NoCoMo’s General Manager Nicki Samson gave reports during the board of directors’ regular meeting March 28.

Samson stated the department of labor conducts random investigations making sure sheltered workshops are meeting all requirements, meeting the needs of the workers and paying adequate wages.

Since the board’s last meeting, the department of labor investigated NoCoMo for the first time in the eight years Samson has worked there. They looked at facility records for the past two years and found no major violations. Samson stated the facility received a gold star review.

Sheltered workshop managers from around the state recently took approximately 80 sheltered workshop employees and staff to Jefferson City to address legislators. Samson did not take any individuals from Maryville due to scheduling conflicts. She stated the legislators asked some members of the crowd to speak and answer questions about their experience working at sheltered workshops.

The group was advocating choice, asking legislators to not take away people’s choice to work at sheltered workshops. Some individuals had previously tried the competitive job force and said they sincerely like working in the shops.

Recent legislation imposed several new rules on workshops and are forcing individuals under the age of 25 into the competitive job force before they can work in the sheltered shops. The extensive rules have caused several workshops across the nation to close. Samson stated that Missouri’s government representatives and senators have been actively supporting the continuation of sheltered workshops and educating others on the important role they play in communities.

Workshops in Missouri get a majority of their revenue from work their employees perform for industrial businesses. All the work performed is necessary. It benefits industries to contract the work out as well as allowing individuals with disabilities to work.

In other business, NoCoMo spent $1,124 for steering and drive tires on its forktruck as well as $2,861 on an order of six month’s worth of shop supplies. They also trimmed the trees on the property for the second time in eight years at a cost of approximately $2,100.

Some discussion centered around doing a summer activity for the NoCoMo employees. Some ideas included a movie or a camping activity.