The NOCOMO Board of Directors were finally able to meet on February 26.

The meeting had been postponed three times because of snowstorms. The sheltered workshop’s late starts and no work days correspond with Maryville R-II and the workshop had missed several days. Altogether, Manager Nicki Samson said there had been 14 altered work days since the beginning of the year.

The workshop did work on Presidents Day, February 18, a day they are normally closed. Samson said the certified employees have done a good job of keeping up and have worked some Saturdays.

NOCOMO received recognition from Kawasaki Environmental Supervisor Todd Turner for the cost effectiveness and satisfaction of NOCOMO’s glove services. Gloves used by Kawasaki employees are washed and sent to the sheltered workshop. Certified employees inspect and repair the gloves for reuse instead of going to the landfill.

Certified Employee Coordinator Amber Vogel attended the meeting as more and more logistics with the employment of individuals with disabilities have to be taken into account at the workshop.

Samson stated Missouri remains the only state to use an industrial model for sheltered workshops. NOCOMO is following the Federal Minimum Wage of $8.60 per hour in paying some of the certified employees.

Samson said the need for employment will grow as financial considerations cause industries and retailers to lay off employees with lower skill sets. These employees, upon being eliminated from the competitive market, will be coming back to the sheltered workshop setting. NOCOMO is in the process of adding three new employees.

Samson emphasized NOCOMO has “sound work and sound partners.”

One certified employee has been let go because of health and safety issues. He has seen a decline in mobility and is unstable on his feet.

“There comes a time when NOCOMO is not a safe place for him or others around him,” Samson said.

A subcommittee has been formed with board members Kim Treese, Deb Hull, Sue Florea and Samson to review NOCOMO’s policies and procedures and to focus on the safety manual.

The board directed Samson to get competitive bids for a security camera system throughout the facility. Samson is also going to look into accounting services for the annual audit and seek bids.

The next meeting will be at 5:30 pm, Tuesday, March 26.

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