[nfbmi-talk] bsbp may 1 commission meeting transcripts fyi

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Tue Sep 30 16:17:44 UTC 2014








          3                        STATE OF MICHIGAN


          4               BUREAU OF SERVICES FOR BLIND PERSONS


          5                   COMMISSION FOR BLIND PERSONS


          6                              - - -


          7                 MEETING OF THURSDAY, MAY 1, 2014


          8                            9:15 a.m.


          9                 2436 Woodlake Circle, Suite 380


         10                         Okemos, Michigan


         11                              - - -


         12  PRESENT:




         14             Edward F. Rodgers, II, Director

                        Lisa Kisiel, Training Center Director

         15             Sue Luzenski, Board Secretary




         17             Lylas G. Mogk, Chairperson

                        LeeAnn Buckingham

         18             Marianne Dunn

                        Gary Gaynor

         19             Joseph E. Sibley




         21                             -  -  -






         24  REPORTED BY:  Lori Anne Penn, CSR-1315

                           33231 Grand River Avenue

         25                Farmington, Michigan  48336


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          1                                  Okemos, Michigan


          2                                  Thursday, May 1, 2014


          3                                  At 9:15 a.m.


          4                           -  -  -


          5                       DR. MOGK:  We will call this meeting to


          6       order.  I want to welcome everybody -- we're missing one,


          7       who is ill -- and all of the guests of the meeting.


          8                       I first want to just review what our


          9       mission is so everybody is clear on that.  We're


         10       appointed by the Governor to report to him and the


         11       director of the Department of Licensing and Regulation


         12       with regard to the following:  To study and review the


         13       needs of the blind community in the state; to advise the


         14       Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs concerning


         15       the coordination and administration of state programs


         16       serving the blind community; to recommend changes in


         17       state programs, statutes and policies that affect the


         18       blind community; to secure appropriate recognition of


         19       accomplishments and contributions of blind residents in


         20       the state; to monitor, evaluate, investigate and advocate


         21       programs for the betterment of blind residents in the


         22       state; to advise the Governor and the director of LARA


         23       and regulatory -- of LARA of the nature, magnitude and


         24       priorities of the challenges of blind persons in the


         25       state; and to advise the Governor and the director of


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          1       LARA on this state's policies concerning blind


          2       individuals.  So it's a big order, to the end of which we


          3       have been exploring all of these questions for almost a


          4       year and a half now and are collecting again today some


          5       valuable information from individuals from whom we have


          6       not heard before.


          7                       So we'll start by just introducing


          8       everyone so we all know who we are.  I'm Lylas Mogk, the


          9       chair of the Commission.  I'm an ophthalmologist and run


         10       a vision rehabilitation program for the Henry Ford System


         11       in Livonia and Grosse Pointe.


         12                       And let's start, Mike.


         13                       MR. HUDSON:  Michael Hudson, director of


         14       the Michigan State University Resource Center for Persons


         15       with Disabilities, honored to be a part of this, because


         16       the then Commission for the Blind made a positive impact


         17       in my life a couple decades ago.


         18                       MR. GAYNOR:  Gary Gaynor, I'm cofounder


         19       of the Visually Impaired Information Center.  We publish


         20       and distribute the Directory of Visually Impaired


         21       Services, and just very happy to be here.


         22                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  LeeAnn Buckingham, I am


         23       owner of Framer's Edge for 15 years, 7 employees, legally


         24       blind, and I also am very happy to be here.  The


         25       Commission Services has been very -- they've been very


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          1       supportive.  I'm very grateful.


          2                       MR. SIBLEY:  I'm Joe Sibley, I live in


          3       Wyoming, the Grand Rapids area.  My other -- I've been


          4       legally blind for about 16 years now.  My other hat is


          5       president of the Michigan Council of the Blind and


          6       Visually Impaired, which is the Michigan affiliate of the


          7       American Council of the Blind.  I'm also honored to be


          8       here.


          9                       MS. DUNN:  And I'm Marianne Dunn, I am a


         10       clinical psychologist from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I


         11       have twins who are blind, graduating from high school in


         12       about three weeks, and they receive services through the


         13       Bureau of Services for Blind Persons.  I'm also


         14       transition coordinator on the Board of Michigan Parents


         15       for the Visually Impaired.


         16                       MS. LUZENSKI:  I am Sue Luzenski, Bureau


         17       of Services for Blind Persons, I'm the assistant to the


         18       director and the secretary to the board.


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  My name is Ed Rodgers, and


         20       I'm the director of BSBP, have been legally blind since


         21       birth, graduate of the Michigan School for the Blind.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  Young lady in pink.


         23                       MS. STACY:  Oh, I'm sorry.  I'm Linda


         24       Stacy, I'm the driver for BSBP, and I've had the honor to


         25       drive Joseph here today.


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          1                       MR. ROSE:  Charlie Rose, Michigan


          2       Protection and Advocacy Services.


          3                       MR. PEMBLE:  Mike Pemble, Bureau of


          4       Services for Blind Persons.


          5                       MS. KISIEL:  Lisa Kisiel, Bureau of


          6       Services for Blind Persons.


          7                       MS. MACEACHERN:  I'm Lauren MacEachern,


          8       M-a-c-E-a-c-h-e-r-n, the Bureau of Services for Blind


          9       Persons.


         10                       MR. ROBERTSON:  And I'm Bob Robertson


         11       from the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons.


         12                       DR. MOGK:  Thank you, all.


         13                       The first item is the approval of the


         14       minutes from the previous meeting, which is actually the


         15       transcript from the previous meeting.  Are there any


         16       moves to approve the transcript?


         17                       MR. SIBLEY:  I would move to approve.


         18                       DR. MOGK:  Is there any discussion or any


         19       corrections, additions?  Okay.  There are none.  Do we


         20       have a second to approve the minutes?


         21                       MS. DUNN:  I second it.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  Thank you.  All right.


         23                       We are a little bit ahead of time, and


         24       Suzanne Howell is not here yet, but I hesitate to start


         25       with a different presentation because she has to leave.


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          1                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Right.


          2                       DR. MOGK:  So I think we'll just cool our


          3       heels for five minutes, and hopefully she will come, and


          4       if not, then we'll do something else during that time.


          5                       MS. DUNN:  Would you like me to --


          6                 (Inaudible.)


