Clark County Press, Neillsville, Clark Co., WI

March 10, 2010, Front Page  

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon



Clark County ADS – a hidden treasure


By Cheryl Anderegg


A set of unassuming buildings is located on Greenwood’s east side; unassuming that is, until you step inside Clark County’s Adult Development services (ADS) buildings.


The buildings were constructed in 1980 with a 40-foot addition to the north side added in 1990.  Inside, the buildings look like any other place of employment.


ADS is a community rehabilitation program providing work services to adults with disabilities.  One-third of current ADS program employees work in food services which currently has three major contracts within the county.


Approximately 125 meals per day are prepared for the division of aging Monday through Friday, which are then delivered to Loyal, Neillsville and Greenwood. The Clark County Jail also contracts ADS to supply meals for inmates 365 days per year with an average of 70 meals three times per day with as many as 123 meals three times per day.


Daycares in the surrounding areas in Clark County are also supplied with meals prepared at the Greenwood facility with approximately 400 to 450 meals per day sent out.  The food services division also makes cookies at Christmas to be included with the meals.  The cookies are also sold; the food services division baked approximately 180 dozen last year. 


Mary Hart, food services manager, said the food service program not only gives employees a skill but can also give them home skills as well.  Hart also stated individual facilities choose the menus; facilities need to follow guidelines along with routine facility inspections.


A subsidiary of the food service program looking for a new product to sell and put a number of employees to work is Clark Pizza.  Founded in 1986, it now has 100 weekly customers who receive deliveries three times per week.  Primary delivery to Clark County expanded to Wood, Marathon, Taylor, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Jackson and Trempealeau counties.  Clark Pizza also supplies schools, 4-H clubs and church groups with products for fundraisers; 18 fundraisers were held in 2009.


ADS made 40,177 pizzas last year, more than doubling production in the last 10 years.  The program produces pizzas five days per week and is monitored daily by the Department of Agriculture, said Clark Pizza sales representative Julie Wenzel.


The ADS facility also has a manufacturing look.  For the past six months, ADS was contracted to complete pallet jobs. The pallets are then used to ship counter tops.  Twenty-five different pallet sizes are made; the company requesting the pallets furnishes the supplies.  Along with the pallet area, slide screws for window assemblies are put together and pallet runners are glued together.


One of the other major production lines is the Green Woods Candle Company, which began in 2009. The candles are produced in-house and are made with 100-percent soy wax, which burns cleaner and cooler, and are longer lasing. The candles are marketed through fundraisers, retail outlets, over the counter sales and through the ADS Web site.


Right now, the company is creating 25 traditional and unique scents sold in a 6.4-ounce size and an 18 ounce Victorian-style container. They can also be purchased at the Memorial Medical Center gift shop, Wisconsin Pavilion gifts and Flavors of Life in Neillsville, House of Spirits in Loyal, Centuries on main and Tender Shots Greenhouse in Greenwood, Munson Bridge Winery in Withee, Corner Cuts in Marshfield, O-W Sports in Owen and Lad and Lassie Style Salon in Colby.


In-house production is not the end of what ADS does; ADS is also contracted to provide lawn mowing and janitorial work crews, which include a working supervisor.  Last year, ADS had five lawn-care customers and 34 janitorial customers.


The primary ADS goal is “integrated employment” to put employees into the community and not rely solely on ADS for employment.  Rehabilitation Services Manager Kevin Schillinger stated his goal is to assess the clients, work with job development, held clients fill out applications and be a job coach.  Schillinger assists individual clients to find community-based work and not just work at the ADS workshop. 


Revenue to fund ADS comes from three sources – county support, which includes Western Wisconsin Cares; proceeds from sales of products; and service and fees for work services.


ADS provides intake, case management and counseling to clients. Referrals are accepted from the division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Western Wisconsin Cares, Family Care, Ticket to Work, Clark County Community Services and other outside referral sources.  Evaluation assesses individuals’ strengths, weaknesses, aptitudes and interests and makes recommendations for an appropriate work program.


The Department of Labor/Wage and Hour Division and the Fair Labor Standards Act regulate worker pay.  Pricing of products and services must be competitive; prices generally cover raw product/supply cost, client labor and shipping.  All money ADS earns covers operating and labor costs.


The agency was chosen this year as one of 10 representatives in the “Taste of Clark County” event to be held at the Loyal American Legion in March.


ADS provides a vital and much-needed service to Clark County, a little-known secret making its way out.




Clark County Adult Developmental Services (ADS) employee Holly Sweda (above) bakes muffins for

ADS food services; while employee, Dennis Haavisto (below) constructs a pallet.