The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

September 17, 2010

Lifeworks honors community employers

NORTH MANKATO — Ten years ago, Lifeworks Services opened in Mankato and signed on two businesses — Creative Co. and Best Western — that provided employment opportunities for Lifeworks’ first four clients with disabilities.

On Friday, the non-profit celebrated its tenth anniversary in the area and recognized the 29 community employers who give temporary projects and part-time work to many of Lifeworks 85 clients.

“We have them come in for a lot of the collating or stuffing bags or packaging we do,” said Deedra Vosburg of HickoryTech.

“With shorter staffs, it’s nice to have them help out.”

Kristi Powers, program manager for Lifeworks, said the recession had dual affects on Lifeworks.

“At first it was harder to find employment (for clients). But now we’re getting more project work from companies who need extra help at certain times,” Powers said.

Judy Lysne, president and CEO of Lifeworks, said the program is funded through Medicare waivers and county funding. Businesses pay the wages to clients who work for them.

Lifeworks has seven locations in the Twin Cities area, with Mankato-North Mankato its only outstate site.

“At the time, Blue Earth County was looking for more alternatives to provide services to people with disabilities,” Lysne said of the group’s decision to open an office here.


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