After 11 years on the NOCOMO Board of Directors, President Dave Lawyer attended his last meeting, May 25, and was presented with a plaque to commemorate his service to the sheltered workshop and the board.

Lawyer has agreed to act as a consultant to the board. He said the continued success of the sheltered workshop was due to getting the right “boots on the ground, hearts in the right place and letting them run.”

A replacement for Lawyer has not been selected. Board members Krista Von Behren and Sue Florea both agreed to another three year term. Officers elected for the 2021-22 fiscal year are President Sam Mason, Vice President Tim Wilmes, Secretary Deb Hull and Treasurer Sue Florea.

An existing subcommittee will review the COVID-19 requirements for the workshop and certified employees. All but three of the certified employees have received the COVID vaccination.

NOCOMO Manager Nicki Samson said OSHA was still recommending the wearing of masks. She said she wants to err on the side of safety. She also wants to continue with the handwashing requirements and temperature taking.

The board approved the proposed 2021-22 budget which is based on actual income and expenses from the proceeding year. Income projections for sales and services is $407,796; state ad is $87,824 and SB40 funds is $150.785. Cost of goods sold for raw materials is $142,821 which tries to take into account the upward spiral of prices. Expenses are totaled at $508,964.

Samson shared information on the passage of HB432, which included language supporting Missouri’s Extended Employment Sheltered Workshop Program. This information came from the Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers.

Republican State Senator Karla Eslinger sponsored bill SB582 which is included in the passed house bill. The bill protects sheltered workshops from actions proposed at the federal level.

It “mirrors Section 14(c) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which authorizes employers to pay workers with disabilities at commensurate wage rates when their disability affects their productivity for the work being performed.”

The certified employees have had the annual mandatory vocational training.

The workshop had no accidents or incidents for 2020. Also, no outbreaks of COVID which is unusual for workshops in the state Samson said.

The price of raw materials is still raising. Customers have been told and are still using NOCOMO. The workshop has been approached by other potential customers but doesn’t have the supplies or workers to fill their orders.

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