Kent-Sussex Industries, Inc. (KSI) held its Annual Open House on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 with guided tours given to individuals from around the community. With 303 participants this year KSI enjoyed their largest turnout to date.
Being a non-profit agency, receiving support from people throughout the community, KSI believes its supporters should see the impact their donation is having on the lives of individuals with disabilities. When they open their doors to the public, a variety of people come to visit.
“We may meet people who need the vocational training and employment services KSI provides. Sometimes we meet someone with a disability that is new to the area, and unfamiliar with KSI. We also see business representatives who come by to learn about KSI and find out we can help them with a job that needs to be done. Each person who comes to tour KSI has the potential to help in their own way,” commented Alicia Hollis, Director of Community Relations.
With approximately 300 individuals being employed by, or with the help of, KSI there is a myriad of employment opportunities based on the needs of each business and the ability of each person. KSI offers three employment programs. The first is on-site employment that is heavily supervised to ensure the education and safety of each individual. Activities provide for group and individual instruction in areas such as direction following, attention to task, sequencing, social interaction, and job readiness skills. The second type, community-based work service programs, offers a chance for employees to work in small groups in the community under KSI supervision. The third program, which offers the most independence, is the supported employment program where individuals become employees of the location where they work. KSI will supervise the progress of each employee to help get them acclimated with the job and also ensure longevity as time passes. Companies such as Bayhealth, Delaware Veterans Home, McDonalds, Olive Garden and Wawa have participated in this program.
When someone leaves the annual open house, KSI hopes to make an impact on visitors. They feature their talented employees with disabilities and focus on the ability of each employee being a productive member of the KSI family. KSI’s impact on the financial picture in Delaware is one of great importance; paying in excess of $1.7 million in wages to our participants.
“Each person has an individualized plan designed for their own needs and interests and abilities,” stated Alicia. “We want them to walk away knowing that KSI provides a great service to the individual with a disability, their caregivers and families, the business community, and the state of Delaware.”
With help from the local community, KSI has developed from an organization dependent on funding from government agencies to one which can be self-sufficient if needed. Alicia Hollis, Director of Community Relations, is proud of this achievement stating that “with so many government services being downsized it is important that we make sure all of our members are provided for.” At KSI it truly is all about providing each individual with an opportunity to learn and execute skills necessary for employment.
To learn more about the services KSI provides, visit www.ksiinc.org or contact Alicia Hollis at the Community Relations Department at 302-422-4014.