Dwayne Ross provides On site Human Service Staff Development Training, Youth Development, Online Marketing and MLM information reviews, training & suggestions.
Have you seen the ads for Casinos? Well today I am sitting in one of the locations that may be transformed into a casino. Yes, America I’m here in the wonderful Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort in Flint-stone Maryland. The trees are a symphony of colors from the palest greens to the most robust reds and oranges you can imagine and it’s not as pretty as it was last year according to another traveler. I’m here to learn and improve the lives of those who are considered “disabled.”
As I looked over the workshop offerings I was drawn to the title; “Better Employment Outcomes through School Partnerships. The word “Partnerships” jumped off the page. I was able to see exactly how we all can help each other if we would just form partnerships and share information. Most of us in the field are “Lone Rangers” moving in and out of policy changes hoping to survive and make a difference in the lives of those we support.
I had a chance to meet some very interesting people here on day One and I expect tomorrow the magic will begin since there were no workshops, just a cool reception, some meet and greet events and info sharing on a more grass roots level.
While in the lobby I asked a passerby if they would mind taking my camera and snapping a quick picture in this wonderful lobby area. Here’s the picture that was taken.
Afterwards however, I was sitting using the computer when the person who had taken my picture came back by and asked me a few questions regarding what I was doing here etc. Come to find out we had something in common… we both had worked our way up to being Directors and we both were attempting top gain insight into where the state wants us to go with regards to employment first. As I shared I was reminded of the difficulty many organizations are facing with those who are more difficult to support, with the most challenging needs for support under the policies of employment first. It was an enlightening exchange of ideas. Two emerging thoughts came to surface.
1) Staff are still playing in the comfort zone and collaboration and partnerships are after thoughts versus primary engines to fuel the change we are expecting in employment
2) Some agencies are engaged in helping the persons who are more able to work than the people who have more challenging needs. They are looking for solutions.
As the conversation continued, I shared my thoughts about one possible way to engage this population of challenging supports and I likened it as to helping people as if we were a third world country where there is little to no support for those with major difficulty to employment. The people are doing what-ever-it takes to participate in creating an income. they are not always looking for a job but they are engaged in micro -enterprise.
They make pottery pots, twist things from plants into baskets, work a loom to make scarves or other clothing items. even if they are using one finger and barely have use of their sight they are working together, they are in partnership with someone and the produce something that can be marketed to the masses.
As I have stated before, everyone can do something… we just need to explore. We need to discover exactly what skill the person has because every single person was born into this world with something… some little ability that can be engaged to make their lives better. As the conversation continued I invited the person into further exploration with the hopes of finding or discovering ideas that can make us all more successful as we strive to make life better for those we support. I believe we need more conversations. We need to share more… There’s an old concept that has become loss in today’s face paced world. It’s the Village concept. We need to rediscover the village.
The elders need to return and share their thoughts and strategies and with this village concept we can create partnerships that make sense and impact the world in a more passionate, creative and purposeful way.
I hung out at Annie’s Art Gallery with Dr. Dula and this was his strategy. let’s bring the village concept back. We need to Kings, Queens, elders and everyone to come togher and share ideas again. It happens here and there but today more than ever we need it to be the model. We need each other whether we want to beleive this or not. We can do more if we just begin to work together. By the way, while I was here i had a chance to walk the beautifl lake and resort. I’m not sure who wins when you change a resort into a casino. Yes it will create jobs but are these the types of jobs we want to produce when we know families will be broken, salaries will be wasted and some lives will be totally destroyed. Well in the village the elders would have had the last word and today it may mean taking a time out.
If you want to come to the Resort or a resort like this make a reservation or perhaps you want to take an all inclusive vacation to this resort… Click here… and Go for it!