Partnership Assembled: People - Production - Purpose

A Message from ProAct's President
It is exciting to see the production services in both Red Wing and Eagan pick up new customers! ProAct recently transitioned our production floors to competitive production centers, and this business service is driving and supporting our mission services.

The production floor is humming, forklifts are moving supplies, and we are using our delivery truck for weekly runs to deliver customer orders. Each of our Production Managers are working to gain efficiency and keep working toward our goal of supporting our mission!

The assembly work in both locations is running at full speed with a variety of work – hand assembly, kitting, packaging, and sewing. The use of our equipment including cutting machines, heat sealing, and shrink wrapping is expanding due to customer need.

The production area in Eagan is also used as a job exploration site for those seeking employment in the community. Read more here and if you have an assembly need, give us a call! We would be happy to give you a tour!

- Judie Foster-Lupkin
The End of a Programming Era for ProAct

A Message from ProAct's Vice President

In the 1960s, nonprofit organizations began providing employment-related programming called sheltered workshops for individuals with disabilities. Owobopte, Interstate Rehabilitation, and Scott County New Options were three of those organizations. Today, the three are merged and operate as ProAct. Hundreds of individuals with disabilities gained workplace skills and developed lifelong friends while participating in center-based work activities.

Over the years, services for people with disabilities have transitioned due to state and federal legislative changes, desire of individuals to expand services being offered with community inclusion, and community-based employment opportunities. Still for others, center-based work was a good fit. Today, providers are looking at moving toward enhanced enrichment programming and independent employment as the trend continues to focus away from center-based work. 

It has been a long and difficult goodbye for ProAct, closing its first work floor in Eagan in 2021. Red Wing followed in 2022, and finally in April of this year, Shakopee ceased operation of its center-based work floor. Change is hard, sometimes painful, but the memories for staff and participants will remain as will the pride in programming well run. Now, we say hello to the next generation of ProAct programming.

– Kim Feller
Shakopee Says Farewell to Last ProAct Work Floor
On April 27, 2023, ProAct’s center-based production floor came to a close. This work floor has now handed its baton
off to a leisure club programming model, expanding ProAct’s Day Support Service offerings. ProAct Senior Program Manager Ali Brown shares her take on this change, and what opportunities the future holds for ProAct.

Andrea Finds Success with ProAct Programming
Andrea Howlett has been with ProAct since 2009.

When ProAct eliminated its Eagan enclaves, Andrea set her sights on finding independent employment. She credits her mom and her ProAct Employment Specialist with helping her find her current job at the YMCA in Eagan. Andrea is on the janitorial crew and works two days a week.

Andrea is also involved in Individualized Home Supports (IHS) through ProAct. Andrea meets with her IHS coordinator once a week. Together, they bake and go out in the community for outings as well as shopping to get her coffee creamer - which Andrea loves!  
April Adventures at ProAct

In April, ProAct participants welcomed warmer weather and experienced new adventures across our sites!

In Eagan, participants observed Earth Day by learning about recycling and celebrated Look Alike Day and Superhero Day by dressing up. Some participants dressed like their staff, and we saw a plethora of heroes like Batman, Superman, Power Rangers, and Wonder Woman!

Red Wing participants love cooking classes, and the bonus is you get to eat what you make at the end! April cooking classes allow individuals to gain safety knowledge for the kitchen, practice cutting, dicing, and additional food prep experience.  Red Wing also decorated some Ukrainian Easter eggs and headed to the Minnesota Vikings Museum with the other ProAct sites.

In Hudson, sunshine brought some extra energy for fitness gurus in exercise class, and participants enjoyed creating different crafts for the animals and national days. The group also had fun volunteering at Feed My Starving Children.

In Shakopee, participants enjoyed sampling tasty pretzels for ‘National Pretzel Day’, celebrating April birthdays, being superheroes, learning about the galaxies, and dancing for International Dance Day!
Enrichment Program April Highlights
Learning cooking and baking skills in Red Wing.
Hudson enjoyed learning about sea creatures!
Showing off Earth Day art!
Hudson participants always enjoy a visit from Mickey!
Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children!
A fun-filled day at the Vikings Museum - Skol!
Making new friends at Sustainable Safari!
Shakopee participants headed out for lunch to celebrate National McDonald's Day!
Checking out some rides at the Minnesota Auto Show.
Eagan's Planes, Trains and Automobiles class visited the Plane Museum in South St Paul.
Monthly, ProAct’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee focuses on educating staff, participants and stakeholders in areas of culture, diversity and disability. The committee chooses one diversity related area and a disability as its educational focuses for the month. Bulletin boards, e-mails, class projects and other tools are used to educate staff and participants at each of our four locations.

The committee chose Easter, Passover, and Autism Awareness for the month of April.
Choose a Career with Impact
Want to build a meaningful career and make a difference? Know someone looking for a new job? Check out ProAct's amazing career opportunities and join our team!

Plus, new employees receive $1500 in hiring bonuses!