I’m not good with free time

While he described his work experiences and philosophies, I interjected a question, “You think a lot, don’t you?”  He inhaled a bit and replied, “Yes.” Even when Robert Egley is not keeping his hands busy with work, his mind is working on ideas, concepts, plans and the next opportunity to “move things along.”

Adult with disabilities learns how to use scroll saw

Robert has lived at New Danville for several years and has worked in a variety of jobs off- and on-site. He has produced a lot of things, not the least of which are philosophies about life, work, business and time.

“I’m not good with free time,” Robert said, adding that staying busy is good for him. Over the years at New Danville, he has been very busy. He has had many jobs, both on-site and off.  He delivers mail on-site and has worked in the woodworking area as well as in production, which includes packaging a variety of food products and making beauty (spa) products. He has worked in the community at a restaurant where he was stationed next to the sanitizing water. He is very proud that the manager could trust him with chemicals such as those. He cites the restaurant job as his most fun ever, largely because he was able to be in the community working with others who enjoy work.

Of his many roles, the production of bath and body products clearly made a big impact on him. When asked what his ideal next job would be, he said, “To help build a new building, a store in town that sells products. I would call it Mind, Body, Soul.”

Quick with metaphors to help explain his perspectives and philosophies on all manner of things, he often returns to the value and purpose of work. “It is good to get people jobs…it is the stuff that makes life meaningful. Jobs here helps accomplish the line of ‘self-sustaining’ from our mission.” Robert looks forward to the day that the sound of bulldozers moving dirt at 6:30 in the morning wakes him up as they prepare the land for future buildings at New Danville. “I will look up the hill and say, ‘I want to help build that.’”

“I’ve always had that firecracker personality,” Robert said, “and I like moving things along. I want a grand thing to do.” When asked whether others would describe his personality similarity, he paused long enough to take a sip of drink before replying with a simple “Yes.”


Pallets, Pallets, Pallets!

Charbonneau Industries approached New Danville in 2019 with an idea:  hire Wranglers to assemble pallets for them. The company needs pallets for the shipping of its products in the oil and gas industry. More than 4,500 pallets later, the program has been so successful that we are looking at other opportunities to do the same.  Thank you, Charbonneau Industries!

Luke Charbonneau said, “The US Oil & Gas Industry is very generous and innovative. At Ci, we found an innovative way to spread generosity and give back to our community. We designed pallet patterns and a work plan for the New Danville team that complemented their fabulously unique capabilities. The New Danville team is part of our supply chain for those pallets. It is our responsibility to find ways to reach out and be supportive and create mutually beneficial partnerships in our communities.”

Sherry Franklin, the Direct Support Professional who oversees the pallet-making project, uses the word “exciting” many times when describing what she has seen develop since the inception of the program. The Wranglers were excited, and remain so, about being able to produce something that generates wages for them and revenue for New Danville; they are excited when a new team member is added to be trained on the processes of producing pallets – there are seven members on the crew now; and, they are excited about moving into the new building that Charbonneau Industries built on-site to increase our project capacity.

“One of the greatest things is to see the Wranglers’ feelings of independence and the confidence they gain by being part of something like this,” Franklin said.




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