LEWISTOWN - Community Resources for Independence Inc.'s Lewistown office has expanded to 4,800 square feet, which has allowed it to add some new rooms for training, and to bring additional staff members on board.
CRI, located at 33 E. Hale St., recently took over an additional suite in its building, bringing its total space to three suites, said Shaun Hayes, attendant care regional program manager.
The company, which helps people with disabilities become fully integrated into society, serves Mifflin, Juniata, Huntingdon, Perry and Centre counties. CRI has some regional human resources managers, Hayes said, so it lends support to other counties as well.
Sentinel photo by MARJORIE?STROMBERG
Community Resources for Independence Inc.’s Lewistown office, located at 33 E. Hale St., recently expanded to 4,800 square feet. With the growth came new training rooms. An additional staff member has been added to the team, and more are expected to be hired.
Hayes said the reason for the expansion is the company's growth. CRI serves more people now and has more staff, he said.
This time last year, CRI's Lewistown office had seven office staff members, but now has 10. There are 90 direct care field workers throughout the five-county area, and about 140 people, or consumers, are served throughout those counties, Hayes said. When CRI moved to its East Hale Street location in June 2009, it served between 100 and 110 people, he said.
Hayes attributes much of the company's growth to word of mouth from both consumers and direct care workers in the field.
"We feel the location of this building provided us with the opportunity to take (CRI) out a little more," he said.
Other reasons for growth are outreach efforts and continued good working rapport with other local organizations and agencies, Hayes said.
The expansion has allowed CRI to add two new rooms, and a kitchen and bathroom for training, he explained. The new rooms will be used to train aids and direct care workers on ADLs, or activities of daily living. One of the rooms will be used to train new attendees and retrain or recertify workers on ADLs, Hayes said.
"Basically it's how we can make them better attendants," he said about the purpose of the training rooms.
The kitchen will allow attendants to be trained on cleaning thoroughly after a meal, and eventually will be used to teach consumers with mental retardation how to be more independent, Hayes said. Previously, CRI's one training room was located in the conference room.
"Now the conference room can serve a better purpose of being just a conference room," he said - and it can be used to hold for meetings for social service groups, or to hold blood drives.
Hayes said with the expansion also comes new job positions to fill.
"Continued growth always allows for employment opportunities," he said.
The company currently is interviewing people to fill open positions, which include jobs out in the field. It is looking to fill probably about another 15 positions, and the human resources department already has expanded, Hayes said.
"(The growth) allowed us to bring on an HR manager," he said.
In the future, CRI may consider opening a management of information systems department, in which a computer support specialist would be hired, Hayes said. If that plan does get put into place, the company may also think about introducing a computer resource center, located on site, that would allow the general public to access computers to search what is available to them through CRI, he said.
The mission statement of CRI is to preserve, enhance and enrich the quality of life for all people with disabilities. For more information call the Lewistown office at 248-8011.