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  Madam --


          8                       THE REPORTER:  Excuse me.  I have to hear


          9       you, so you have to all speak up.


         10                       DR. MOGK:  There are microphones up


         11       there, but not for the room.


         12                       MR. RODGERS:  Madam Chair, perhaps we


         13       could put on the record that there is back in the room


         14       for the audience the handouts that we sent to the


         15       committee this week as attachments to a couple e-mails,


         16       there is the questions and answers that the committee had


         17       asked for.  There is also such documents as the


         18       organizational chart, an outline of Mr. Robertson's


         19       duties, contracts that we're aware of, and as we get into


         20       those documents later on today, there's some comments I'd


         21       like to make explaining what those documents are in more


         22       detail.  Okay.


         23                       DR. MOGK:  Sure.


         24                       MR. RODGERS:  Thank you.


         25                       DR. MOGK:  In this five minutes, a good


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          1       idea Marianne suggested is her report on the transition


          2       conference that she attended, and none of the rest of us


          3       were able to go, so we're all interested to hear this.


          4                       MS. DUNN:  Actually, Mike Hudson was


          5       there.


          6                       MR. HUDSON:  That's all right.


          7                       MS. DUNN:  And I know some of the folks


          8       from the Bureau were also there.  Karen Wolffe was a


          9       presenter, I've also always appreciated Karen's input


         10       because she comes from a research background, and so she


         11       backs up what she says with data, which is always a good


         12       thing.  She reported on data from the National


         13       Longitudinal Transition Study, and there were several


         14       phases of this.  It started out with more than a thousand


         15       youngsters between the age, young people between the ages


         16       of 22 and 29 approximately.  They found a percentage of


         17       41.5 employed, about half-and-half part-time/full-time,


         18       in that sample, which is, from the statistics I look at


         19       for adults, slightly better than what we're doing with


         20       our adult population.


         21                       Karen has published widely in the Journal


         22       of Visual Impairment and Blindness, and a lot of her


         23       resources and her bibliography are very, very helpful if


         24       you want to know a little bit more about assisting blind


         25       individuals who become employed.  Karen Wolffe is her


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          1       name, it's spelled W-o-l-f-f-e, and she's pretty much a


          2       giant in the field, so you can just Google her.


          3                       One of the things that was associated


          4       with employment over and over and over again were the


          5       opportunities early on in a young blind person's life to


          6       have the experience of having a job, the responsibilities


          7       that go with that, that was the highest associated factor


          8       with having employment once they reach transition age.


          9       So employment during high school is really very, very


         10       important as a predictor of employment later in life.


         11       That goes for sighted people as well, but it's not an


         12       easy thing to accomplish for blind youngsters, it takes a


         13       lot of coordination among the young person's counselor,


         14       parents, community, and that's one of the issues I think


         15       we struggle with across the board with what we're trying


         16       to do, that piece.  We have people job ready through a


         17       lot of the services that we provide, that the Bureau


         18       provides, and then that next step of getting them into


         19       employment and developing those jobs so that there is


         20       somewhere that they can take their skills and employ


         21       them.


         22                       Let's see.  One of the findings they had


         23       that was in this day and age, young people are widely


         24       using the internet, and it's found that blind young


         25       people are doing that at a lower rate, and that that has


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          1       an impact, also, on later employment.  I think that most


          2       of that is pretty obvious in terms of why.


          3                       She was quick to point out the sort of


          4       old-fashioned way that we all have gotten first jobs, and


          5       that's to know your community and make a list of people


          6       that you know, and then look at that list and try to see


          7       employment opportunities there; that would be something


          8       that young people with their parents and their rehab


          9       counselor could do, and that's exactly how first jobs are


         10       obtained.  If a community is familiar with a young blind


         11       person, they're going to be more open to taking the risk,


         12       because I think for an employer, it often feels like a


         13       risk to employ them and give them their first job, and


         14       it's so important then for later employment.


         15                       I think this is probably our speaker.  So


         16       I will just highlight one additional resource that I


         17       thought I have not looked at yet, but sounds very


         18       promising.  Karen -- Dr. Wolffe has put together a


         19       preemployment program, employability skills program that


         20       is a checklist for social, ILS and other kinds of skills


         21       that she considers a transitions competency checklist,


         22       and it's gone through three iterations, so it's something


         23       that is an active document and I think would be a good


         24       resource.  And then she noted some of the others that I'm


         25       sure our rehab counselors are familiar with, the


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          1       government websites that list trends in employment, where


          2       people are likely to be employed most, and that those


          3       resources are also very, very good, especially for having


          4       the young people check out themselves, get online, have


          5       them check those sites out so that they're continually


          6       looking at job opportunities, and that's helping them


          7       refine where their search is going to go based on the,


          8       you know, the data that tell us where growth and


          9       employment is going to be.  So a lot of really good


         10       resources that she offered.  If anyone's interested in


         11       those, I can certainly get her bibliography pulled


         12       together and a little summary of what she reported on.


         13                       MR. GAYNOR:  I'd be interested in that.


         14                       MS. DUNN:  I don't know if I missed


         15       anything major, Mike, that you wanted to add?


         16                       MR. HUDSON:  No, I think you did a great


         17       summary.  I think it was an energizing opportunity.  If


         18       you grew up blind, a lot of this stuff felt like common


         19       sense, but it was good to hear it stated, good to see so


         20       much engagement from educators, K-12, rehab


         21       professionals, I think it's a great message, and I think


         22       she's got some really excellent ideas that will need to


         23       be studied a little deeper here.  I enjoyed it


         24       thoroughly.


         25                       DR. MOGK:  Thank you, Marianne and Mike.


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          1                       Is this Suzanne Howell who's joining us?


          2                       MS. HOWELL:  Yes, it is.


          3                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  We're looking forward


          4       to your presentation, so please come on up.  And maybe


          5       you could take a spot over on the side here so you're in


          6       front.


          7                       MS. HOWELL:  Absolutely.


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  How you doing?


          9                       MS. HOWELL:  Just fine.


         10                       DR. MOGK:  We very much appreciate your


         11       coming today.


         12                       MS. HOWELL:  I'm very happy to be here.


         13       And I thought I would start out talking a little bit


         14       about my background so I could introduce myself formally,


         15       and then would want to give you an update on MRS, kind of


         16       what we're doing, we've been through, I'm sure everybody


         17       knows quite a few transition changes, and then I would be


         18       happy to answer any questions.


