Employment, training services for disabled face cloudy future

CHIPPEWA FALLS — Beven Hartfield has worked at Chippewa River Industries since February and said she enjoys her job at the Chippewa Falls site.

"It's hands-on, and there's a lot of help, and that's what I like about it," Hartfield said. "They teach us job skills, people skills (and) how to act, so it's a good thing."

For months the future of such facilities as CRI, REACH and the L.E. Phillips Career Development Center, which provide employment and training services to people with disabilities, has been up in the air. Some proponents of those businesses worry about how new federal regulations may affect funding.

A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, ruling regarding those businesses, known as sheltered workshops, garnered attention in January when CMS issued instructions on how to comply with new funding rules. The federal agency gave states five years to develop transition plans for compliance.

Read the full story here.

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