Agency to take up Career Development Center services

The same type of vocational opportunities for adults with disabilities provided by the Career Development Center are planned to be continued after Iowa Valley Community College District ends its involvement June 30.

REM Iowa Developmental Services of Hiawatha, reached an agreement with Marshall County to take over the program beginning July 1.

The agreement was approved by the board of supervisors during a meeting Tuesday.

Iowa Valley decided to discontinue its involvement since so much of the services were in need of Medicaid funds, which the district is not able to receive.

REM Iowa, which also provides residential services in the area, will be paid primarily through Medicaid billing.

“We have been very impressed with the outpouring of support and the commitment from Marshalltown and the families seeking services,” said Sara Drish, director of vocational services for REM Iowa.

The agency is in discussions to try to maintain the same facility the CDC currently uses at 21 S. Second Ave. in Marshalltown. REM staff feel the same facility will help as operation of the program changes hands.

“It’s important to us that there’s a smooth transition for these individuals and that their needs and desires are met,” Drish said.

When Iowa Valley announced its decision, it left plenty of parents with uneasiness as to the future of the program, which provides daily activities and jobs for adults with disabilities. That future is now on more solid footing.

“We just want to meet a need that’s here in this community,” said Lisa Pakkebier, executive director of REM.

The supervisors were receptive to REM and optimistic that this will help fill the gap.

“Everybody I’ve spoked to have spoke very highly of the change so far, and its seems to be going pretty smoothly,” said Dave Thompson, chair of the supervisors.

In other supervisors action, a renewal of a six month lease was approved for the office of the Central Iowa Recovery Program located in the Masonic Temple Building. The lease is for $225 a month.