Kari Bruffett, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, spent Friday morning touring the multiple locations that comprise Rosewood Services.
Among Rosewood’s locations, she toured the Rosewood Greenhouse, Studio Arts, Industrial Kitchen, Furniture Gallery, Ranch and Winery before ending her tour at the Rosewood Wine Cellar.
Bruffett was escorted on her tour by Rosewood Services executive director Tammy Hammond.
“She seemed very interested in what we do at each of our day services locations,” said Hammond. “We were happy and honored to have her as a guest and I appreciate her taking the time to learn about our agency and to meet some of our talented people who help to make Rosewood successful.”
Bruffett was treated to a preview at Rosewood’s Horse Riding Arena, getting to watch some of the Rosewood riders and their horses practice show routines in preparation for next week’s NSBA World Horse Show in Tulsa, Okla.
During her tour, Bruffett observed Rosewood client-employees bottling wine at the Winery and staining and finishing solid-wood furniture at the Gallery for retail sale. Bruffett learned about making horse hair pottery and soaps at the Studio Arts. She even got to sample toffee, one of the new products made at the Industrial Kitchen.
Rosewood employs more than 100 people with developmental disabilities. Clients do a variant of jobs, working in nearly a dozen Rosewood locations.
“She complimented us on our efforts and stated that our entrepreneurial spirit was very strong within our programs,” said Hammond. “She liked the fact that we are employing so many people in real jobs and preparing many of them for jobs outside of Rosewood Services.”
Many of Rosewood’s clients eligible for employment also are currently employed within the community, working in industries such as food service, grocery, automotive and upholstery.
Rosewood’s community employment representation is five times greater than the average among similar community service providers in the state, said Malinda Hatfield, Rosewood Services Community Employment coordinator.