Employment Solutions Division Updates

Adult Day Program Opens in Morehead

Morehead is the home of our newest adult day training program.   As part of Kentucky’s Medicaid Waiver program, ADTs provide people with intellectual and other disabilities opportunities to learn new skill in a supportive environment.  

Additional Medicaid Waiver services provided by Employment Solutions include residential, therapeutic and other community supports.

Judge Goodwine Makes Commencement Address

On August 17, 2023 Appellate Judge Pamela Goodwine gave an inspirational address to the summer graduation class of the College of Technical Education.   Judge Goodwine told of the many barriers she overcame before attaining her current position including family tragedy and serious health issues.   

The College for technical Education operates a variety of post-secondary educational programs including cosmetology, esthetics, nail tech, medical assistant and business office professional 

Fresh Approach Relocates

In August 2023 Fresh Approach moved to its new location at 1084 Whipple Court.  Fresh Approach prepares fruits and vegetables for commercial restaurants.

Fresh Approach also provides skills training and the opportunity to earn wages for people with intellectual disabilities.   

FY 23-24 Budget    

Employment Solutions’ budget exceeds $25 million for the current fiscal year—an all-time high.  Among the operations of Employment Solutions are a career college, transportation, day training, residential and a behavioral health clinic.  

From the CEO

Employment Solutions has successfully emerged from the two-year Covid pandemic.   Thanks to the quick and decisive actions of the US Congress, enormous amounts of financial assistance from the federal government helped to stave off a recession

From my perspective the greatest lesson is that strategic planning is far less useful than the ability of pivot and adapt to circumstances that are unforeseeable.  

2022 In Review & Looking forward to 2023

2022 In Review

College for Technical Education moved into new administrative offices and classrooms for Medical Assistant, Medical Message Therapy and IT Support Specialist.    These three programs are anticipated to begin in 2023.

Open a second Cosmetology School in Nicholasville and added Nail Technology and Esthetics to both Nicholasville and Winchester.

Campus Kids moved into a newly remodeled section that includes windows, staff breakroom and staff restrooms.

Opened LifePath in March.    In November LifePath received 54 referrals, 86 in December and 23 for the first 6-days of January making the total number of active patients 185.   Currently LifePath is approved for services by 9 insurance companies, plus self-pay.  

During FY 21-22 Employment Solutions generated net earnings of $2.1 million.

Reduced long-term debt by $1.3 million

Ended December with a combined balance of cash and investments of $4.2 million

Grew Adult Day Training participation from 165 on 1/1/22 to 189 on 12/31/22(15 % increase)

Grew Residential services participants from 118 on 1/1/23 to 129 on 12/31/23. (9% increase)

Added a LifeWorks Residential Services office in Morehead.

Moved the remainder of the Expressive Program operations to Centre Parkway.

Campus Kids received the highest score for its ITER-S observations

CTE received a 6-year accreditation (the highest) from COE

Our Medicaid Waiver Services received a two-year certification (the highest) from KY DDID

Things to Look Forward to in 2023

Completion of the patios for Sunnyside and Expressive Programs and a passage way between the two which will allow for more and easier staff sharing

CTE generating consistent monthly net operating earnings, opening night classes and the addition of new programs

Extend the hours of LifePath and Campus Kids into the evenings. 

Attain a financial breakeven of better for LifePath.

Attain CARF Accreditation for LifePath.

The further development of our 1165  Centre Parkway location to include a laundromat, , exotic pet store, retail liquidation outlet and restaurant.    

Relocate the Fresh Approach operation next door to the 1084 Whipple Court building.  This move will provide Fresh Approach with a new and nicer working space, cost savings for utilities and maintenance as well as  allow for more and easier staff sharing between QBox and Fresh Approach. 

Substantial increases in the rates we receive for Medicaid Waiver services.

Employment Solutions Division Updates

Home Adaptations

In August, with the help of Transitions Lift and Elevator Life Works installed an electric chair lift in one of our FHP homes in Georgetown. Dwehde Salyer, FHP shed tears of joy as she watched Alice, 76 try out the new lift! Alice has a newfound level of independence in her home now thanks to the stair lift. Alice is able to operate the lift herself to go upstairs to her room or come downstairs to joint her family whenever she wants without assistance. Alice loves to show off her lift to everyone who visits her home!

Expressive Programs Gets New Space

On January 10, 2023 the Expressive Programs Division opened its expanded space at 1165 Centre Parkway.  Expressive Programs, provides for people with disabilities, a wide range of opportunities to explore the community, make friends and learn new levels of independence. We offer a variety of diverse, enriching programs and daily educational activities, with a full schedule monthly, for a wide range of interests. Expressive Programs brings community instructors, therapists and nutritionist into our program, as well as traveling out into the community for meaningful quality social experiences every day!

Having moved out of its former space at Whipple Court, the new space of 8,000 square feet features an abundance of exterior lighting, a huge activities room with a stage, ample teaching kitchen and an extensive patio.    Together with the space Expressive Programs already occupied at Centre Parkway the combined actives space totals over 10,000 square feet.

Fresh Approach to QBox Merge Locations

With the recent sale of the 1067 Whipple Court (Fresh Approach) building, the staff, participants and the various jobs they accomplish are moving next door to 1084 Whipple Court. Our participants are people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.    The types of work that our participants engage in performs for local business include the preparation of fresh fruit and vegetables.   Accordingly, this move involves the expansion of the existing training kitchen to a commercial kitchen with space to refrigerate and prepare food for sale.   This kitchen will also prepare breakfasts and lunches for our participants.  

Cosmetology Program Opens in Nicholasville

The latest operation of the College for Technical Education opened in June 2022 on 973 South Main Street in Nicholasville, Kentucky.   Programs in this new location include: Cosmetology, Nail Tech and Esthetics.    

From the CEO

During 2022 Employment Solutions experienced the tragic as well as the joyous. With the sad passing of long time Fresh Approach Manager Walt Barbour, it was decided to sell the 1067 Whipple Court building and move the Fresh Approach operation next door to 1084 Whipple Court where it will be co-located with Q-Box.  As part of this decision the Expressive Programs division has moved in its entirety to 1165 Centre Parkway.  

Also, notable this year, was the opening of LifePath Behavioral Clinic in Lexington and a second cosmetology program in Nicholasville. 

Happily, the College for Technical Education received a 6-year reaccreditation from the Council on Occupational Education and our Medicaid Waiver operations received 2-year accreditation from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.   In both cases this is the highest level of recognition. 

Over the coming year, Employment Solutions will well-positioned to continue to grow in all areas.

Rick Christman, CEO

LifePath Ribbon Cutting

On October 13, 2022 Congressman Any Barr was the Keynote speaker for the official Ribbon Cutting of Life Path Behavioral Clinic.    Commerce Lexington kindly assisted in the organization of this event.

In the midst of the continuing decline in behavioral health providers accepting Medicaid as a payer source, LifePath as stepped up to meet that need by providing essential behavioral health and co-occurring services to those with Medicaid as a payer source across the Bluegrass through provision of both in person and telehealth services. 

LifePath will also be keenly focused of the needs for those needing out patient substance abuse counseling after discharge from expensive residential treatment programs, thus keeping them from relapsing and returning to residential treatment. 

Image: From Left: Commerce Lexington CEO Bob Quick, LFUCG Councilman Fred Brown, LifePath Director Amie Kunes, Rick Christman and Congressman Andy Barr