Author: Megan Kuneli

Report to the Community 2019-20

Published January 7, 2021

We’re proud to announce that Merrick, Inc.’s Report to the Community 2019-2020 is now available for your viewing pleasure and can be downloaded by clicking here. Readers will encounter the following in this year’s Report to the Community:

  • A Message from the Executive Director
  • A Summary of Our Programs
  • Volunteer, Business Partner, and Client Spotlights;
  • Merrick By the Numbers;
  • and more.

Download 2020 Report

2020 Online Auction | Ready, Set, Bid!

Published November 9, 2020

Merrick, Inc., is pleased to announce our 3rd Annual Online Auction starting Monday, November 9, 2020.

All are invited to browse and place bids on available auction items at 32Auctions.com/MerrickInc. No account is needed to browse auction items, but you will be required to create one to place a bid.

The auction will close on Thursday, November 19, at 9 pm.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of our auction items.

  • Autographed Kyle Rudolph Football
  • Autographed Matt Dumba Minnesota Wild Jersey
  • Haskell’s Wine Basket
  • Restaurant Gift Card Bundle
  • Troy Burne Golf Club Foursome & Cars
  • Wedding Day Diamonds pendants

NewTrax Wins 2020 VHEDC Community Partnership Award

Published November 5, 2020

We’re so proud of our non-profit partner, Newtrax, on receiving the 2020 Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation Community Partnership Award. Way to go, Mike Greenbaum, Scott Olson, and the rest of the Newtrax team!

Check out the article “A Different Sort of Meals on Wheels” written by the White Bear Press to learn more about the amazing things happening at NewTrax.

Direct Support Professional – Prevocational Services Enhanced

Assigned to Enhanced Services located at 3210 Labore Road in Vadnais Heights. Our Direct Support Professionals working in the vocational programs support, train, and supervise adults with intellectual disabilities who are interested in performing facility-based work contracts and/or community-based work opportunities. Specific duties include:

  • Training and supervising individuals with intellectual disabilities while they are engaged in work/vocational tasks and occasional rec/leisure activities;
  • Overseeing the work performed by the individuals to ensure that they are performing their duties in a manner that meets/exceeds business expectations;
  • Implementing a variety of person-centered planning goals and outcomes;
  • Documenting on service delivery, progress on goals, outcomes, relevant events, activities, and payroll;
  • Assisting with personal cares as needed; and
  • Driving company vehicles.

It is also important to note that this position will be working directly with individuals with disabilities who can become frustrated, noncompliant, and/or aggressive.  To best ensure the clients’ success while they are working or participating in other activities, this staff must:

  • Be sensitive to the clients’ frustrations;
  • Demonstrate proactive behavioral approaches;
  • Possess excellent behavior management skills and the ability to deal with crisis situations; and
  • Basic sign language skills are a plus.

Qualified candidates must possess the following:

  • A minimum of a high school diploma or GED. A community college AA degree, technical school degree, Human Services degree, or a four year Bachelor of Arts/Science degree is preferred;
  • A minimum of six to 12 months of work experience supporting individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities is preferred;
  • A sincere and passionate desire to work with persons with disabilities;
  • Committed to self-advocacy and person-centered planning principles;
  • Proven crisis management and de-escalation skills;
  • Basic computer and data entry skills;
  • Comfortable and respectful when assisting individuals with personal cares;
  • Ability to problem solve and work independently;
  • Meet the physical demands of the position, with or without a reasonable accommodation, including regularly standing, walking, and bending as well as assisting persons with personal cares, ambulation, etc.; and
  • Focused on the quality of work at all times.

Candidates must also pass a criminal background check, a motor vehicle record check, a DOT physical, and a drug screen.

The position is full-time (40 hours per week, M-F 7:30am – 3:30pm, is benefit eligible) with the hourly rate of pay starting at $15.09. Position includes paid time off and paid holidays.

Direct Support Professional – Day Services Alternative

Assigned to Alternative Services located at 3210 Labore Road in Vadnais Heights.

Primary Duties: A Support Service Staff is needed to provide training, support, and supervision of adults with intellectual disabilities served within our Alternative Services program.  These individuals are interested in community integration, a variety of therapies (including occupational, horticulture, art, music, and pet therapy) arts and crafts, social and recreational activities, sensory integration, and assistive technology

Specific duties include:

  • Supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities while they are engaged in social, community, therapeutic, and work activities and ensuring their safety and wellbeing;
  • Assisting the individuals with a wide range of needs related to communication, personal cares (including eating and toileting), mobility, etc.;
  • Implementing a variety of person-centered planning goals; and
  • Documenting on service delivery, progress on goals, outcomes, and relevant events.

Qualified candidates must possess the following:

  • A minimum of a high school diploma or GED. A community college AA degree, technical school degree, Human Services degree, or a four year Bachelor of Arts/Science degree is preferred;
  • A minimum of 6 to 12 months of work experience supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities;
  • A sincere and passionate desire to work with persons with intellectual disabilities;
  • Comfortable and respectful when assisting with personal cares;
  • Ability to problem solve and work independently; and
  • Proven crisis management and de-escalation skills.

Candidates must also pass a criminal background check, a motor vehicle record check, and drug screen. A DOT physical is preferred but not required.

The position is full-time (40 hours per week, M-F 7:15am – 3:15pm, is benefit eligible) with the hourly rate of pay starting at $15.09. Position includes paid time off and paid holidays.

2020 Annual Client Awards Ceremony

Published October 8, 2020

On October 1, 2020, Merrick, Inc., held our annual client awards ceremony. Though it looked significantly different this year, the event continued to be a special opportunity to recognize the contributions and achievements of clients supported by Merrick. We recorded this special occasion and uploaded it to YouTube for all the proud parents, family members, case managers, and caregivers who were unable to attend the event in-person. Please join us in congratulating these amazing individuals for their hard work and dedication.

During the ceremony, we also took a moment to recognize and remember Bobby Petersen and Leslie Polister. Both would have been celebrating their 35th year with Merrick and have been dearly missed since their passing. Stories from Merrick staff were shared in loving memory of Bobby and Leslie who touched our hearts for so many years. You can view the tributes to Bobby and Leslie by clicking here.

In this unusual year, some families observed their loved ones getting awards via FaceTime or Zoom. Other clients who are participating in remote services are receiving their awards on their doorsteps with social distancing. We have heard from one family that is planning to show the video at their own celebration. We are happy that these client successes are still being recognized and celebrated!


Governor Walz Proclaims October Disability Employment Awareness Month

Published October 1, 2020

On the 29th of September, Governor Tim Walz proclaimed October 2020 as Disability Employment Awareness Month and in doing so reaffirmed the value of individuals with disabilities in the workplace and the importance of employers who provide opportunities for work experience. You may view the proclamation for yourself by clicking here.

It is reaffirming to know that the needs and contributions of individuals with disabilities do not go unnoticed, but the fact remains that the unemployment rate of this group is double that of people without disabilities. There is still a great deal of work to be done, and that’s why we hope you will join us this October in celebrating the employers in our community who have made a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Follow Merrick, Inc., on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to watch for more posts about National Disability Employment Awareness Month or, better yet, create your own posts celebrating these amazing employers. Just be sure to include #NDEAM in your posts to help spread the word.