After a great deal of time and preparation to figure out who was ready to come back to work and how many people Rise New Richmond could safely accommodate, Case Manager Katie McNamara is happy to report that Rise New Richmond is open for business and is off to a great start!
They opened up on Tuesday, May 26, with a small group of people, followed by a second group on June 1; the last group started on June 8 for a total of 32 people with four DSPs: Shylo Olson, Kelli Johnson, Sam Pierson and Andrea Myers. They hope to bring in additional people on July 13.
It’s not quite everybody yet, but those who are back are really excited to be working again, like Amanda Lorenz shown here.
“These first few weeks that people have returned, we have been very fortunate to have production running that has been keeping everyone working and happy,” said Katie. “We have been working hard on production contracts for K-tek, National Refund, Accelerated Plastics, Bayport Printing, North States Industries, and Syntegon Packaging Technology.
“Our customers have been very understanding,” she added. “A lot of our business partners who are essential were still sending work to our location for a select few staff to complete during the closure. We were able to meet their deadlines and I think our Rise team members gained firsthand experience with just how hard the people we serve work every day!”
To keep to social distancing practices, people are working and taking their breaks in three areas throughout the New Richmond building – the production workfloor, the breakroom, and a training room. Everyone has been very respectful of the new guidelines.
“It’s good to be back at Rise. I’m excited to be back with my friends and staff – I really missed them,” said Amanda Lorenz, who said she kept busy during the time off by working on her Mustang car and her garden, and walked a lot.
“I’m super excited to be back at work,” said Jenny Wood wh0 said she watched a lot of movies with her mom and dad while at home. “I missed my friends and I like working.”
Starting the week of June 8, New Richmond team members were able to begin offering remote services using Microsoft Teams to about a dozen people who have not been able to return to work yet.
“We started off in the beginning by letting people get to catch up with one another and just check in,” said Katie. “People seemed really excited to see each other and Rise staff after being away for so long. We had some great conversations about what people have been doing to stay busy and safe during this time. As we continue, we will be getting back into a lot of the prevocational activities that we have always offered.”