Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month – The Pike County Sheltered Workshop
Tom Thompson, Director, The Pike Shop
The Pike County Sheltered Workshop, more commonly known as The Pike Shop, was incorporated in 1967 and became a 501(c)(3) not-for profit corporation in January 1968.
The Pike Shop began as a satellite of the Hannibal workshop in early 1967, but quickly established its own identity.
The mission of the Pike Shop is to provide meaningful employment to individuals with developmental disabilities who otherwise would have a hard time gaining employment in a competitive marketplace.
Over the years, The Pike Shop has contracted numerous jobs from companies all around the globe. Currently, team members are assembling Garden Patch Kits for a company out of Florida, sorting bolts for a company out of China and building corner posts for a local manufacturer.
While these jobs keep the employees busy, the bread and butter of the Pike Shop has become recycling.
Dennis Helm, former Pike Shop Manager, introduced the concept of recycling to the Pike Shop Board of Directors nearly 18 years ago. His innovative ideas were enough to gain the backing he needed from the Board and a recycling center was born.
This center, which was housed in the same building as their assembly lines, created more jobs for local individuals needing gainful employment.
Today, The Pike Shop sends over 40,000 pounds of cardboard every other week to mills in Arkansas, 15,000 pounds of paper, 1,200 pounds of soda bottles, 1,500 pounds of aluminum cans, 7,000 pounds of food cans, and 5,000 pounds of clothes.
In October 2011 The Pike Shop began a curbside recycling program in an attempt to collect more recyclables and divert would-be waste from entering our local landfill.
A grant from the Mark Twain Solid Waste Management District and the Department of Natural Resources provided enough funding to secure the equipment needed to start the program.
It is the goal of the Pike Shop to eventually expand this service to all towns in Pike County.
The Pike Shop also operates a re-sale shop in Bowling Green. The Pike Re-Sale Shop is located on the East side of the square just across from the Court House.
The re-sale shop has a variety of items with everything from books and toys, to furniture and appliances. The items that are for sale all have been donated from people in our community, with pick up services provided for larger items.
If you can’t find what you are looking for today, check tomorrow! Items are rotated regularly and new items are donated everyday.
The Pike Shop and Pike Re-Sale Shop currently employ 40 team members with some sort of developmental disability or another.
The work that they perform is critical to the survival of the recycling program and other contracted jobs.
Team members work hard and diligently to complete the tasks at hand, and are rewarded every other Friday with a paycheck. Our team members take a lot of pride from working five days a week and getting the job done.
The rest of this story is available in this week’s edition of the Bowling Green Times.
Alan Cantley has been a Pike Shop employee for over 30 years.