November 2020
Videos: Eagan recognition in snowstorm? Shakopee update
After partial pause, employment help presses on
While coronavirus cautions put some people’s lives on hold early on, many people with disabilities continued to rely on employment services. ProAct in Eagan delivered them.

People who had been placed in jobs still required coaching, and ProAct was one of the only providers early on to go to for that service. “As a result, we received an increase in referrals,” said Employment Development Manager Anna Cahak. There were people placed in jobs by other service providers that had either shut down or were not able to provide direct support.

Job placement services have continued on since the spring, as well, with weekly meetings to help people look for work, Cahak explains. These were mostly virtual. For those without that capability, ProAct staff would meet them outside in the warmer months, sometimes in parks, keeping their distance. -more-
Grocery interview first, then fitness center job nearby

ProAct vocational specialist Pat Hoppe helped build this young man's confidence for his first job interview ever at Fresh Thyme in Apple Valley. That gig didn't come through. Undeterred, the two of them pursued another position just blocks away at LA Fitness. The man, who wished to remain unnamed, now serves as a custodian there, sanitizing machines, cleaning locker rooms and removing trash. "He's into fitness and working out and it seemed to be a good fit in that environment," said Hoppe. "Managers are very pleased with his hard work and some of the guests have mentioned to him and managers how much they appreciate what he's doing." The success came via ProAct's Pre-Employment Transition Services.
Back in action for humor, productivity, camaraderie
ProAct in Red Wing is a big part of Sandy Orso's (above left), community. So, not going in, she was bored in her assisted living home all summer.

My favorite staff is Betty (Anderson)," said Orso. "She kids around and stuff." Orso also missed her bus driver. She returned to ProAct in September to fold and package dog mats and gun cleaning mats.

Before joining ProAct, Orso said her only work was a six-month stint in the 1980s for a temp agency. She said laughter is very important to her and that happens with coworkers and staff here.

"I was glad to have her back," said Anderson, a direct service professional, DSP. "She's very nice, super sweet, very polite and real easy to talk to." The two have become friends.
Halloween fun: Hudson, Shakopee
View images from ProAct's celebrations in Scott and St. Croix counties.
After three months away, Red Wing participant Andy Arden, above, is back, and he's smiling a lot.

He came in early one Friday to help assemble 55 boxes for garage mats. He would soon cut them for a customer that's boosted the work load.

"He does it to the best of his ability," said DSP Arlene Gerdes, below. "He's smart and he knows his job." She was glad to have participants back and said people are "ecstatic."
ProAct is thankful for you, and for the opportunity to break down barriers and improve the lives of people with disabilities. Would you join us during this challenging time by making a donation through "Give to the Max" in November? Watch for emails in the coming weeks from our president, Judie Foster-Lupkin.
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Online projects with 'castle twist' achieve their goal: having fun
Computer angles, lighting and other online glitches can't dissuade Robin Smith and her ProAct participants from having a good time with art projects. They are part of a Wednesday virtual enrichment arts class held on Zoom.

The Eagan classroom instructor and her students transformed everyday household items into Halloween castles. -more-
CoBank and Dakota Electric award $5k grant to ProAct, ONB $3k
Dakota Electric Association, along with CoBank, one of its lenders, recently donated $20,000 to three community organizations. Dakota Electric’s $5,000 donation to 360 Communities, $2,500 donation to ProAct and $2,500 donation to Dakota County’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon were matched by CoBank through the company’s Sharing Success grant program. -Read the Dakota Electric story- | Sun Newspapers

And, Old National Bank Foundation contributed $3,000 to ProAct for operating support. The foundation is part of Old National's overall charitable giving initiative, which enables it to support programs to improve the quality of life for people in several Midwestern states.
ProAct, Inc. | 651-686-0405 | proactinc.org