At Rolling Hills Progress Center, these jobs are showing barriers can be broken.
Client Justin Rice said, “I just love to work.”
It’s a regular day on the line for Justin Rice and colleagues.
Rice said, “With all my friends that I made here since I first started here.”
And it’s a sentiment shared by his 75 co-workers as this place gives them a sense of independence.
Client Tasha Randecker said, “Getting to work and able to get to places that like if I wanted to go somewhere that I could.”
It’s been nearly 45 years since Rolling Hills Progress Center started providing employment for community members with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Executive Director Brandon Rumler said, “Makes them feel like they’re a contributing member of society. They’re coming to work, earning a paycheck. They’re spending that money out in the stores, versus just sitting at home all day. They’re coming out and socializing.”
There’s also a sense of stability.
Rumler said, “We have some individuals who have been here the full 44 years.”
While most of the work is packaging products, executive Director Brandon Rumler said Rolling Hills provides programs to help with their employee’s everyday lives.
Rumler said, “They need help to handle money. We teach them the denominations of money, cooking classes and basic life skills.”
Randecker said, “Lots and lots of patience. Getting to meet new people.”
But a central mission of Rolling Hills is revealing people aren’t defined by their disabilities.
Rumler said, “Everyone has a different personality and they’re just a joy to work with.”
When they have the opportunities, they take pride in their work and able of incredible achievements.
Randecker said, “I get to do like multiple things too that I’m capable and I am reliable.”