MANSFIELD — Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. (RNI) saluted 227 area employers during October Disability Employment Awareness Month. Businesses that employ individuals with developmental disabilities supported by RNI and those companies that contract with RNI were recognized during Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.
For the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2019, 351 individuals earned paychecks with wages totaling $603,000. RNI’s Community Employment department also provided employment services to more than 250 individuals throughout the year who were interested in obtaining employment in the community. These services include job placement, Project SEARCH, job tryouts and assessments, driver’s permit training, employability classes, and Summer Youth Programs. The Summer Youth Programs assist youth in exploring their career interests and/or participate in paid work experiences. This past summer, 57 students and 54 host employers participated in the Summer Youth programs.
In December 2019, Element of Art Studio/Gallery in downtown Mansfield will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. The studio currently has more than 80 contracted artists who create, display, and sell their unique and beautiful art pieces at the gallery. The City Garden Café opened in January of 2014 on the 3rd floor of the Mansfield Municipal Building. A partnership between the City of Mansfield and RNI, the City Garden Café provides training opportunities in food service to the employees.
Wendy’s of Mansfield has been named as the 2019 Community Employer of the Year for Richland area by RNI. Wendy’s began a relationship with RNI in 1994 and currently employs three (3) employees placed and trained by RNI. Throughout this partnership Wendy’s and their staff have been supportive of the vision of RNI, supporting persons with developmental disabilities to be a valued part of their community. Through employment, Wendy’s has facilitated persons with disabilities to realize their goals of employment in the local food service industry.
Gorman-Rupp Pumps has been named as the 2019 Industrial Employer of the Year for both the Richland and Crawford County locations. Gorman Rupp Pump began working with RNI over two decades ago and RNI greatly values this relationship. RNI assembles pallets, crates, and gauges for Gorman Rupp. Gorman Rupp also recycles electronics with RNI’s ecycle program, providing additional work opportunities and doing their share to save the environment. The work opportunities from Gorman Rupp allowed over 40 individuals with developmental disabilities to increase their skills all while earning a paycheck this past year. RNI congratulates Gorman Rupp on being the Industrial Employer of the Year in 2019 and looks forward to many more years to come.
RNI’s Community-Based Employee of the Year for Richland is Larry Kirkpatrick of Mansfield. Larry has been a valued employee of Bob Evans Restaurant on Trimble Road since 1985. Larry is a dedicated and valued asset of the Bob Evans team. His work ethic and professional attitude have not gone unnoticed by his supervisors and coworkers. Larry is always friendly and social with his coworkers and the valued customers at Bob Evans.
Dottie Cains of Mansfield has been named Business Development Employee of the Year for Richland. Dottie is a very hard worker at the City Garden Cafe. She has a great work ethic and is a true team player. Dottie is also a contracted artist at the Element of Art in the carousel district of Mansfield. When Dottie is not working she enjoys attending church, eating out, and shopping.
Zach Pride has been named the Facility-Based Employee of the Year for RNI Richland. In a few short years, Zach has overcome a variety of obstacles. With determination and support from others, he has worked his way up to being one of the most valued members of the team at RNI’s woodshop. Zach gets to work the moment he arrives and continues until he clocks out at the end of the day. Zach has seen his work pay off as he increases his confidence and independence.
Established in 1963, the non-profit Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. provides services and supports for community employment, industrial services at five production sites, personal and social services, recreational services, and options for seniors
RNI’s Community-Based Employee of the Year for Richland is Larry Kirkpatrick of Mansfield. Larry has been a valued employee of Bob Evans Restaurant on Trimble Road since 1985.
Zach Pride has been named the Facility-Based Employee of the Year for RNI Richland. Zach has overcome a variety of obstacles. With determination and support from others, he has worked his way up to being one of the most valued members of the team at RNI’s wood shop.
Dottie Cains of Mansfield has been named Business Development Employee of the Year for Richland. Dottie is a very hard worker at the City Garden Cafe. She has a great work ethic and is a true team player.