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Richland Newhope Industries honors local businesses & employees

By Staff Report, Richland Source
Published Thursday, October 26, 2017

Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. (RNI) is saluting 147 area employers during Disability Employment Awareness Month. Businesses that employ individuals with developmental disabilities supported by RNI and those companies that contract with RNI were recognized during the annual Employer Recognition Breakfast held Thursday morning at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield.

The event attracted nearly 300 people.

For the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2017, a total of 302 individuals earned paychecks with wages totaling $586,700. RNI’s Community Services also provided employment services to more than 250 individuals throughout the year who are interested in obtaining employment in the community.

These services include job placement, Project SEARCH, job tryouts and assessments, driver’s permit training, employability classes, and the Summer Training Employment Program (STEP). STEP is a five-week paid summer work program for youth who are transitioning into the world of employment. Twenty-five students and three employers participated in the program this past summer.

In December 2017, Element of Art Studio/Gallery in downtown Mansfield will be celebrating its eighth anniversary. The studio currently has more than 90 contracted artists who create, display, and sell their unique beautiful art pieces at the gallery. The City Garden Café opened in January of 2014 on the 3rd floor of the Mansfield Municipal Building. A partnership between the City of Mansfield and RNI, the City Garden Café provides training opportunities in food service to the employees.

McDonalds of Richland County has been named as the 2017 Community Employer of the Year by RNI. The McDonalds Franchise operated by the Monica Family currently employs six individuals who are supported by RNI in three of their nine locations. Keeping things local has long been a vision for Jeff and Larry Monica who oversee the stores. They have been reaching out to RNI for qualified workers since 2014. 

MTD has been named as the 2017 Industrial Employer of the Year. For over thirty years, RNI has supplied MTD with a variety of products shipping to the Shelby Distribution Center and to the Willard Operations. MTD is one of RNI’s most significant customers. This close relationship enables RNI to gainfully employ over two hundred individuals with developmental disabilities throughout the year.

The community-based Employee of the Year is James Phillips of Mansfield. He is currently employed at the Ontario Golden Corral. James has been a valued employee with Golden Corral for five years. His supervisor describes him as hard working and dependable. James always has a smile on his face and will do whatever is asked of him.

When he is not working James enjoys hanging out with his friends playing video games, and riding his bike. James recently joined a bowling league and is involved in Special Olympics basketball and softball.

Anthony Koebel, of Mansfield, has been named facility based Employee of the Year-Longview. Anthony is a very hard worker and uses his mechanical skills to build pallets in the Longview facility. He has a great work ethic and is a true team player. If he sees one of his coworkers needs help, he will jump right in and lend a hand.

Anthony is also an instrumental part of the mobile lawn crew during the lawn season. In his free time Anthony likes to ride his bike on the bike path and practice his athletic skills. He participates in both basketball and softball for Special Olympics.

Samuel Kingman of Shelby has been named Employee of the Year at RNI’s Fourth Street location. Samuel’s supervisors describe him as caring, respectful and hardworking. Samuel takes great pride in the quality and quantity of his work, often exceeding expectations.

Samuel works on all production when it is available but his favorite task is folding corners for Skybox Packaging. Samuel recently started working as a dishwasher at the City Garden Café and his supervisor reports he is doing wonderful. When Samuel is not working he enjoys mowing the lawn, cleaning the house and playing basketball.

This year’s featured speakers at the Employer Recognition Breakfast were Trent Creel, of Meijer, Marcie Kopp of Job and Family Services and Marty Neidlinger of Therm-O-Disc. Each speaker recounted their experience with employing individuals with disabilities at their business.

Established in 1963, the non-profit Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. provides services and supports for community employment, industrial services at three production sites, personal and social services, recreational services, and options for seniors.

This article has been reproduced for educational purposes only and appeared in the Richland Source. The original story can be found at:

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