         19                       So I have been in rehab for 35 years,


         20       I've been with MRS for 29, I started out as a


         21       rehabilitation counselor.  And I will tell you that I do


         22       have a visual impairment, that I had a retinal web in my


         23       eye, my left eye, lost most of my vision, which was a


         24       major transition at the time that it occurred, and I


         25       think that those kinds of experiences qualify you even


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          1       more in terms of the work.  It was very relevant to me at


          2       the time that it occurred.  I spent primarily my whole


          3       career within the Flint district office, but became a


          4       site manager, and after that, a district manager, where I


          5       was for the last eleven years until this recent promotion


          6       in February.


          7                       So since I came on board, it has -- there


          8       was no honeymoon period, to say the least.  We kind of


          9       hit the ground running because we were transitioned, of


         10       course, over to DHS, and there was a lot of work to do


         11       when I came in.  We have gone through a reorganization.


         12       There was some talk initially about positions that we


         13       would be decreasing, however, since I've come in, we


         14       worked through a reorganization, and they accepted the


         15       proposal that I submitted, so there won't be any loss of


         16       managers, manager positions, but we continue to look at


         17       ways to become more efficient.  We're also looking, too,


         18       at our processes and our procedures in terms of how we


         19       can do things in a more efficient way so that we're


         20       making sure that the checks and balances are in place.


         21       And, of course, one of the things that we're looking at


         22       is our four-step authorization process so that we can try


         23       to make sure that services are not delayed, but that the


         24       necessary checks and balances are in place so that as


         25       we're issuing those authorizations on behalf of the


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          1       customer, that we make sure that there's the necessary


          2       accountability.  So those are -- those are some of the


          3       things that we're looking.


          4                       We're also preparing in July, as I'm sure


          5       you're probably aware, RSA will be coming in to do


          6       monitoring, and so we are meeting with them, we'll be


          7       having some teleconferences with them.  We are filling


          8       positions, we have 21 counselor positions I'm happy to


          9       say that are in process and moving forward.  We have


         10       another 17 in our phase two that we'll be incurring


         11       shortly after June.  And as part of the reorg, we are


         12       going to look at adding possibly another manager,


         13       division director position at our central office.  And


         14       we're moving ahead with services.


         15                       We're, financially, I think we're about


         16       at the same place we were last year, but we are hopeful


         17       that next year we will be pulling down the entire federal


         18       match.  We're having some talk with the senate budgetary


         19       committee, and I think that there is support for that.


         20       So we're working towards that.


         21                       I will tell you that one of the things


         22       also I've been working very diligently on is really


         23       helping our staff to kind of work through this time,


         24       because last year, to say the least, was kind of a


         25       tumultuous year for us, and the field staff I think


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          1       really felt it.  So we are working -- we had our first


          2       leadership council, we're really focusing to getting back


          3       to creating an empowered culture so that we can do the


          4       business of rehab and focus on rehab solely without the


          5       distractions of the day coming into play as much as


          6       possible.


          7                       So that's kind of it in a nutshell, but I


          8       really wanted to spend time focusing on questions you


          9       might have or areas that you would like to pursue


         10       discussion more, and I'm happy to do that.


         11                       DR. MOGK:  One of the things that we're


         12       interested in is what kind of data you collect in order


         13       to support decisions that you make and how you do that.


         14                       MS. HOWELL:  Well, you know, that's a


         15       great question.  We are in the process of really looking


         16       at how we can expand our data reports so they're more


         17       customized, and one of the things we're looking at is


         18       consistently taking the national data and laying it over


         19       Michigan's data to see where we're at, but doing that


         20       more predominantly.  We have done that in the past, but


         21       it really doesn't get out to the field, and we are trying


         22       to be more transparent in getting the data out to the


         23       field to hopefully help us to be more empowered.


         24                       We're also going to be collecting more


         25       audit data.  The way I view audits is I do embrace them


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          1       as a means to help us with continuous improvement.  So


          2       one of the things we're going to be doing is tracking our


          3       audit responses, then we're taking those to the district


          4       for analyzing at a local level, and at that point we're


          5       asking the districts for feedback on, well, where are


          6       you, rate yourself in that finding in terms of do you


          7       need more training, do you need additional support,


          8       resources, so that we can be accountable, and also have


          9       some closure to the findings.


         10                       Part of the concern I think with the


         11       audits is, that we've experienced is that the findings


         12       seem to go on and on, and we need a mechanism to be able


         13       to demonstrate that we have responded and that we are


         14       taking the necessary action, and then thirdly, and most


         15       importantly, we have shown improvement in those areas,


         16       continuous improvement, or that we have addressed the


         17       issue in a way that is demonstrated and accountable for.


         18       So we are looking at AWARE and trying to expand how we


         19       utilize AWARE.  There's also another program that we're


         20       looking at, and I'm not real well acquainted with it yet.


         21       You know, coming from the baby boomer, I leave a lot of


         22       this to the younger folks who come in, and they have to


         23       sit down and go through it with me.  But there is another


         24       program we're looking at that will help us to customize


         25       our data a little bit more, and I would be more than


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          1       happy to share that information with you as I get more on


          2       board with it.


          3                       I also -- Ed and I were talking, and we


          4       really would like to see us connect more, maybe through


          5       our leadership, and to be talking more so that we can


          6       take best practices from both agencies and align them


          7       more.  I think that creates greater efficiencies.  And


          8       really in many respects, the feeling has always been that


          9       we were sister agencies, so we I think would be remiss if


         10       we didn't really work to make that more of a predominant


         11       goal; and that is a goal of mine is that we can work a


         12       little bit closer together in data sharing, in terms of


         13       practices and programs and lessons learned would be


         14       something we would be happy to share with you.


         15                       DR. MOGK:  Well, we'd be interested,


         16       also, more specifically in what pieces of data you


         17       collect.  What is in the AWARE --


         18                 (Multiple speakers.)


         19                       MR. GAYNOR:  On a given client, for


         20       instance.


