The Arc of the Quad Cities Area will get $220,258 from the Illinois Human Services Capital Investment Grant Program, as part of over $14 million in awards to 70 human services providers throughout the state.
The grants are being provided through the first-ever competitive Human Services Capital Investment Grant program, designed to help social service providers address physical construction and accessibility needs.
Michael Glanz, executive director of The Arc of the Quad Cities, said recently that the grant will support the expansion of residential services in Moline to four people with disabilities (a building remodel for a group home) and improve the safety and efficiency of the employment opportunities offered to people with disabilities at Arc Industries.
“With these funds, we are able to continue to chart a path of growth and innovation for services for people with disabilities in the Illinois Quad Cities,” Glanz said. “We are all affected by the rising costs of inflation, which have dramatically affected the ability of The Arc to invest in quality programs through capital improvement — which is why this partnership with Illinois’ Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Department of Human Services allowing The Arc to invest in this way is so important.”
Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
“Thanks to our Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, I am proud to announce that we are awarding more than $14 million to 70 human services organizations from 24 counties up and down the state to address much-needed infrastructure improvements,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a recent release. “Supporting these providers is an integral part of my FY24 budget proposal, which calls for the highest-ever statewide commitments to early childhood, developmental disability, mental health, substance use, and homeless prevention services. Thousands of lives will benefit from this investment.”
This $14 million in funding will address much-needed capital improvements for eligible Illinois not-for-profit human services providers. Each awardee has worked with one or more of IDHS’ six divisions: Developmental Disabilities, Early Childhood, Family and Community Services, Mental Health, Rehabilitation Services, and/or Substance Use Prevention & Recovery.
Another grant recipient is Braveheart Children’s Advocacy Center in Henry County, which is getting $176,141.
Illinois received more than 450 applications from human services providers throughout the state. The program was designed to prioritize disproportionately impacted areas, the expansion of human services, and to address fire prevention and mitigation (e.g., installation/replacement of fire sprinkler systems/fireproof doors, etc.).
Did you know that you can participate in a bi-state, Quad City wide Food Drive in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. happening now? There are 32 different locations to drop off your non-perishable food items. People with disabilities through the Quad City Disabilities Awareness Coalition will be picking up food items and distributing them to local food pantries throughout the QCA. Find a full listing of drop-off locations here: https://arcqca.org/mlk-day-of-service/ Help The Arc and the Quad City Disabilities Awareness Coalition improve the lives of our neighbors through inclusive volunteering and nourishing food.
Alex Hayes loves his job at H.C. Duke and Son (manufacturers of Electro Freeze), and his company loves what he brings to the table! Not only is his working role a major asset to helping skilled operators become more efficient and productive, but his infectious enthusiasm and team player attitude boosts the morale and team spirit of everyone he works with at H.C. Duke and Son. His direct supervisor even said that ever since Alex has to come to work for the company, he personally has experienced much more work satisfaction. While Alex certainly has brought joy to the company, the company has also brought Alex many pleasures of his own. Alex loves payday and the perks that come with working at a company that manufactures the Electro Freeze, a machine that is essential for making Blizzards at Dairy Queen. His favorite days are Blizzard days when H.C. Duke and Son’s specialty products are tested for quality, and the workers all get tasty ice-cream samples.
Alex got his position through The Arc’s Community Employment Services program, which provides local businesses with quality employees while reducing employers’ turnover and absenteeism through job matching and job coaching. Meg Pfoutz, Human Resources Manager at H.C. Duke and Son, was looking for potential employees during a tight labor market and knew that finding a solution meant reaching out to The Arc of the Quad Cities Area. Says Meg of the experience, “If companies have Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plans, but do not include neuro-divergent communities or people with disabilities, then they are missing opportunities.”
When it came to finding a workforce solution in the tightening labor market, the company made use of The Arc as a community partner, something more and more employers are discovering. Says Meg Pfoutz, “We have few unskilled positions, but we did have a number of choke points that didn’t require specific skills or certifications to fulfill.” She picked up the phone and spoke with The Arc’s Job Developer about customized employment which is an interchange between the Job Developer and the employer to find the best solution for the employer to match them with the abilities of people with disabilities looking for work opportunities. Jenny Miller, The Arc’s Community Employment Services Director came in to talk to all the employees at the plant about working alongside people with disabilities, building internal sensitivities, and mutually supportive work culture for all.
By partnering with The Arc of the Quad Cities Area, H.C. Duke and Son gave an opportunity that changed Alex’s working life, but the unforeseen benefits to the entire production team was a sweet surprise. Alex is quite an asset to the H.C. Duke and Son team, and the definition of a good co-worker.
You can post what inclusion means to you by tagging The Arc of the Quad Cities Area (@ARCQCA) and using hashtags #DDAware, #DDAwareness, and #InclusionMatters.