Twice each month a five or six students from Jodi Titmas’ class at Lebanon High School board a bus to the former Village Rental building on state Route 63 just west of downtown Lebanon. For 90 minutes the students will engage in a multitude of woodworking tasks thanks to Skidz, a new vocational program held at this 13,000 square-foot business. Village Rental has been taken over by Residential Community Care (RCC), a small company which provides residential, vocational habilitation, day habilitation and transportation services to individuals with special needs. RCC strives to teach the necessary skills to help individuals with developmental disabilities to become as independent as they can be.

One program under the vocational habilitation umbrella is called Skidz, derived from all the skids that are dismantled and turned into a multitude of arts and crafts. “This is a good fit for my students who, when they graduate, are not going to col- lege and need work experience,” said Jodi Titmas, intervention specialist at Lebanon High. Several months ago Titmas approached RCC president Tony Mitchell about having her students gain work experience at this business, which once shared space at Kendrick Moving and Storage on state Route 48.

RCC has been in existence just more than eight years and ventured into the vocational end of things 18 months ago. Both parties saw a perfect fit. Now, Tit- mas’ students (normally five or six each trip) make the trek to RCC every other week to perform woodworking chores. There they might paint, saw, drill, hammer or remove nails and more, all under direc-
tion of Titmas and the RCC staff. “This is wonderful for my students,” Titmas said. “Here they get people-skills, woodworking instruction, learn to do measurements, learn to follow instructions and in the end it gives them self-esteem.”

Mitchell employs up to five full-time workers, with another 16 part-time employees on hand at various times. “This program is different and unique and we’re fortunate to be partnering with Jodi,” Mitchell said. Even Lebanon High teacher assistant Barb Jones sees an impact the Skidz pro gram has on the students. “The Skidz program makes the kids more enthusiastic,” Jones said. “They look forward to going there and it gets them out of their comfort zone. It’s an awesome program. The kids get to see their projects from start to completion. After 90 minutes of work they’re a bit tired.

Article from the December 2016 issue of the Lebanon Local. Read more here!