         21                       MS. HOWELL:  So specifically what we're


         22       looking at is our referrals, how many referrals are


         23       coming in.  You know, order of selection has been on the


         24       radar with MRS, and we are developing a referral module


         25       for that; so what is the time when someone actually comes


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          1       in, makes an application, we get them into the system,


          2       and then what is the amount of time from orientation to


          3       eligibility, we're looking at that.  We're looking at the


          4       individual plans for employment and how those plans for


          5       employment in terms of the dollar amount work towards the


          6       goal of the employment.  For instance, how much are we


          7       spending on that customer, and is that the most efficient


          8       service delivery plan financially.  The other thing that


          9       we're looking at is how much we're spending on our


         10       placements, and the way that we are paying for placements


         11       kind of -- there's an array of ways that we pay for


         12       placement, but is that the most cost-effective.  Is it


         13       better to do an outcome-based payment where the vendor


         14       gets paid for if they place the person, or is a tiered


         15       system better.  We're looking also at how many of our


         16       customers are falling out, how many people are falling


         17       out within that 90 days.  And we have had a substantial


         18       number at one point, and so the concern I have is what


         19       support services do they need in order to make sure that


         20       we're tracking that person adequately during that 90 days


         21       rather than just putting them in a job and then we're


         22       done kind of.  You know, we want to make sure that in


         23       that 90-day period, they're getting adequate support,


         24       that we're checking in on them.


         25                       Last, I would tell you that we are


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          1       looking really closely at our third-party agreements on


          2       how we can -- you know, what is the data.  What we find


          3       in those agreements is that is where most of our


          4       innovation occurs, and we are looking to really expand


          5       those agreements where it makes sense and where the


          6       members lend themselves to.  Part of what our partners


          7       say in terms of data collection is that oftentimes they


          8       want to expand because there's a need and in a particular


          9       targeted area, like with transition or with Community


         10       Mental Health, and sometimes we don't have the ability to


         11       be as responsive as they would like.  And so we're going


         12       to work on that and try to see what we can do to share


         13       data a little quicker and to see if we can respond and


         14       get those agreements expanded, even during the fiscal


         15       year rather than in many situations we wait until the end


         16       of the year.  So those are kinds of specific things we're


         17       collecting.


         18                       And then I would tell you probably most


         19       importantly is customer satisfaction.  We are tracking


         20       that, but we're looking at some other ways of gathering


         21       information in a way at a local level so that we can


         22       compare that with statewide feedback that we're getting.


         23                       I also want to mention we are rolling out


         24       four vision statements.  They're nothing, not rocket


         25       science or nothing new, but what they will deal with is,


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          1       number one, our willingness, our desire to be the highest


          2       producing VR in the nation, customer satisfaction; we


          3       want to fortify and strengthen partnerships, both


          4       internal with the department and external partnerships;


          5       and we want to be make sure that we are creating a strong


          6       positive culture with within MRS.  So those are the kinds


          7       of vision statements; I'm going to be visiting every


          8       district to work with them, we've already started some of


          9       that.


         10                       And then we're also asking the districts


         11       to gather their own data that's customized to that


         12       location, because we know that no two district offices


         13       are alike.  So for instance, in Detroit, as we are


         14       working, and we are working with DHS to consolidate


         15       offices, that has an impact sometimes on our ability to


         16       gather information.  And so we're looking at, in your


         17       area, how does your environment and how does the county


         18       logistics in your area that you're serving, how does that


         19       impact your data.  And so we're looking at a lot of those


         20       in terms of our business, but particular to customers,


         21       those would be the areas.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  Would you give us an example


         23       of the third-party agreements, for example?


         24                       MS. HOWELL:  Sure.  We do have third-


         25       party agreements with, for instance, the Intermediate


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          1       School Districts.  Our agreements are a little bit


          2       different than yours because they cover an array, a


          3       number of students.  So, for instance, you know, with, I


          4       might say with, for instance, in the Flint area with


          5       Genesee ISD, it would cover all the schools in that area,


          6       as well as the charter schools.  We would then provide


          7       transition services to those students, we would have


          8       counselors, and we do have counselors in every county


          9       going into almost every school.  They provide an


         10       orientation with the parents and the students, and then


         11       from that, they gather information on students that are


         12       interested in MRS services, and we would begin to pull


         13       them in, utilizing that agreement and money to provide


         14       services.  Now, sometimes the agreements will allow for


         15       us to pay for what we call purchased service staff,


         16       support staff, that will work with that population


         17       specifically and with the counselor, but on behalf of


         18       that student in this case to help them to move through


         19       the program.  And then by the time the student gets done


         20       with school, we have got them all the way up to their


         21       plan.  After they graduate, we then implement the


         22       rehabilitation plan with them, which is in synch with


         23       their career pathways that they've gotten through the


         24       school, and then we begin to work with them on employment


         25       or college or whatever the goal would be at that time, to


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       move them towards it in terms of the next step.


          2                       MS. DUNN:  Just for clarification, the


          3       individual that you employ for the student, a little more


          4       on that position.


          5                       MS. HOWELL:  Sure.  That can come from a


          6       variety of areas, it depends on the location.  It could


          7       be a person we hire from Goodwill or from New Horizons;


          8       it could be someone from the school that the school


          9       identifies that, and there's mutual agreement that this,


         10       based on the essential functions that that person would


         11       be performing, the school might say we have a retired


         12       person that we think would be great in that capacity.  So


         13       through that agreement, we would, in concert with a


         14       community rehab organization, we would go ahead and hire


         15       that person to come in and work with the students and


         16       with that caseload of students.


         17                       MS. DUNN:  So it wouldn't necessarily be


         18       a one-on-one, but --


         19                       MS. HOWELL:  No.


         20                       MS. DUNN:  -- a mentoring kind of?


         21                       MS. HOWELL:  It could be -- well, it


         22       could be anything.  It could be also that if it's a


         23       student, we have some program support people that go into


         24       the schools and they will, before the counselor comes in,


         25       they will go in and gather all the information on that


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       student.  And so there might be, you know, we might have


          2       20 or 30 people that are being referred, and so by the


          3       time when the counselor comes in to present at that


          4       orientation to the parents, they can meet after that


          5       meeting with that program support person and go through


          6       that information quickly, so it's to really help that


          7       person move through the process.  Sometimes those


          8       program's support people also will be providing job-ready


          9       activities, they'll -- whatever it might be, or help the


         10       person to collect diagnostic medical information.  So


         11       they can do -- the array of duties is just really


         12       dependent on the need of that particular agreement and


         13       student.


