Company News Announcements
Shares, Inc. Receives Award For Outstanding Service
Shares, Inc. of Shelbyville, Indiana was awarded the Outstanding AbilityOne Program Vendor Award by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).
Shares, Inc. received the Outstanding AbilityOne Program Vendor Award, which is presented to organizations that exemplify overall excellence in product quality, on-time delivery, customer service, dependability, and accuracy.
This award recognizes Shares, Inc. for having demonstrated exceptional efforts in partnering with the DLA and improving the agency’s mission of providing supplies and services to America’s military forces worldwide.
Shares, Inc., a source of supply for glow plugs, has been able to keep up with an unprecedented demand for this essential starting aid for diesel engines and has continued to show how efficiently it can adapt to increases in demand, time table adjustments and special requests. Shares’ effective fulfillment and distribution capabilities and strong staff have helped earn Shares, Inc. a top spot among the DLA’s top suppliers in 2008.
The Defense Logistics Agency is part of the Department of Defense (DOD). DLA provides supply support, and technical and logistics services to the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and several federal agencies. Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., the agency is the one source for nearly every consumable item, whether for combat readiness, emergency preparedness or day-to-day operations, inside the DOD.
Direct Service Workforce Investment Grant
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) has announced another round of Direct Service Workforce Investment Grants to be funded by pandemic relief funding from the federal government. A key and critical focus of FSSA’s Home-and Community-Based Services Spend Plan for the federal funds is on supporting the direct service workforce. As part of the DSW State Plan which includes short-, mid-, and long-term strategies around wages and benefits; training and pathways; and promotion and planning, FSSA is launching a critical short-term wages and benefits strategy in the form of a Direct Service Workforce Investment grant opportunity. DSWs (defined more broadly than DSPs but does not include administration) are essential in providing the day-to-day, in-person support necessary for people to live, work, and participate in their communities. FSSA is dedicating $130 million to this opportunity with a requirement that 95% of funding awarded flow directly to DSWs.
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration is issuing Shares, Inc. funding to support our direct service workforce. Shares, Inc. will receive 3 equal payments in the amount of $36,628.39. We received our first payment in January 2023. The additional payments are expected to arrive in early spring and the final in early summer. We plan to use the funding in the following way to invest in our Direct Service Workers.
To provide immediate support to our workforce we plan to issue longevity bonuses to those employees who meet the definition of Direct Support Worker. We will dedicate 95% of the grant funding (minus payroll and Workman’s Compensation increased cost) We will issue the bonuses in 3 installments one for each quarter a grant payment is received. We appreciate all the hard work our DSWs put in on a daily basis. We wanted to use this funding specifically for those employees that have worked tirelessly over the years to make Shares, Inc. the agency it is today.
Below is a chart detailing the longevity bonus structure we have chosen:
|Total Distribution Amount:||95% of Total Distribution:||Less 7.5% Payroll Tax:||Less Workman’s Compensation Cost:||Total Bonus Amount:|
|Hired On or After||Hired Before||TOTAL Longevity Bonus||Number of Staff||Bonus Paid in 3 Installments on|
|March 1, 2003||$5,000.00||5||March 3, May 12, July 7|
|March 1, 2003||March 1, 2008||$3,500.00||7||March 3, May 12, July 7|
|March 1, 2008||March 1, 2013||$2,500.00||6||March 3, May 12, July 7|
|March 1, 2013||March 1, 2018||$1,500.00||6||March 3, May 12, July 7|
|March 1, 2018||March 1, 2022||$900.00||21||March 3, May 12, July 7|
|March 1, 2022||December 31, 2022||$300.00||9||March 3, May 12, July 7|
|January 1, 2023||$125.00||2||July 7, 2023 (one payment)|
Shares, Inc. is a private nonprofit agency that has been supporting individuals with disabilities to live, work and be a part of their respective communities for over 45 years. Our mission is to provide services and support for people with disabilities to enhance their successful inclusion in the community. Throughout our history we have had to navigate many challenges including changes to federal and state regulations, changes in programming and services, administration/leadership changes, and financial challenges. Through it all we have considered the needs of our staff, participants, families, and stakeholders and have continued to flourish as a nonprofit. As we move forward, we have no doubt that Shares, Inc. will continue to prosper and that those in the disability community will continue to succeed with the services and support that we will continue to offer.
Some of you may be aware there are pushes, both locally and nationally, for “Employment First” and much of that call for change is being led by people with disabilities themselves. Employment First is a national systems-change framework centered on the premise that all individuals, including those individuals with the most significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) and community life. Employment First means that employment in the general workforce should be the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities and presumes that a person with a disability can work and contribute to their community, whereas the model that has historically been used often makes those with disabilities demonstrate their readiness before seeking such employment. Employment First is focusing our public resources on providing the assistance necessary to assist those with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment, and is a road out of poverty, dependence, and isolation. Employment First is now considered a best practice in the disability field.
Many states have formally committed to the Employment First framework through official executive proclamation or formal legislative action. In 2017 Indiana signed Employment First legislation and are still in development of this new initiative. While a final determination has not been reached, we have been told to anticipate the elimination of subminimum wage rates over the course of the next 5 years. Change is always hard, but our team is preparing for whatever comes our way to ensure that the staff, participants, and stakeholders of Shares, Inc. have all the support they need. We intend to make changes slowly and methodically so we can consider the needs and desires of the participants, families, providers, and staff that will be impacted by these changes.
Moving forward, we anticipate you may notice some small changes to the services we provide and the locations in which they are provided. Our goal is to ensure the people we support meet their personal goals and become productive, contributing, equal members of society. We recognize that Employment First does not mean community employment is the only option. We know there may be some participants who don’t desire community employment at this time; however, there may be other contributions or activities that are important to them, for example, volunteerism, taking a community art class or going out to lunch with friends. We are focused on providing services to individuals in their communities to the greatest degree possible, rather than separated from it.
As we transition to this new service framework, the first changes you may notice will be the completion of Positive Personal Profiles with our participants and staff. This will assist Shares, Inc. in getting to know everyone on a more person-centered level. We will also be hosting some townhall-style listening sessions seeking insight from staff, families, stakeholders, and other service providers about their needs and desires for Shares, Inc. services in the future. Finally, we will be exploring providing instruction in smaller groups and incorporating all program participants regardless of funding source.
Again, we are confident that Shares, Inc. will continue to thrive as a public service agency and lead in the field of disability services for many more years to come. We are committed to transparency and value the feedback of all stakeholders as we work toward this realignment with our mission and build new meaningful, intentional activities for our participants.
Please take a minute to provide us with some initial feedback through this link. Be on the lookout for future opportunities to provide additional feedback!