
or Legislative Chair Brian Hogan – (816) 483-1620 or bhogan@bvinds.org