KCQ has been in operation since 1984 providing vocational opportunities and assistance to individuals with disabilities out in the community. KCQ serves individuals of working age with any diagnosed disability that presents a barrier in obtaining or maintaining employment and where it is likely that services will result in positive employment outcomes. Employment is one of the hallmarks of community integration. It offers a pathway to financial independence, a socially valued identity, a sense of order to one’s life and increase interaction in their community. KCQ operates entirely out in the community helping people find jobs working independently for local employers. Additionally, KCQ also operates two work crews at businesses in Faribault and Northfield where a KCQ staff provides supervision and support for 3 and 4 individuals as they complete their work. KCQ primarily serves individuals in Rice, Steele, and Waseca Counties, but also has served individuals in Le Sueur, Scott, and Dakota Counties. The services KCQ provides includes assessing an individual's vocational skills, job placement services, job coaching services, customized employment and long-term employment supports to assist clients with maintaining employment. Please consider supporting KCQ with a donation to help us help others achieve their employment aspirations and create many more success stories like the one below.
Carolyn came to KCQ as a stay-at-home mother looking to become an active, productive member of her community while setting a good example for her children and of course the extra money was very helpful. Carolyn was quickly hired by an assisted living community and worked as a dietary aide in the dementia, end of life unit. Her employer was more than happy to work with her on the amount of work that she would feel comfortable with and allow us to come in daily to assist with training. Her employer was very supportive. Transportation was a big barrier to her initial success. Carolyn relies on public transportation so it was the bus or cab. Both options has their drawbacks and many times her ride would not show up, not wait for her to come outside, go to the wrong house or be very late. After three years, Carolyn's supervisor is now picking her up and bringing her into work leaving only the ride home to public transportation, which greatly assists in removing the transportation barrier. Working outside of the home is in Carolyn's best interest. It keeps her mind and body busy, providing positive physical and mental health, independence, community integration and positive self worth. After the referral from the State of Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services, KCQ began assisting Carolyn with searching for a job, filling out job applications, contacting employers, and practicing and preparing for interviews. Carolyn was interviewed two times by her current employer and they expressed interest in hiring her as a dietary aide. Initially Carolyn was hesitant. She had been stay at home mother for 17 years and was very nervous about being out in the workforce and she did not have much self confidence. KCQ assisted Carolyn with her training and worked daily with her to learn her new tasks. They were very complex and changing daily with the needs of the residents. Carolyn quickly learned her tasks, built confidence and gained appreciation for her independence. Carolyn is still working at her assisted living community and thrives knowing she is an essential part of their team.