The NOCOMO Board of Directors met on January 24 to review the sheltered workshop’s performance and to consider the future of the facility.

“It’s important to have full engagement from the board of directors from here on out,” Nicki Samson, workshop manager, said.

Of the nine board members, only five were able to attend the bi-monthly meeting.

Samson informed the board of visits by Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation representatives and an inspection by the Missouri Department of Labor.

She will be attending the Missouri Sheltered Workshop Association (MSWA) meeting at the end of January. Decisions made at that meeting will affect how NOCOMO proceeds. NOCOMO is trying to be proactive in finding solutions to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s perceived criticisms of paying certified employees below minimum wage and segregating them.

Samson is concerned that MSWA will move toward providing services and billing through Medicaid to use the workshop as a training center for competitive employment.

Samson turned down the opportunity to bid for a mowing contract. She said it was not a good fit for the certified employees since it would not be a consistent schedule. Two supervisors would need to be on site, plus there was no cash guarantee.

The workshop showed a $1,634.37 loss for the first half of the 2016-17 financial year which began July 1. Expenses to the end of December were $290,526.83. Income from workshop activities was $221,419.90. Income from state aid, SB 40, grants and other sources was $117,823.90. Cost of goods sold was $50,350.83, making the net income of NOCOMO $288,892.46.