Missouri sheltered workshops are different from shops in many other states, because they depend heavily on contracted work and the revenue from that work to maintain operations. They are actually small businesses who hire individuals with disabilities. On the average, a workshop’s contract revenue account for 70-80% of workshop revenue, government assistance 10-24%, and the balance from other grants. Because of the dependency on contract revenue, Missouri workshops readily respond to customer needs relating to quality, and turn-around time. Jobs performed include packaging (bagging, shrink wrapping, blister packaging, skin packaging, boxing), assembly (simple to complex), marketing and public relations services (collating, stuffing, and sorting mailings), products (pallets, wire spools, first aid kits, poultry watering systems, office products, furniture items, etc.). Services are also provided by workshops including, janitorial work, grounds maintenance, commercial laundry operations, microfilming, to mention a few. Workshops also provide work crews that work in customer facilities.
There are 93 workshop corporations located around the state of Missouri. These shops provide employment for approximately 7500 people with disabilities and approximately 900 non-disabled staff.
The majority of workshop employees have been diagnosed with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities. Other common disabilities include mental illness, head injury, blindness, deafness, seizure disorders, and physical disabilities. Prior to being hired for employment in the workshop, people must be assessed by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to determine whether or not they are capable of working in a competitive environment at this time. If the Rehabilitation counselor determines they cannot work competitively at this time, he/she will certify them for employment in the workshop.
Other than the fact that the state (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) provides some funding, and regulations and guidelines for the establishment and operation of sheltered workshops, and some technical assistance when requested, it's role is minor in the day to day operation of the shops.Besides the obvious, providing employment, especially for people with disabilities, workshops also put money back into the community. Payroll, purchase of goods and services, and participation in community affairs are a couple of ways that workshops contribute to the community. Last year (FY09), Missouri workshops paid approximately $80,000,000 back into their communities, providing a significant contribution to the commerce of those communities. firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. Inquiries related to Department programs may be directed to the Jefferson State Office Building, Title IX Coordinator, 5th Floor, 205 Jefferson Street, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0480; telephone number 573-751-4581.”