Fresh News & Events


Spring Break Road Trip!

Woodland Parents Nursery School came by on April 25th to visit the YES! Recycling Center.  They were excited to see what happens to all those empty cans and bottles they collected for recycling! 


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YES! Celebrates 50 Years!

By Martin J. Grosso

Come this April of 2018, Yolo Employment Services (YES!) will be celebrating 50 years of training and employing people with developmental disabilities. Over the past five decades the community based, non-profit program has evolved from a small activity center to Yolo County’s largest employer and job placement service for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

Known in the beginning as The Yolo County Sheltered Workshop, and then later, The Sheltered Workshop, the program was a place where people with developmental disabilities would work on arts and crafts, but solely for learning and activity purposes. Within a few years though, the program began its mission of employment by contracting with local employers for small jobs that could be produced in-house at the program’s main location. 

In the 1980s, with the help of donated equipment from V. Santoni & Co., the program became one of California’s first Recycling and Redemption Centers for glass, aluminum, and plastic beverage containers. The blue collar-customer service setting of the Recycling Center was a milestone for both the program and the community in that it not only revealed a public engaged and tended to by people with disabilities, but working people with disabilities. Soon thereafter, sensing there was a need to convey a more descriptive name, the program rebranded itself as Woodland Rehabilitation Employment Incorporated (WREI). And though most of the program’s job opportunities were still performed in the workshop environment, a significant change in the program’s scope and mission was just around the bend.

By the mid-1990s, there was the growing recognition that people with developmental disabilities could go further in their work-life than just the program’s base of operations.  They could, and rightly should have the opportunity to work in the community.  So community rehabilitation programs throughout California began approaching employers with the idea of contracting on-site work groups, and the direct hiring of individuals with developmental disabilities.  Coinciding with this new emphasis, Woodland Rehabilitation Employment Incorporated changed its name to the less wordy and more refined, Yolo Employment Services. And along with the new affirmative acronym YES!, so too began an even more positive reception from local employers.

Since that dawn of community integration of employment, hundreds of clients who have participated in the YES! program have received job training and steady work because of employers who took pioneering steps in the name of opportunity.  Employers like Walgreens Distribution Center, Truck Accessories Group, Davis Waste Removal, the Woodland Public Library, and many others will attest to the fact that widening their own scope has been beneficial to all involved.  For the YES! clients, the outcomes from community integration have produced an array of bounties ---  from personal growth and achievement to vocational and economic independence. These outcomes include, but are not limited to: learning and retaining real job skills, acquiring and fostering social skills, reducing or suspending the reliance on SSI, and inarguably the most compelling outcome of all ---- the longer and fuller life as the result of mere work.


The YES! Crews of Source Tagging and Tote Washing (pictured above) have been working Monday through Friday at Walgreens Distribution Center for nearly two decades!

 

 

 

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Learn about: Friends of the Workshop

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Click "Read More" to view our Dance Details and Pictures

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