How to Become a Sheltered Workshop

Sheltered Workshop


Interpretation of steps and procedures for certification of an extended employment sheltered workshop in Missouri.

1) Organizational group is formed by interested parties in the community.

2) Group contacts DESE for guidance, advice, and technical assistance.

Technical assistance provided may include as needed:

1. Source of information regarding contact with outside agencies, i.e. Department of Labor, Secretary of State, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Revenue, Internal Revenue Service, etc.

2. Assistance in determination of sources for work contracts and assistance in making initial sales contacts.

3. Assistance in determining suitability of buildings and work facility.

4. Assistance in organizing board of directors, drawing up by-laws and articles of incorporation.

5. Assistance in seeking out prospective employees.

6. Assistance in developing good work flow and proper production techniques.

7. Assistance in training staff, and board members, in procedures relating to extended employment.

8. Assistance in developing proper pay procedures.

9. Assistance in developing proper safety procedures and techniques.

3) Interested group must accomplish the following prior to application for certification:

1. Locate and secure a proper facility. Facility must comply with federal regulations relating to safety, health, and accessibility.

2. Incorporation as a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of Missouri must be completed.

3. Department of Labor certification allowing the workshop to pay sub-minimum wages must be obtained.

4. Not-for-profit (501C3) certification must be received from the Internal Revenue Service.

5. Exemption from sales/use tax must be obtained from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

6. An annual budget must be developed. Budget must be realistic, reasonable, and obtainable as judged by the Section of Sheltered Workshops, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. If the organization has been in existence for one year prior to application for certification an audit must be performed by a certified public accountant. A copy of the audited financial statements must be submitted with the application for certification.

7. Work contracts should be secured to provide work for no less than 15 certified employees. These contracts must be in place or a written commitment by the potential customer presented with the application.

8. Fifteen potential employees have been approved for employment in the sheltered workshop. The approval of application for EESW employment must be submitted with the application for certification.

9. OSHA guidelines must be met. Facilities should pass an inspection by DESE-SW staff prior to certification.

10. DOL guidelines be met and operational procedures must pass a review by DESE-SW staff prior to certification.

11. Proper insurance must be secured or a binder presented prior to application for certification. A minimum coverage is suggested below:

a) Worker's compensation coverage (required)
b) Liability (Minimum $500,000 recommended)
c) Property coverage sufficient to cover assets of the corporation. (recommended)

4) The corporate board should submit an application for certification and a request for hearing. All applications for certification must be in writing on forms provided by the DESE and all items must be complete prior to approval of the application. The department will notify the group requesting certification it's acceptance of the application, and date of acceptance when all requirements are complete. If the department does not judge the application is complete the group will be told what areas are deficient and will be given sixty days to complete the application.

5) A hearing will be held within 60 days of the application approval date in the local community and scheduled conveniently for all parties. It is the duty of the group requesting the hearing to make sure that there has been proper notice of the hearing, including but not limited to individual letters to interested parties, newspaper notices, and a posting at the site of the hearing. Proper notice of disability accommodation requests will be included with the notice of hearing.

6) After the hearing and review of all evidence and documentation associated with the application the department will notify the applicants of their decision, regarding certification. Denial of certification will be accompanied by a letter stating the reasons for denial.