This month’s Provider Spotlight is shining on The Larrabee Center.
The Larrabee Center is a support community living and employment services provider to individuals in the East Central Region. The organization is headquartered in Waverly and serves people in Bremer, Butler, Grundy and Black Hawk counties. Since 1989 The Larrabee Center has made it their mission “to assist persons with disabilities and the elderly to become or remain valued members of the community.” For the last 30 years the Larrabee Center has been a leading advocate and supporter of persons with disabilities and seniors, providing assistance and opportunities to individuals who may not otherwise have many, if any, options. The Larrabee Center now also provides 16 and 17 year old youth with Pre-Employment Transition Services.
The Larrabee Center’s employment services aim to help those who are unemployed or underemployed achieve greater financial independence while also providing a workforce solution that closes a gap in society. Individuals develop their work skills with the help of job coaches, case managers and additional staff who have the special skills required to serve program participants.
One of the aspects that makes The Larrabee Center unique from other employment service providers is that the organization is a facility-based program. The Larrabee Center is the parent company of Trinkets & Togs, a local thrift shop that employs local residents, as well as, persons with disabilities.
Trinkets & Togs has locations in Waverly, Grundy Center and Cedar Falls. The mission of Trinkets & Togs is to assist people with disabilities and the elderly to become and remain valued members of the community. All proceeds from Trinket & Togs’ sales support services for persons with disabilities and the elderly.
“What makes the Larrabee Center unique is that we have always had Trinkets & Togs as an added, integrated piece. We have always had employees without disabilities working with those with disabilities. Trinkets & Togs has always been there to help with the integration of our clients into the workforce.” – Jessica Gullick, Development & Community Relations at The Larrabee Center
In order to provide even better employment opportunities The Larrabee Center also partners with local organizations throughout their community. Past funders have included United Way, Pizza Ranch, and Bremer County Mutual Insurance. These partnerships allow program participants to try internships with businesses outside The Larrabee Center’s walls and help local businesses see the value of the individuals in The Larrabee Center’s employment support programs. Many times these work opportunities lead to long term employment for the intern after their internship has ended.
Another partnership that The Larrabee Center is proud of is their work with Wartburg College. Over the years The Larrabee Center has partnered with Wartburg’s dining services to create even more employment opportunities for their employment support program participants. In addition, Wartburg marketing, communications and social work students intern at the Larrabee Center and volunteer at Trinkets and Togs, as well as the Larrabee Center’s properties to get hands on experience in fields related to their degrees.
This November the valued member of the Bremer County community celebrates its’ 30th anniversary. For more information about this and other upcoming events visit their website at http://www.larrabeecenter.org/ and sign up for their E-Newsletter by clicking here.