ProWorks History

~ 1962 ~ The Kandi-Meeker Day Activity Center (DAC) opened as a pilot project between the counties of Kandiyohi and Meeker and the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare. The Kandi-Meeker DAC began with much support and effort from parents of children with developmental disabilities. Initially, a half day program was offered at the VFW in Willmar and a half day program at the American Legion in Litchfield. These programs followed the public school calendars, and program staff traveled between these sites daily.

~1963~ The governing board purchased a building in Atwater, MN and from this site provided services to preschool children and adults from both counties.

music2~ 1970’s ~ In the early 1970’s, due in large part to the down-sizing of state institutions, the rapidly expanding need for additional community-based services, and the desire to serve people in their home communities, the Kandi-Meeker DAC split, and the Meeker County Daytime Activity Center (MCDAC) began in the basement of Longfellow School in Litchfield, MN. This program, under the direction of Robert Carlson, consisted of seven staff and thirteen clients. The program followed the public school calendar and was closed for the summer.In the mid 70’s day program expectations were changing along with society’s attitude toward people with disabilities. In the past, day programs had once consisted of basic academics, arts and crafts and the endless pursuit of unpaid, “prevocational” skills. It quickly became apparent that more meaningful goals and objectives could be realized. Day programs quickly embraced the thought of providing community-based vocational services, and the concept of “normalization” became popular.

Dale286~ 1981 ~ Dale Miller was hired to be the agency’s Executive Director. At this time the agency consisted of six staff, served eighteen clients and the program operated 187 days per year. No services were provided during July and August. Home-based preschool services were provided to several children.In December the program moved into a new building (it’s present location) and a center-based preschool program was developed.

 

~ 1982 ~ The agency’s name was changed to the Meeker County Developmental Achievement Center. This change simply followed a statewide trend in which adult day programs wished to take a more progressive and more meaningful approach toward meeting the needs of persons with developmental disabilities.

~ 1984 ~ The Meeker County Board of Commissioners agreed to increase MCDAC’s program to 245 days per year and the Minnesota Legislature decided that special needs preschool programs should become the responsibility of public school districts. MCDAC’s preschool program was picked up by the Meeker and Wright Special Education Cooperative (MAWSECO).

~ 1987 ~ MCDAC hires it’s first “Job Developer”. The job Developer is responsible for finding center-based work contracts and community-based employment opportunities.

~ 1993 ~ With significant increases in people receiving services and work contracts, more space is needed and a new 40′ x 50′ “warehouse” was built.

~ 1995 ~ With the increasing number of people being served it became necessary to expand the work area. In October of 1995 a 35′ x 40′ addition was built.

annex1

ProWorks logo~ 1996 ~ The agency’s name is changed to ProWorks, Inc. and the “warehouse” becomes known as ProWorks Annex. Board members, personnel, clients and their families were asked to submit names to be considered and “ProWorks” won the popular vote.

~ 2003 ~ ProWorks’ Red Rooster Site opens in Dassel. ProWorks provides day training & habilitation services to 80+ people with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury and mental illness. MVC-124F

 

~2012~ Employees of ProWorks spent a  year or more of exploring the options of opening a “Dollar Store or “Thrift Store” in the Dassel area. We toured many stores of these types and talked with the people that operated these stores and also consulted with Southwest Initiative about start up and operation costs. After much discussion and the availability of a empty store in Dassel we chose to start up a “Thrift Store.  After many hours of shopping for fixtures, advertising, collecting & sorting donations, setting up shelving, the store opened April 17th, 2012 under the name of Again & Again.  A store manager was hired along with an assistant and also volunteers from the community help out at the store.  ProWorks clients clean the store daily under the supervision of a job coach.