Serving Individuals with Disabilities since 1965
New Federal Rules on Subminimum Wage
There is a building nationwide movement to end subminimum wage, or "piece-rate," as you may have heard it phrased.   New Federal rules make it much more difficult for a person to be paid in such a manner.  Though a person can enter our programs in the same way as they always have, they'll need to obtain a lot of documentation in order to be paid by piece rate. We have mixed feelings about thi...
Best
Slightly older news, but a first-time mention in this paper.   Our focus is always our mission to serve adults with disabilities, but we do so many small things that impact the community that is so supportive of us.
Recognized
SU received a statewide recognition award.  We are very proud of our achievements!
Budget Season, Such as it is here in Illinois
UW Findings The Illinois United Way put out a survey of the impact of the budget impasse here in Illinois.  Simply put, it has been horrific.  As for the impact on SU, it has been thankfully minimal.  Because of court orders we have continued to be paid for our services.  The only thing that hasn't been paid has been our janitorial contract at the Illinois State Police Headquarters in LP. ...
Annual Report
Visit our Documents and Reports page to see our FY15 Annual Report.
Article on State Budget
SU was mentioned in a state budget article.  They mention the DON score.  That doesn't not have a direct impact on SU's funding from the state.  It does impact some of the people who live on their own or with family who receive services through the Division of Rehabilitation Services Home Services Program though.  Still, we find this uncharted state budget territory to be nerve-wracking, even ...
NDEAM
Happy October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month!  Work/Employment is a major part of what we do at SU.  We have work on-site for our consumers in our workshop, from the powder coat paint line to washing totes to packaging and dip tubes.  We support people off-site, at the LaSalle State Police Headquarters and US Foods.  Consumers work in the community in a variety of Streator bus...
Annual State of the States Report
The annual State of the States Report is ready.  If you look at the state scorecard link, Illinois sadly remains near the bottom at 47.  There doesn't appear to be any discussion in Springfield about how to get our rating to a place that reflects the great state we are.
Criminal Justice
A great article on the interaction of learning/developmental disabilities and the criminal justice system.  We at SU have supported people though such issues.  We can have an incredible impact on a person's life by helping them stay out of jail or prison and become independent, self-supporting tax-payers.  If you're a state faced with difficult funding decisions based on lack of resources, this...
Survey Says
We added the 2015 state survey of our day and residential programs to our Documents and Reports page.  We were pleased to have scores of 97% and 99%.  These are unannounced surveys.  The day program is surveyed every year while the residential program is surveyed every 3 years.  We live the rules and do our best every day so don't mind them being unannounced, other than carving the time out of...

New Federal Rules on Subminimum Wage

Posted By: jmallaney on August 11, 2016 in News - Comments: No Comments »

There is a building nationwide movement to end subminimum wage, or “piece-rate,” as you may have heard it phrased.   New Federal rules make it much more difficult for a person to be paid in such a manner.  Though a person can enter our programs in the same way as they always have, they’ll need to obtain a lot of documentation in order to be paid by piece rate.

We have mixed feelings about this.  We strongly believe in integrated, community-based employment paid at minimum wage or higher.  However, this requires a level of supports that is not supported by our funding.  Picture the number of staff it takes to run a job in our workshop…one staff needed for anywhere from 4-10 consumers.  In the community you would need a lot more staff, which we can’t afford based on our current level of funding.  We want what is best for the people we serve but have to do our best right now based on the resources available.  We’d love for that situation to improve.

How does piece rate work at SU?  There are a lot of misconceptions.  Basically we do a time study to see what an average working in the community could get done in an hour.  Then we take off 15% for things that might generally slow down a person and then take off another percentage for fatigue if a person is doing the job for a full day.  That varies with the physical intensity of the job.  Then we divide that new total of pieces per hour into the local prevailing wage (basically what a person doing similar work would be paid after their first raise).  Some of our consumers end up making minimum wage anyway because they are able to work quickly.  Some make less because they aren’t able to go fast, or are learning how to focus or need other supports.

Sometimes when we bid a job for companies, they are surprised we are not a lot cheaper.  But prevailing wage doesn’t mean an unfair wage–it just means there’s an allowance so that people who aren’t able to work at typical productivity levels can still work and we can afford to pay them.  For many of the people we serve, work is about pride and self-worth moreso than a large paycheck.  For some, though, our supports allow them to earn the income they need to live.

