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Sunflower Diversified continues hiring during pandemic
sunflower-pandemic-jobs 2020
Danielle Wylot, employment skills instructor at Sunflower Diversified Services, right, supports Sarah McDonald on the job. They are filling capsules with thread paste at Sunflower’s Manufacturing Plant for Flame Engineering, La Crosse. Sunflower continues to seek employees to support clients during the pandemic.

While many businesses and non-profit agencies had to furlough employees during the pandemic, Sunflower Diversified Services continues to seek new staff members.

Sunflower, a non-profit agency, serves people with special needs in central Kansas.

“We have openings throughout our agency,” said Vicki Keffer, director of human resources. “There are full-time and part-time positions, as well as mid-time, which refers to working 31 to 37 hours a week.

“Some people want to start with a full-time, 40-hour position and others want fewer hours for a variety of reasons. We are extremely flexible and will find the right jobs for the right people during the best hours for them.”

Keffer acknowledged that some people might not think they are qualified to interact with people who have intellectual delays and disabilities. But she also noted new hires receive thorough training and have support from other staff members every step of the way.

“We ask that you have patience, a kind heart and desire to learn,” Keffer said. “Oftentimes, those with little or no experience quickly discover that our clients are just like everyone else.

“People with different abilities have hopes and dreams, and want to live life to the fullest. The opportunity to make a real difference in their lives is so rewarding.”

All employees receive training in CPR, first aid, blood-borne pathogens, sexual harassment and state and federal regulations.

“We also offer a course on how to recognize abuse, neglect and exploitation,” Keffer said. “We want everyone to know what these situations look like and that we take them very seriously.

“Extra training specific to a certain job also is provided,” she added. “We are proud of our comprehensive training regimen, which is ongoing.”

During the pandemic, Sunflower has adjusted class sizes to ensure social distancing in the training area. “We also stress proper hand washing and other protocols to prevent the virus from spreading,” Keffer commented.

A $200 bonus is paid upon completion of the initial training.

Staff positions include a “great” starting wage, along with affordable health insurance, a retirement plan, and vacation and overtime pay, Keffer outlined.

Sunflower departments/divisions include Residential Services; Day Services; Manufacturing Plant; Recycling; General Public Transportation; Retirement Services; and Community Employment.

In addition, Sunflower operates The UPS Store, Westside Market and Beautiful Minds Art Studio, all at 5523 10th St. in Great Bend, along with the Early Education Center and Incredible Years Preschool.

“We have so many opportunities for employee growth and our leadership team wants to help everyone be successful,” Keffer emphasized. “We work hard each day to ensure everything we do supports the people we serve. They are the center and the focus of everything we do here at Sunflower.”

For more information, contact Keffer by calling 620-792-1321; visit Sunflower’s Facebook page; and/or visit

Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 54th year.