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With an additional workload already here for Ray County Service, expansion is necessary to keep up.
Renovation work began this week on the old education building that sat behind the Christian Church on the corner of College and North Main Streets. Ray County Services Board Chairman Don Jackson said there will be six offices on the upstairs level that will house the county’s caseworkers. Currently, there are three caseworkers with Steven Roberts coming on board a few months ago. Jackson said, however, the board is already looking for a fourth.
At the beginning of this year, the state regional offices shifted casework to county Senate Bill 40 organizations like the RCBS.
Jackson said the plans are for the caseworkers to move into their new offices by May 1 of this year.
Jackson said the lower level of the building will be used for disabled clients who do not qualify to work in the shop at Ideal Industries. The workshop currently employs 122 people and 14 people have graduated from the workshop to jobs in the private sector, including three employees at The Daily News. The third employee started as a carrier on Monday.
“Our goal is to get everyone out of the workshop,” Jackson said.
Ideal Industries is having their annual chili and soup dinner this Saturday. Jackson said proceeds go to help support recreational activities for the employees.
Ideal Industries has expanded today to 122 employees from about 16 before 1985 when Ray County voters created the RCBS.
Jackson said the tax funds the RCBS help transport the employees to work. He said the workshop was formed in 1979, and by 1985 it was clear funding was needed.
“It became obvious to us that funds were needed to transport people,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he expects at least 500 customers for the dinner. Cost is $5 per person.