On April 27, 2023, ProAct’s center-based production floor came to a close. This work floor has now handed its baton off to a leisure club programming model, expanding ProAct’s Day Support Service offerings. Shakopee has held a 14c Sub-Minimum Wage License for more than 30 years, providing meaningful work for the participants we have served.

Sue Bisek, Sam’s mother said, “First off, what a wonderful service to have been provided to the community you serve. Thirty years of changing lives for the better! Sam has gained so much confidence from working in production and when people asked if he had a job, he was always very proud to say he did and where he worked! He enjoyed getting those paychecks. I know for certain the skills and work ethic he learned in his production job have helped him do well with his job at Kwik Trip. He does miss working with his peers though. You and your staff are awesome!!”

Sam recently landed a job at Kwik Trip in New Prague with the assistance of ProAct’s Employment Development Program. He works there 3 days per week and has chosen to continue attending classes in the day support services on the days he does not work.

We all know change can be difficult, but staff team members have been working closely with the participants involved in the transition to ease the anxiety and stress this closure may be causing. With exciting elective classes and fun activities going on each day, it looks like this transition is a success so far. A yummy pizza and awards party also helped move us all in this new direction, parties normally do!

Lisa Utecht worked on this production floor for almost 30 years. When asked what she liked the most Lisa giggled and stated, “I just liked the work, yeah I like the work.”

Nott Company contracted with our program for over 30 years.  ProAct presented them with a certificate of appreciation in the fall of 2022. They stated the quality of work completed and thousands of deadlines met will be greatly missed, it will be difficult to compare to. When Lisa was asked what her favorite job was, she said, “I liked the gaskets, the orange rings.”

Participants have moved forward with full day enrichment class schedules filled with creativity, time set aside to be with friends and new adventures. For those wanting to explore independent employment, ProAct’s Employment Development Services Employment Specialists are there to assist them.

As we say good-bye to Nott Company and our production floor, we say hello to our new Leisure Room and all the fun that will be had. The memories created will be cherished for a lifetime and the new memories welcomed.

– Ali Brown, Shakopee Sr. Program Manager