         14                       MS. DUNN:  So I would imagine they are in


         15       the front lines doing work that would be hard for the


         16       counselor to --


         17                       MS. HOWELL:  Yeah.


         18                       MS. DUNN:  -- either have time for or --


         19                       MS. HOWELL:  Right.


         20                       MS. DUNN:  -- know the lay of the land as


         21       well?


         22                       MS. HOWELL:  It would be almost like the


         23       ancillary services, the supplemental services that


         24       support that program.  And a lot of times we also use our


         25       Centers for Independent Living for that as well and pull


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       them into those agreements as well.


          2                       MS. DUNN:  Thank you.


          3                       MR. GAYNOR:  Where is the funding, who is


          4       paying for that person that she was talking about, the


          5       outside, that counselor?


          6                       MS. HOWELL:  What happens in those


          7       agreements is the school will put up or the partner puts


          8       up, you know, about, say, 20 percent of the money, and


          9       then we match that through federal funding.  And so there


         10       is mutual planning, though, and agreement in the way when


         11       we sit down, we plan with that partner, so that if the


         12       partner's saying, I really think with the amount of kids


         13       we've got or customers we have coming through, we're


         14       going to need a person, then the agreement would pay for


         15       that and we would budget that into that agreement.  So


         16       that would be all done ahead of time.  We also would sit


         17       down and decide upon what the skill-set is going to be


         18       for that job, and then would do joint interviews so the


         19       partner has representation.  And because we want this as


         20       much as possible to be a win/win, but also a


         21       representation and meet both the goals of the partner and


         22       MRS.


         23                       MR. GAYNOR:  Could you explain what -- I


         24       haven't heard you use this term, but what job readiness


         25       is; and do you do your own job placement, or was that a


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       placement company that you mentioned?


          2                       MS. HOWELL:  Well, that's a great


          3       question.  And that is something the counselors -- I mean


          4       I think when I talk to counselors and they use the word


          5       job-ready, for every counselor, that definition could


          6       mean something different, you know.  But we have a status


          7       within our system that is job-ready.  And typically the


          8       way that we gauge that now is based on some training we


          9       received is that the customer needs to demonstrate that


         10       they are motivated, they're reliable and they're


         11       dependable; in other words, they're engaged and they're


         12       ready to move to work.


         13                       As far as if we do our own placement, we


         14       have a placement program that we implemented a year ago,


         15       and it's in place.  Is it used as much as I would like to


         16       see it; no.  But that's one of the things we're working


         17       on, and that was the enhancing employment outcomes that


         18       we brought in and trained staff in, and what that


         19       requires is that staff, and sometimes we have our program


         20       support staff assist us with that, where they will make


         21       calls in a region to employers, and they will ask them


         22       simply four or five questions if they're hiring.  Out of


         23       that, we have gotten appointments to go out to those


         24       employers and meet with them.  And then when we go in,


         25       it's simply to just listen to the employer.  And you see


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       a lot of counselors will say to us, well, we're not sales


          2       people.  We say, great, you're not, because in this mode,


          3       you're going to use your counseling skills, so it's a


          4       great match.  And they go in and they listen to that


          5       employer and what the employer needs are.  It may not be


          6       acquisition to hire, it may be that they need help with


          7       something else.  We had one employer that wanted more


          8       information on how to write up a job description, because


          9       the people that were doing it for him, he was paying for


         10       that, so we brought in support from our unit and we were


         11       able to help him with that at no charge.


         12                       But if it's acquisition, in some of the


         13       districts what they're doing is they're maintaining a


         14       list by county of the job-ready customers.  Now, that


         15       list is fluid, and customers come on the list and they go


         16       off the list, depending on where they're at; but at any


         17       given time, that list is shared with our placement


         18       vendors and our staff so that we can track the placement.


         19       Then in some of the districts, they're meeting monthly


         20       with the vendors to look at that list.  And a counselor


         21       might say, you know, my person's been on that list for


         22       eight months or nine months or a year, and nobody's


         23       pulled that person off, and we begin to address that


         24       specifically.  We don't want people on the list a long


         25       time, because as you can imagine, it really, really hurts


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       the confidence of the customer.


          2                       So we're trying to get more to a


          3       universal job-ready list where we share that with


          4       vendors.  And in some of the districts where we're seeing


          5       the pay-to-plays, where they -- where you pay only if the


          6       person is placed in the job, we've seen a really good


          7       return on investment in our funds.  And I'll give you an


          8       example.  At one point in one of districts, they were


          9       paying $600,000 for placement, and that was looked at,


         10       and when we began to use a pay-for-placement, what they


         11       did is the district took placement and they separated it


         12       out from any kind of job-seeking skills, so it was a


         13       standalone service so we could isolate it.  And what we


         14       found is we weren't really paying $600,000 a year to


         15       place people, we were paying for everything else.  And


         16       when we began to separate that out, the cost for


         17       placement went down considerably, it was down to I want


         18       to say about 450,000, which was a considerable savings.


         19       And then we could rationalize, well, of course the money


         20       is going to get that person ready, but the actual


         21       placement.  It also gave us the ability to address with


         22       our vendors exactly what they were doing, what does


         23       placement mean to them.  Because when you talk about


         24       job-ready, their definition sometimes isn't the same as


         25       ours either, and placement definitions aren't the same.


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       And so one of the things, too, we're looking at is trying


          2       to really refine those definitions so we're all talking


          3       the same talk, so it doesn't mean something different.


          4                       MR. HUDSON:  Can you sense any tendency


          5       towards disadvantaging the most severely disabled persons


          6       by the model of, you know, the kind of reimburse for


          7       placement, were they kind of becoming the ones I don't


          8       want to work with that person?


          9                       MS. HOWELL:  Well, you know, I have heard


         10       that, so when my counselors say that, my response is, if


         11       you think that's what's going on, help me understand what


         12       you're going to do to place that person.  And the


         13       counselors will typically say, you know what, I am going


         14       to place that person, or they'll sit down with the


         15       vendor.  And I have been in meetings with staff where


         16       they have confronted vendors in a very professional way


         17       as to why someone has been on the list so long.  And our


         18       feeling is is that it doesn't make us look credible or


         19       working with integrity if it's always about the money.


