LICCO Inc. recently received a $30,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.
Since 1973, LICCO Inc. has supported Licking County residents with developmental disabilities. As staff members plan for the future of the agency, their efforts will get a jump start, thanks to a recent grant from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.
LICCO, located in Heath, received a $30,000 Building Innovative Service Models grant. Hopewell Industries, in Coshocton, and Muskingum Starlight Industries, in Zanesville, also received similar grants, bringing $90,000 to the network of provider agencies.
Although LICCO, which became an independent provider agency in 2014, was originally created to serve exclusively as a workshop setting for adults with disabilities, changes in the DD system in the last several decades have shifted the focus and variety of services provided.
Although there will always be a place for longtime participants of LICCO, who are most comfortable in a traditional setting, the agency needs to evaluate the needs of current and future generations and their interests in being active and employed in their community, said CEO Mary Thompson-Hufford.
LICCO has already utilized a $12,000 community engagement resources grant from the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities, which will be used to fund the creation of two customer guide positions. These guides will work to establish a network of local businesses so individuals can explore new employment and volunteer opportunities.
The next step will be to open a LICCO hub in Licking County sometime this year, which will give people a more inclusive setting to pursue their outcomes, Thompson-Hufford said.
The funding from the Building Innovative Service Models grant will help strengthen their strategic planning process for the project, she said
“This $30,000 is an absolute blessing for the organization,” she said.
Since LICCO, Hopewell Industries and Muskingum Industries each received grant funding, their entire network is eligible for additional training and technical assistance.
While each agency will have its own plan in place, the technical assistance will allow the three entities to come together and share information, Thompson-Hufford said.
“There is a great desire to collaborate more and share more of our best practices and creative ideas to help people connect,” she said. “This will help us share strategies in Coshocton, Licking and Muskingum counties to create better, more consistent methods of collaborating and sharing our best practices.”
The technical assistance will go beyond the agencies’ leadership and will be available to board members and direct support professionals.
“Every single layer of our organization is receiving this technical assistance,” Thompson-Hufford said. “We can’t get it done with just the leadership. It really takes everyone believing in the same mission and vision to get things accomplished.”
LICCO Inc. is a non-profit organization created to support individuals with developmental disabilities. The agency is a community partner of the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities and individuals who receive services there are supported by local tax levy dollars. For more information about LICCO or the services they provide, go to https://sites.google.com/a/hopewellindustries.org/licco-inc/home.