May 2018
Today's stories represent our organizational values of Impact, Choice, Heart and Partnership. Do you have a values story to share? Let us know.
Impact - over 45 years of residential successes

A look back in history: In 1972, Opportunity Partners (then called Opportunity Workshop) began residential services and opened the Clara Doerr residence. Fast forward to today, OP now operates over 20 residential group homes and serves over 400 people in our residential programs.
Choice - award winners, thanks to you!

Congratulations to Frank Murillo for winning a Minnesota Job Honor Award for his work with General Mills! The award was presented in partnership with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce earlier this month. Frank started at General Mills as part of a Supported Employment Team (SET), but now works independently in the mail room. A video was produced about Frank's work and was shown at the event.

C ongratulations are also in order for Opportunity Partners'  Committee of  Advocacy and Leadership (COAL), who were also presented with an award earlier this month. COAL earned an inaugural Life Enrichment Award from the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR.) COAL provides a forum for people with disabilities to stand up for themselves and ensure their voices are heard. Read more on the blog.
Heart - celebrating talent

The spring residential talent and art show was held May 7 at South High School in Minneapolis. Attendees enjoyed a reception and arts display before the talent performances and arts and crafts award ceremony.
Impact - staff wins statewide job coach award
Kara Kowski (center) with Andrea Pearson and Calli Kadlec of Opportunity Partners

Congratulations to Kara Kowski, employment specialist, for earning the top job coach/Metro area award from MOHR. Kara has worked for OP for seven years and was recognized for being a positive, encouraging and wonderful advocate for people as she helps them navigate competitive, integrated employment opportunities. The award was presented May 15 at the MOHR Conference in St. Cloud.
Partnership - start your summer with Fire Starters

Reminder that as part of OP Social Enterprises ®, we are selling our own brand of Fire Starters! They are available on Amazon and are sold in packs of 20 and 100. All Fire Starters are packaged at Opportunity Partners facilities and proceeds benefit people with disabilities. Tell your friends, it's bonfire season!
Disappointing end to session

Governor Dayton vetoed the Omnibus Supplemental Spending Bill, which included money to temporarily stop the 7% cut to disability services. According to the Best Life Alliance, while this is a disappointing end to the legislative session, it was not due to lack of activity from our dedicated grassroots advocates.

We were able to successfully move this issue to the top of the "must do" list in both the House and Senate and were included in the final compromise offer from Governor Dayton. Your grassroots efforts helped get us there and will give us a strong starting point going into the next legislative session. 

The Best Life Alliance was founded around a mission to support Home and Community-Based Services for people with disabilities and the Direct Support Professional workforce. While this veto is a setback that will have very significant ramifications for many people across the state, it is not the end of our advocacy. The Best Life Alliance will continue to work this summer and fall, leading into the next legislative session, to find ways to address the 7% cut and push for additional legislative changes to strengthen services in the future.

Upcoming Events

May 31, 2018Asplin Center Art Show
June 30, 2018Hennepin Annual Picnic
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Established in 1953, Opportunity Partners helps people with disabilities live, learn and 
work more independently through innovative services and collaborations with business. 

Together we advance the quality of life for people with disabilities.