People excited to be back to work at Rise Spring Lake Park

Jun 26, 2020

Laurie and Katie

What day is better or more fun than Christmas or your birthday? If you ask people at Rise Spring Lake Park, they might answer: “The day I got to go back to work!”

Starting June 15, people started coming back to Rise Spring Lake Park to work a three-hour shift in the morning or afternoon. Practicing all Rise’s health and safety policies with social distancing, face masks when not able to social distance, and sanitizing didn’t prove to be a problem for those who are eager to resume their important work.

“Let’s get working – I’m ready to work, let’s go!” were the first words out of Laurie Zschokke (shown here) to DSP Katie Whiteford as she walked in last week.  Her co-worker, Rachel Niedringhaus was in full agreement. The three admit they were just a little ‘rusty,’ but seemed to be able to pick up right where they left off in March and get back in the groove of data entry pretty quickly.

First on the list of projects for them were to help catch up on three months of fuel billings for Rise Transportation. And once they are current with those, Director of Transportation Ryan Nelson has important vehicle maintenance tracking logs for them to work on. In addition, another important business associate, Medtronic, has a big project for the team to start this week.

Yes, it’s good to be back at work!

Laurie, Rachel, and Katie plan to hold down the fort until a few more people in their team join them back at work.

Out on the production floor, Rise’s CBTE team was also back working in three-hour shifts with people coming back as they felt comfortable to do so. By next week, CBTE Associate Director Kathy Frank predicts close to a dozen people will be working between the two shifts.

Tim Crosser, Lucinda Anderson, and Barb Hokenson are happy, too, to be back at work on subassembly contracts with DSP Darla Olson.   Persons served have the option to choose if they would like to wear a mask throughout the day or remove once at their work station and social distancing is implemented.

In addition, Kathy notes that Rise offers remote services to people who aren’t ready or able to come back to work quite yet. They can work with a team member on both personal and employment-related skill building, play a related game, or other customized supportive services.

Rise has tablets that can be loaned out during this time if a person has internet, but no access to a device to use for video meetings.  There is a wide range of subjects available to review and Rise team members can provide training if the person served or team needs assistance to use the technology.

People also have access to training sessions from the Mad Hatter series which discusses boundaries, healthy relationships, and how to greet friends using social distance guidelines. There are also Person-Centered Training (PCT) tools such as Good Day/Bad Day, One-Page Descriptions, and Relationship Circles to develop.

Team members can focus on areas that will help improve work speed using YouTube videos on manufacturing processes or even demonstrate new jobs that have come onto the work floor.

“We were offering these are services and activities in our day programs before we had to close due to the pandemic,” Kathy noted. “We think the continuity is important so people can continue to work on their goals.”

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