Monday, February 4, 2019

Lafayette Work Centers' Report

Boots featured in
Lafayette Industries Newsletter
2018 was a very successful year for us again, as we continue to be very blessed. From our Mission perspective we now employ over 410 individuals at our work centers, including 26 new “hires” last year!! Our 4th combined employee picnic for both the Manchester and Berkeley workshops was again a great success with almost 500 people in attendance. We again received great financial support from our sponsors throughout the year which enabled us to employ those new folks and continue to expand our free lunches, outings, flu shots, and other "be well, work well" activities, and expanded our Art and Craft instructional sessions to include even more people. At the end of the year we awarded 2 more gold watches (for 25 years of service), bringing the total to 89 that we have given out in the last 13 years—now those are dedicated employees! The year culminated in our 5th Christmas Glee Club Concert and Art exhibit in December attended by a record 250 guests. Another wonderful and satisfying year!

On the business side of our operation, we have now reached $3 million dollars in “sales”, which is our packaging and other business that we do for companies, maintaining our reputation as a high quality supplier of valuable business services. Last year I wrote about our new expansion at our North County location, and I am happy to report that we now have 175 individuals working there, working at a place where they have a steady job and their abilities are appreciated.

We are extremely thankful for the wonderful, continuous support and constant prayers of St. Mark. I would like to personally thank those St. Mark private donors who made contributions, as well as the St. Mark Spinnakers, and the St. Mark Presbyterian Women and the Deacons who support us every year.

In 2018, we established the Boots Berry volunteer award, dedicated to Boots who not only was part of that visionary and passionate group who played a critical role in the formation of Lafayette Work Center 42 years ago, but also volunteered every Tuesday for 37 years at the workshop. Our very 1st employee, St. Mark’s own K. McLuen, is still working every day, and at the end of the year was interviewed on TV by Frank Cusumano of Channel 5! What an inspiration Ken is for us all. The vision of B. and E. McLuen, Board Members, Emeritus, and the founders of Lafayette Work Center, along with several of the faithful of St. Mark’s, continues to hold true today as it did in 1976---to provide employment to deserving folks that gives them Dignity through work and the opportunity to use their God-given talents and abilities, just like the rest of us. Lafayette Industries remains the leading full-time, long-term employer of adults with developmental disabilities in the State of Missouri. To Bob and Ethel, Boots, and to the St. Mark’s community: we are forever indebted to you.

Click here for more on Boots.

Thank you once again, may God continue to bless you all very much, and here’s to a Healthy and Happy 2019! For more on Lafayette Industries, Click Here.

Respectfully submitted, Rob Libera, Executive Director

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