December 2021
Brighter, larger more versatile space in Shakopee
The Shakopee location for ProAct is ramping up for growth, with a recent move to a bright and more open facility that is more than 50 percent larger.

“Everything about the new space is new and vibrant,” said ProAct Vice President Kim Feller. “It provides an enhanced programming environment for participants.”

Some 80 such individuals with disabilities and supporting staff moved from a building shared with the CareerForce Center at 792 Canterbury Road to the new location at 4601 Dean Lakes Boulevard.

A number of participants shared notes about what they’ll miss about the site where ProAct, and it’s Scott County predecessor, New Options, operated for more than 20 years. -more-
ProAct is thankful for the generous level of support received through the Give to the Max campaign, reaching 92 percent of its goal. Funds are being used to purchase Kindles for virtual enrichment programming and laptops for training and employment.
Eagan Hardware Hank honored
Hardware Hank, a local business in Eagan, has been a strong supporter of ProAct and its mission to provide person-centered services that enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities in the areas of employment, life skills, and community inclusion.

The store partners with ProAct to offer work experiences for students and adults, and recently received ProAct’s 2021 Employer Partner of the Year Award.

Short-term engagements at Hardware Hank give individuals an opportunity to build skills, gain experience, and earn a wage. While Hardware Hank has opened its doors to ProAct and participants for over a decade, it has also kept the opportunity open during the pandemic, when many other businesses were not able to do so, explains ProAct Employment Development Manager Anna Cahak. -more-
Red Wing group makes care packs for homeless
A special new outreach engaged participants at ProAct to help homeless individuals in Goodhue County.

“We have had the opportunity to reach out to our community in a special way,” said Gloria Solsaa, Case Coordinator at ProAct in Red Wing.

The enrichment class gathered $700 in donations, planned, purchased items and assembled 30 backpacks filled with helpful items. The group applied for "Action Team" project support through Thrivent Financial, which gave $250 for supplies to get the project going, as well as T-shirts.
By the numbers | November
  • 784 participants served
  • 9 independent hires
  • 39,084 hours of service

CEO shares holiday spirit, more options, better lives
Things are looking up as the year-end holidays approach us at ProAct. Thanksgiving helps establish a baseline of gratefulness and, from there, we move to generosity, multi-colored lights, holiday decorations and more smiles.

I sincerely believe that the trials brought on by COVID are making us better. We’re more adaptive, stretched but not broken, and committed to our mission. ProAct staff have been nothing short of fabulous, pulling through the learning curve and satisfying participant needs. -more-
Connect with us on social media
Awards recognizing service topped by 40, 38-year participants
There have been seven U.S. presidents since ProAct participant James Gelking started attending the program. Gelking was recently honored with a 40-year Service Award in Eagan.

Staff saw him crack a smile when receiving his plaque, and his mother, Ellen, said he always seemed happy with his ProAct experience. “We never had any problems. He really liked going in and enjoyed his jobs,” she said. -more-
Switching to enrichment, never looking back
Thirty-eight years! When asked when she began working on ProAct’s community work crews, participant Teresa Christ, on left at right, said she started in 1983. During her time at ProAct, Teresa has been known as the top “worker-bee” at the Eagan location, and if you ask her where she’s worked over the years, she exclaims, “Everywhere!” Teresa mainly demonstrated her amazing work skills performing janitorial duties at Eagan’s various work sites in the community. -more-
Hudson studies Hanukkah
The Culture Class at ProAct in Hudson delved into the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah this month, said Case Coordinator LeeAnn Mergens.

The group looks up facts, creates artwork and crafts, listens to music and plays games to better appreciate studies of many cultures. For December, the Menorah candelabrum and its nine branches were the focus.
Defining terms: OJE/OJT
On the Job Evalutation/On the Job Training (OJE/OJT) Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) funded services provided at community employer partner sites to help individuals with disabilities either identify potential work skills and readiness, or maintain their job through a training process.
December marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities
December 3 was the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).

The day is about promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development, and to raise awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life. -more-

ProAct's Equity and Inclusion Committee meets regularly to increase cultural awareness, plan trainings and create resources for staff, participants and stakeholders.
In partnership with Dakota County, more than 100 participants, family members and staff received booster vaccines from Moderna or Johnson & Johnson on December 10 at ProAct's Eagan location.
Satisfying careers here
Looking for a change in the New Year? You can have a greater impact and improve the lives of others. ProAct is hiring. Apply now!
ProAct, Inc. | 651-686-0405 |