Greene, Inc. expansion focuses on community employment

XENIA — Greene, Inc., which provides a full range of services to adult individuals with developmental disabilities, is changing the way it delivers employment-related supports for clients.

“Beginning with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ changes to how they fund individuals with developmental disabilities, we explored new and different ways for Greene, Inc. to continue and strengthen adult day, programming, and employment services for our individuals and their families,” said Greene, Inc. board chairman John Finlay. “Embracing these changes, we’ve been collaborating with Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) and the Greene County Board of Developmental Disabilities (GCBDD) to chart our best path forward.”

In response to changes to Medicaid funding which now focuses on community employment, the Greene, Inc. board approved the launch of a new division within Greene, Inc. focused on workforce development.

“We need to focus our efforts on community employment for those who wish to work,” said Dennis Rhodes, Greene, Inc. CEO. “We’ve already begun working with our individuals and their families to provide them with the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions and pursue their employment goals.”

According to a press release, Greene, Inc.’s leadership is embracing the changes — although it will need to close its commercial services division.

“Greene, Inc. has been an innovator for more than 48 years. When we first launched pre-vocational services, which is comprised of our secure document destruction and commercial laundry services, they were new to the area. Over the years, they have provided incredible opportunity for our individuals to pursue work and life skills,” said Rhodes. “All change brings challenges and opportunity. We are excited for our individuals as they embark on this journey.”

Community employment is a national effort to support individuals with developmental disabilities to fully integrate into their respective communities. In support of this, DODD launched the Employment First initiative, which is a comprehensive support system for individuals and their families as well as service providers. Rhodes applauded Employment First, saying it has been a great resource for Greene, Inc. and will continue to be.

“We partner with a regional representative, Keith Banner, who has decades of experience in the field and continues to provide insight and support to our efforts,” said Rhodes. “It’s inspiring to know, as well, that Governor DeWine signed an executive order supporting this initiative as one of his first acts as governor.”

Banner, employment and community life engagement project manager for Employment First, added that Greene Inc. is part of a growing community of providers making positive changes in the way they deliver support.

“The benefits of community employment can be tremendous for people with developmental disabilities. It provides a host of opportunities to become more independent, integrate into the community, and for individuals to live their best life,” Banner said. “We’re excited to work with Greene, Inc. to bring this opportunity to families in Greene County.”

Greene Inc. Commercial Services division will continue to operate through Wednesday, July 1 while the organization works with current employees to learn what they want and how to best support those goals.

“We have a lot of work to do over the next four months,” Rhodes said. “Fortunately for all of us, we have a network of support, not only at DODD but, beginning locally, through the incredible work of the Greene County Board of Developmental Disabilities.”

Individuals with developmental disabilities begin their efforts through the GCBDD to qualify for funding, which is administered through the state and GCBDD. Greene, Inc. is a local services provider that works with GCBDD to provide needed services to qualified individuals.