Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber RULH NHS welcomes new inductees K-9 Units and handlers visit RULH High School EMS members honored for service Road work on Ripley streets to begin Russell K Wolfer SHAC recognizes volleyball all-stars SHAC cross country all-stars take home awards Eastern girls finish runner-up in SHAC golf standings Week 10 football roundup Kathleen J Bright Sister Marjean Clement Veterans Service Office Moves RULH MS students hold first Science Club meeting Bald Eagles spotted 2017 Celebration of Lights being planned Carlos L Beck Georgetown XC teams qualify for regional championship meet Warriors advance to Div. II Regional Meet Lady Rockets reach end to successful volleyball season Week nine football roundup Lady Warriors regional bound Amy J Caudill Bertha Lindsey Bobby S Conley Ripley Council considers insurance changes, will be making repairs on Rankin Hill Road PRC Walk for Life raises $4,600 Mary E Hahn Gary R Cornette Week 8 football roundup Notable soccer season reaches end for G-Men Lady Broncos are SBAAC American Division XC champs SHAC XC title goes to Lady Warriors Arthur Smith Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Ripley FFA off to a busy start this year Ripley River Village Christmas adds new events Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Prints available of Eagle Creek Bridge, by local artist Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Ripley McDonalds robbed overnight Familiar pizzeria in Ripley has new owners Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia Broncos buck Clinton-Massie, Goshen James H Boyd Warren A Stanley Jane R Ernst Darrell F Anderson James W Ball Jr June R Paul Robert Kattine Tony W Ratliff Carroll G Boothby Ripley Council addresses roof replacement and paving projects Beasley Farm to remain agricultural forever Janet R Whitt Jacqualine Attinger L Mae Spencer

‘Making their future better’

Four employees of Grow Inc. stand in front of the organization’s greenhouse with staff worker Kathy Violette. From left, Bennie, Eddie, Violette, Tommy and Charlie.

Grow Inc., located at 9116 Hamer Road, completes jobs including gardening, mowing lawns, automotive work, cleaning and other repairs.

GEORGETOWN — You may not always see them around the community, but there is a group of people earning a living behind the scenes.

The employees of Grow Inc. are proud of their work. Housed at the Brown County Habilitation Center on Hamer Road, Grow Inc. employees construct plaques, carve wooden benches and chairs, work in a greenhouse and mow grass and do gardening work around Brown County.

They also have contracts with the Ohio Department of Transportation in Highland and Brown counties, working janitorial duties and landscaping, and bagging tools with Stanley Tools. They also do car washes, inside and out.

The 30-or-so employees, working with a workshop staff, are able to provide a living for themselves that they may not otherwise have outside of the workshop.

“I like the place, I like the individuals, I like the staff, and it’s a good place to come to work and hang out and get your stress out,” said Eddie. “I like to work and make money, too.”

According to its website, Grow Inc. is a nonprofit adult workshop employing citizens with developmental disabilities.

Its mission statement states the organization’s goal is to “create and maintain a business that provides high quality service and products to customers, while providing comprehensive training, career growth, job placements and other vocational opportunities for individuals with disabilities and workers with disadvantages, to improve the quality of their personal life and occupational abilities.”

Syl Flores, of Future Without Poverty, a nonprofit organization focused on helping the involuntary poor and providing them with jobs and economic opportunities, hired Grow Inc. to work on the Ripley community garden and to create plaques for his organization.

“The first time I came in here, I really fell in love with the people,” Flores said. “Whenever I see a spot that we can use some help, I go here, to Grow Inc., and team up with them. These guys really appreciate whatever they get. They take pride in it. It’s really impressive. I’m really proud of them.”

“I would recommend this place to anybody. If anybody’s looking for a job, this is the place to be,” said Bennie, an employee.

All four of the employees interviewed live on their own, either alone or with a sibling or girlfriend. But when they come to work during the week, the employees get to be with a “family” of their own.

“This is my family. I don’t have much family (left), and this is my family,” Bennie said. “These guys are like brothers to me.”

“What I’ve noticed is that no one looks down on each other,” Flores said. “It’s just wonderful.”

Flores, the employees, and Kathy Violette, a staff worker in the workshop, all hope that the employees’ increased visibility working out in the community would help bring more attention to the workshop, either to bring more workers or bring more work to those already there.

“I would like the community to take a look and see if there might by something they need that can be done by one of these guys or the other people here,” Flores said. “I was unaware of this place until I happened to be looking for a place to make plaques. That’s really my hope, that people will take a look.’

“These guys are all about making their future better,” Violette said.

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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