Best

Posted By: jmallaney on June 27, 2016 in News - Comments: No Comments »

Slightly older news, but a first-time mention in this paper.   Our focus is always our mission to serve adults with disabilities, but we do so many small things that impact the community that is so supportive of us.

Recognized

Posted By: jmallaney on April 22, 2016 in News - Comments: No Comments »

SU received a statewide recognition award.  We are very proud of our achievements!

Budget Season, Such as it is here in Illinois

Posted By: jmallaney on February 1, 2016 in Illinois, News - Comments: No Comments »

UW Findings

The Illinois United Way put out a survey of the impact of the budget impasse here in Illinois.  Simply put, it has been horrific.  As for the impact on SU, it has been thankfully minimal.  Because of court orders we have continued to be paid for our services.  The only thing that hasn’t been paid has been our janitorial contract at the Illinois State Police Headquarters in LP.  We haven’t been paid since July 1 due to there being no state budget this fiscal year.  We can’t imagine where we’d be right now were it not for the court order for our services.  There are many agencies without court orders for their services and they are having a very difficult time.

Separate from that, we desperately need an increase in funding.  On the one hand, it seems crazy to say so at this time.  On the other, we’re having trouble keeping up with salaries and expenses after ten years without any funding increase plus those cuts to our workshop grant.  We having filled our last three day program positions that opened up and are not bringing workshop consumers in when there’s no work for them.  This is hard on them in terms of income, and hard on some families as they need to find supports for their child during the day.

Annual Report

Posted By: jmallaney on December 1, 2015 in News - Comments: No Comments »

Visit our Documents and Reports page to see our FY15 Annual Report.

Article on State Budget

Posted By: jmallaney on November 9, 2015 in Illinois, News - Comments: No Comments »

SU was mentioned in a state budget article.  They mention the DON score.  That doesn’t not have a direct impact on SU’s funding from the state.  It does impact some of the people who live on their own or with family who receive services through the Division of Rehabilitation Services Home Services Program though.  Still, we find this uncharted state budget territory to be nerve-wracking, even if we are getting paid for our services through court orders.

NDEAM

Posted By: jmallaney on October 2, 2015 in Boxes, News - Comments: No Comments »

Happy October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month!  Work/Employment is a major part of what we do at SU.  We have work on-site for our consumers in our workshop, from the powder coat paint line to washing totes to packaging and dip tubes.  We support people off-site, at the LaSalle State Police Headquarters and US Foods.  Consumers work in the community in a variety of Streator businesses.  Take a look at our at our SUCCESS page and see what we can do for you!

 

2015PosterEnglish

 

Annual State of the States Report

Posted By: jmallaney on July 22, 2015 in Illinois, News - Comments: No Comments »

The annual State of the States Report is ready.  If you look at the state scorecard link, Illinois sadly remains near the bottom at 47.  There doesn’t appear to be any discussion in Springfield about how to get our rating to a place that reflects the great state we are.

Criminal Justice

Posted By: jmallaney on July 13, 2015 in News - Comments: No Comments »

A great article on the interaction of learning/developmental disabilities and the criminal justice system.  We at SU have supported people though such issues.  We can have an incredible impact on a person’s life by helping them stay out of jail or prison and become independent, self-supporting tax-payers.  If you’re a state faced with difficult funding decisions based on lack of resources, this makes financial sense.  The cost of monitoring, prosecuting and incarcerating a person is a lot higher than collecting taxes from that same person if they get the supports to be successful.  When you under-fund a community system, you end up spending more on the last-resort options like institutions for people with disabilities or prisons.

And this doesn’t begin to touch the issues on the mental health side of this.

Survey Says

Posted By: jmallaney on June 18, 2015 in News - Comments: No Comments »

We added the 2015 state survey of our day and residential programs to our Documents and Reports page.  We were pleased to have scores of 97% and 99%.  These are unannounced surveys.  The day program is surveyed every year while the residential program is surveyed every 3 years.  We live the rules and do our best every day so don’t mind them being unannounced, other than carving the time out of our day to help the surveyor with documentation, inspections, etc.  The surveys look at a wide variety of things, from interviews with consumers and employees and guardians, personnel records, governance, service plans, Safety and Human Rights and Behavioral Intervention Committee minutes, policies and beyond.

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