         20       We get the bottom line, but how can we tell people we're


         21       placement people, all of us, if we're letting that


         22       customer sit on a list.


         23                       And I did talk to a customer who had been


         24       on the list for a year and a half.  She was a 57 year old


         25       woman.  And she said to me, I am too old and nobody wants


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       to hire me, and that was her feeling.  And so when I


          2       brought that and presented it to the group, I will tell


          3       you that three of the vendors stepped up, and within four


          4       months, she was placed.


          5                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


          6                       MS. HOWELL:  So I think we have to -- and


          7       I use the word confront -- but we have to bring that and


          8       put it right on the table, because otherwise none of us


          9       has credibility.


         10                       MS. DUNN:  Suzanne, could you give us a


         11       breakdown of the disability groups you serve?


         12                       MS. HOWELL:  Everything but legally


         13       blind.  Everything but legally mind.


         14                       MS. DUNN:  And the percentages?  The


         15       majority are --


         16                       MS. HOWELL:  I would tell -- you know,


         17       that's a great question.  I was really surprised when I


         18       looked about two months ago, and our hearing impaired


         19       population has gone up, and I apologize, I don't have


         20       exact percentages, but I would tell you that we saw that


         21       percentage jump about almost 7 percent, which really


         22       surprised us.  We think it's because people are aging


         23       out, and we're hearing more, no pun intended, about those


         24       folks who are getting referrals from hearing aid dealers


         25       and other places.  And in some of the cases, of course,


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       they're looking for us to help them with hearing aids,


          2       which we have gone to a bulk hearing aid process, I will


          3       tell you, where we're purchasing right from the


          4       manufacturer, which is, again, another efficiency that's


          5       helping us to save money.  But I will tell you the


          6       majority is probably folks with cognitive issues, and


          7       we're seeing a large increase in autism, students with


          8       autism, and people; and, of course, physically disabled I


          9       think would probably be the third in terms of how I rank


         10       them.  But I'd be happy to get that information to you if


         11       you would like it, and we can provide that to you more


         12       specifically.


         13                       MS. DUNN:  Thank you.


         14                       MR. HUDSON:  Has mental health been a


         15       rising force there?


         16                       MS. HOWELL:  Mental health, you know, it


         17       ebbs and flows with their budget.  We're seeing some


         18       major cuts, as I'm sure you are.  We do have concerns


         19       about these agreements we have with them that serve a


         20       large number of people, but we are trying to do


         21       everything we can locally to hang on to that.


         22                       One of the things I did want to talk with


         23       Ed about in the future is proposing that we maybe have a


         24       joint meeting where we pull in our school districts, our


         25       mental healths, to really sit and talk strategically


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       about, in a time where funding is becoming more


          2       difficult, how do we come together to really effectively


          3       strategize in terms of advantaging our resources


          4       together.  I really think during times like this,


          5       sometimes we tend to pull back and everybody kind of goes


          6       underground, and I'd really like to see us do more


          7       connectivity with each other, because there may be ways


          8       that we can advantage each other to help customers in a


          9       more seemless way.


         10                       DR. MOGK:  Would you tell us a bit about


         11       your training center?


         12                       MS. HOWELL:  Michigan Career Technical


         13       Institute is in Plainwell.  One of the things -- I'm glad


         14       you asked about that.  One of the things we're doing at


         15       the direction of Director Corrigan, who's been great to


         16       work with, is exporting MCTI's services across the state.


         17       We have three initiatives we're working on right now, one


         18       I'm really excited about, and that is we are working with


         19       Michigan Works vendors, and in this case it's in Berrien


         20       County, the vendor is Connexis, and we are working --


         21       they had a CNA program with path participants from DHS,


         22       they had a very poor rate of return in terms of people


         23       that were able to stay in that program because of reading


         24       issues and literacy issues.  So MCTI's CNA trainers are


         25       the people that wrote the certification criteria.  So


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       we're partnering with Michigan Works to go in and train


          2       their trainers how to work with folks that have learning


          3       disabilities, because MCTI's return on those folks has


          4       been really good in terms of going through that program.


          5       And we're looking at this kind of as a two-prong; one,


          6       we're going to be assessing those customers that are in


          7       that program for services if they need them, and


          8       secondarily, we're trying to work to help create a


          9       stronger infrastructure and accessibility for people that


         10       have disabilities that may not be coming our direction or


         11       may not know about us.  We recognize we can't be


         12       everything to everybody, but we do think there are some


         13       things we can do with partners to teach them in terms of


         14       training the trainer so that their classes at Michigan


         15       Works are a little bit more accessible.


         16                       The second initiative is we are working


         17       with the distribution center here at Meijer's in Lansing


         18       to provide not just employees, because they have a need


         19       to hire about 200 people, but we're also working with


         20       them and one other employer initially to develop employer


         21       resource networks where we bring services on site to the


         22       employer.  So we're looking at possibly having a


         23       Department of Human Service worker, Michigan Rehab


         24       Services counselor, and possibly a Community Mental


         25       Health, maybe someone from Social Security, so that based


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       on what the employer is telling us, we can bring those


          2       services and export them into that environment at the


          3       workplace.  So for instance, we might have staff there


          4       maybe two times a week, based on the need, and they would


          5       be able to set up meetings with employees that have


          6       questions or concerns.  Some employees have concerns


          7       about family members that have mental health issues


          8       that's impacting their work, and so we're -- we would be


          9       able to come in and assist in getting that network of


         10       support set up.  It does not mean that MRS is going to


         11       open cases on people, but what it means is that we would


         12       be part of that employer resource network.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  So that the -- your funding,


         14       that is not contingent on, or is not necessarily


         15       connected to an individual case, an individual client?


         16                       MS. HOWELL:  Well, yeah, it is, because


         17       we issue authorizations on a case-by-case basis, but it's


         18       not I think similar to yours, it's a little bit different


         19       in that we're working under a funding source that is


         20       drawings from -- by caseload.  So when you say


         21       individual, we do issue individual authorizations on


         22       behalf of that customer, but we may -- I mean that's the


         23       process.  But we -- basically when we're looking at


         24       arranging programs and services, we may be looking at a


         25       larger number.  I mean we do individual, but we most of


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       the time are looking at arranging services and programs


          2       for a multitude of people rather than just one customer.


