Crest Ink - Volume 33 - Number 04

Local Spotlight: The Village of Progress by Jeff Meiners

One of my favorite quotes begins with the lines: We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differ- ences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made… Certainly no one chooses to be born with developmental disabilities and none of us will ever understand why some are while most are not. We all, who have been blessed with so much, have a responsibility to support those who haven’t. Those that established and work for The Village of Progress have taken that concept from words to ac- tions that impact the lives of their clients in a very positive way. The Village of Progress works with Ogle County adults with developmental disabilities to challenge them to reach their potential at work and in the community to ultimately feel valued and respected in society. They believe that all persons should be treated with respect regard- less of intellectual or physical disabilities and work to change the general public’s perceptions by promoting interac- tion amongst clients and the community in a multitude of different settings. Forty-five full time and thirty part time employees of The Village serve over ninety men and women from all cor- ners of Ogle County in their 28,000 square foot facility. Services provided range from evaluations and assessments, job training, supported employment opportunities, social and recreational experiences, health care and maintenance, living skills instruction and physical and occupational therapy. Village of progress clients share the work load at the Village Bakery in Oregon and also are involved with working for the Village Cleaning Service. Clients also work on industrial subcontracting projects on site at their own facility as well as working with external businesses in roles that fit their skill sets. We at Crest are fortunate and proud to have a team of 12 clients and 2 supervisors from the Village of Progress working in our assembly area in the Karlin warehouse four days a week for four hour shifts. They are indeed wonderful people who give their all to their jobs and fill a much needed role in our assembly program. The interactions of Village of Progress clients and Crest Foods employees are a shining example of how well the Village is meeting their goals for their clients. If you haven’t had a chance to meet the folks from the Village of Progress, don’t hesitate to do so if the opportu- nity presents itself because they will certainly bring a little sunshine to your day and put a smile on your face. “Working with the Village of Progress is nothing short of amazing. They are a very respectable group of people. They greet you every day when they come to work. Every day they come to work they basically look at it as a challenge as to how much they can get assembled. They really have the drive to do better than the day before and for the most part they can achieve their goals. Every day is a good day for them and me when they are here. They are aslo a very fun group to be around. I am very proud to say that I have the Village of Prog- ress people working for me. They just simply AMAZE me.” Jim Reindel, Karlin Production Supervisor “Working with the men and women from the village of progress is the highlight of my week. They keep me on my toes and let me know when I am doing something wrong. They really will put a smile on your face when you walk in there. You can not have a bad day if you stop in there and joke around with them.” Jon Bakener, Employee Development Manager

12 Crest Ink October, November & December 2021

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