          3       Does that make sense?  It's a little different I think.


          4                       DR. MOGK:  Right.  So that the example


          5       that you just gave of going into the workplace and some


          6       employees have issues with family members with -- and the


          7       family member is not your client?


          8                       MS. HOWELL:  Right.


          9                       DR. MOGK:  Nor is the employee?


         10                       MS. HOWELL:  Right.  We would be able to


         11       sit down and consult, but it would be also with the


         12       ability to say to that person, maybe your son or daughter


         13       does need services.  So it would be almost like going in


         14       and doing a consultation as we would in any district


         15       office if someone walked if the door and had an issue or


         16       a problem, but we're trying to export it more to the


         17       employment site.


         18                       DR. MOGK:  And the funds that you can tap


         19       into to do that can be a general, not tied to a


         20       particular client or even a few clients?


         21                       MS. HOWELL:  Right.  Because at that


         22       point, it would be -- and again, I'm not too familiar


         23       with your process, but if someone walked into a district


         24       office and wanted to see a counselor because they had a


         25       family member and wanted to find out if MRS could do


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       something for them, that would be part of our role to do


          2       that, that would fall under the purview of the rehab


          3       counselor to be able to sit down and consult with that


          4       family, just as we would if we were in a school district


          5       talking on a mental health facility.  So we would spend


          6       that time helping that person to assess whether or not


          7       MRS was the best first step and whether they should come


          8       in.


          9                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


         10                       MR. SIBLEY:  Is there a structure in


         11       place if you -- maybe Ed can chime in on this, too -- if


         12       we have a consumer who is blind, but also has other


         13       disabilities which would be better served by MRS, is


         14       there a structure in place where they could receive


         15       services from both agencies, or does it have to be one or


         16       the other?


         17                       MS. HOWELL:  You know, my understanding


         18       would be that we would probably want to work together to


         19       be able to serve that person.  I think what we would do


         20       is to sit down and separate out, you know, if it was a


         21       legally, the person was legally blind versus the other


         22       disabilities, and then what part and role MRS would play


         23       and what part and role the Blind Services would play.  I


         24       think we'd have to look at that and make sure that we


         25       were working in concert so that there wasn't duplication


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          1       of services, but certainly I would want to make sure that


          2       we were taking a strong look at that, and my feeling


          3       would be that on behalf of the customer, we should be


          4       able to do that.  And if we were not able to do that for


          5       whatever reason -- I know in the past we have worked with


          6       our business network unit and with Veterans, Veterans


          7       has, you know, played their role and provided services


          8       and we played ours, so I wouldn't think it would be any


          9       different with BSBP as well.


         10                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  I have a question.


         11                       MS. HOWELL:  Sure.


         12                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  How would you share the


         13       information for each client from BSBP in your


         14       organization?


         15                       MS. HOWELL:  So if we worked jointly?


         16                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Yes.


         17                       MS. HOWELL:  I think we would have to


         18       have the counselors meeting, talking, and working closely


         19       together as a team, you know, so that there was a high


         20       degree of connectivity and communication.


         21                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  With actual records,


         22       would you be able to --


         23                       MS. HOWELL:  I would assume so.  If


         24       releases are signed --


         25                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Yes.


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          1                       MS. HOWELL:  -- I would think there would


          2       be no problem with that, absolutely, yeah.


          3                       DR. MOGK:  We could probably go on much


          4       longer, but unfortunately we only have --


          5                       MR. GAYNOR:  Can I sneak one more in?


          6                       DR. MOGK:  Yes, quickly.


          7                       MR. GAYNOR:  How would a new client find


          8       you?  Who refers people to you, and do you have a public


          9       awareness type thing set up?


         10                       MS. HOWELL:  You know, that's a great


         11       question.  I will tell you personally, I wish that we


         12       could put billboards up on 69 or wherever, 96, or we


         13       could do, you know, commercials, but, you know, we can't


         14       really do that.  So we do get a lot of referrals from


         15       Michigan Works, Community Mental Health, the schools,


         16       people learn about us in a variety of ways.  But the


         17       concern I have is that I don't -- I think sometimes when


         18       I hear stories, that someone will say, you wouldn't


         19       believe what I've been through and I never knew about you


         20       guys, and it just, it's a frustration for me.  So the


         21       only way I know to get by that is that we just keep


         22       talking to people, we talk.


         23                       I mean I, you know -- I'll just tell you


         24       a little story.  I was shopping at Target stores and I


         25       was in line and there was a gal at the cash register and


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       she was having a terrible time doing her job because she


          2       had a physical impairment, and but she was trying.  And


          3       so I waited until she was open and I said, you know, are


          4       you -- do you have anybody helping you -- because Target


          5       does real great peer support, I've done some programs


          6       with them -- and she said no, and I don't want to make a


          7       big deal out of this because, she said, I don't want to


          8       lose the job, and I said, absolutely.  I said, look,


          9       here's my card, just give me a call if you get a chance.


         10       Well, two weeks later she called and she said she had


         11       gone all the way through school, even though we're in the


         12       schools, she was not part of special ed, and never was


         13       referred, we never knew about her.  So with regards to


         14       students that have physical impairments, sometimes they


         15       slip through the, you know.  So we begin to work with


         16       her, we put some accommodate -- very simple


         17       accommodations in place, and she's working.  So that's


         18       the kind of thing I think we have to continue to battle.


         19       But that's why I think the transparency and connectivity


         20       and communication with all of us is so important, so that


         21       if you're out, we all become billboards for each other,


         22       if I can refer to it that way.


         23                       MR. GAYNOR:  Thank you.


         24                       DR. MOGK:  Thank you very much.  And


         25       would you please leave us your card --


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          1                       MS. HOWELL:  I will, I'd be happy to.


          2                       DR. MOGK:  -- so if we have further


          3       questions?


          4                       MS. HOWELL:  And it's very timely because


          5       I just got them two days ago.


          6                       MR. GAYNOR:  The new cards.


          7                       MS. HOWELL:  The new cards, right.  Thank


          8       you very much.  And I do want to express my appreciation


          9       to Ed and all of you for allowing me to come in and share


         10       some of my ideas.  I really look forward and hopefully


         11       that we can work very closely together in the future.


         12                       BOARD MEMBERS:  Thank you.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  Next up is Rob


         14       Robertson.  Thank you, also, for coming.  And we asked


         15       you to come because we saw your name on the flow chart


         16       and thought, who is that and what does he do.


         17                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Trying to keep hidden.


         18                       MR. HUDSON:  Too late.


         19                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Okay.  Well, I'll give a


         20       little background, too.  I was interested to hear that


         21       Sue Howell has 35 years in rehab, because that's what I


         22       have, and we both started at MRS, so we must have gotten


         23       hired about the same time, but I didn't know her back


         24       then because I worked in the Lansing area.  But I worked


         25       at the MRS Lansing office as a counselor for about seven


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       years, then went over to the Workers' Comp Bureau, and


          2       our job there was to make sure that injured workers were


          3       getting the services that they needed from the private


          4       sector rehabilitation companies.  Then we got a new


          5       governor, and somebody made the decision that they didn't


          6       need a rehabilitation unit in the Workers' Comp Bureau


          7       any longer, so I ended up getting moved over to the


          8       Commission for the Blind, and I've been there ever since.


          9       I was a counselor for about three years, and then an


         10       opening came up in the central office, and I got that,


         11       and that's where I've been since.


         12                       Currently I wear a number of hats.  I


         13       think you all saw the sheet that was put together.  But


         14       primarily, most of the time is spent in two areas.  One


         15       is being the H.R. manager and the liaison to the


         16       department's Office of Human Resources, and that involves


         17       all H.R. matters, you know, the creation of positions,


         18       filling positions, disciplinary action, transfers, and


         19       whatever you can think of that has to do with H.R.


         20       People come to me within the agency, and then I work with


         21       our H.R. office to make sure that we're doing what we


         22       need to do to make things happen.


         23                       The other part, the main hat that I wear


         24       is the training coordinator, and that can be identifying


         25       training opportunities for staff, a lot of times it


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          1       involves coordinating large trainings, getting the people


          2       signed up and, you know, doing the arrangements for that,


          3       can be identifying training needs, just anything having


          4       to do with our staff development comes through me.


          5                       I'm also facilitator for the Agency's


          6       safety team, and this is an internal committee that is


          7       involved in a number of issues regarding employee safety.


          8       Most recent, we're purchasing some AEDs, two for the


          9       Training Center and one for the central office, just to


         10       have in case we need those.


         11                       MS. DUNN:  AED?


         12                       MR. ROBERTSON:  AED is an automated


         13       external defibrillator.  And we'll be providing training


         14       for staff, or actually the Red Cross will be providing


         15       training for staff on how to use those.


         16                       I do administrative reviews when


         17       necessary.  Most of those come out of the Business


         18       Enterprise Program, but occasionally one comes out of


         19       Vocational Rehab Program.  And that's basically the first


         20       step in the hearing process, it's an informal meeting.  I


         21       have no authority in there, I'm not an arbitrator or


         22       anything like that, I can't issue a ruling, but it's


         23       primarily to get the sides together and hopefully resolve


         24       it before it gets to a hearing.  Sometimes it works and


         25       sometimes it doesn't, but that is the first step.


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          1                       Also, we do case reviews is one of my


          2       hats.  And that's where I will look at specific cases, VR


          3       cases primarily, and just take a look and make sure that


          4       counselors are doing what they're supposed to in terms of


          5       eligibility and plan development and case management,


          6       those types of issues.


          7                       And then I also do whatever else the


          8       director asks me to do.  So that's primarily the outline


          9       of what I do.  So it covers a lot of areas, and depending


         10       on the day, it can be one thing is focused on or a lot of


         11       things going on at once.


         12                       So if anybody has any questions, I'd be


         13       glad to --


         14                       DR. MOGK:  Two of the areas you mentioned


         15       I appreciate you elaborating on, one is the trainings.


         16       We've been interested in the continuing education of


         17       staff and wondered what your array of options are you're


         18       providing to the staff.


         19                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Well, we've always had


         20       the belief that training is an ongoing thing.  I mean


         21       it's not something we do and then we say, okay, we've


         22       completed that, we're done now.  It's -- we're always


         23       looking to get better and, for instance, in job


         24       placement, that's a big area for our counselors.  We want


         25       them to be the best that they can be at doing job


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          1       placement.  And so if we send somebody to a placement


          2       program, we don't say, okay, they've completed that, they


          3       know everything there is to know about job placement.


          4       But we look at different areas, and these areas are


          5       identified in a variety of ways.  The managers may say,


          6       hey, we need training in whatever, or the counselor will


          7       come to their manager or they may contact me and say, you


          8       know, I could really use some training in this area, or I


          9       saw a training program next month in Detroit on this


         10       topic, I'd like to go.  Every once in a while we will do


         11       a, it's not real formal, but a more formalized training


         12       needs assessment for our staff.  We'll ask them, send out


         13       a little questionnaire saying, you know, what areas do


         14       you think we need or what do you need.


         15                       For instance, over the last year we've


         16       done a training program on social media.  Counselors,


         17       teachers, managers attended that.  It was, a presentation


         18       was made by the staff from the Region 5 TACE Center at


         19       Southern Illinois University, and the topic was to teach


         20       clients how to use social media in general, but primarily


         21       for job placement.  MARO, which is an organization in


         22       Lansing, along with the TACE Center out of SIU, have


         23       provided a very good employment training.  It's limited


         24       to just a handful of people each year because it's six


         25       days over a three-month period, and it's rather intense.


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          1       So we have, I think we sent seven people last year, and I


          2       think we've got five going this year, and that's been an


          3       excellent program.


          4                       DR. MOGK:  What does it include, the MORO


          5       training, what sorts of things?


          6                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I'm not sure of all the


          7       details, to tell you the truth, but it's basically


          8       teaching the counselors what they have to do, you know,


          9       how do you get somebody a job, what are the barriers,


         10       some best practices that they've learned, because the


         11       TACE Center, which stands for Technical Assistance and


         12       Continuing Education, is a federal program, and their job


         13       is to provide technical assistance and training to the VR


         14       agencies in Region 5, which is what we are in.  So they


         15       have information from Minnesota and Illinois and Ohio,


         16       and they bring that to this training and share the best


         17       practices there as well.


         18                       MR. GAYNOR:  How are these evaluated?


         19       You have said both, about both these programs that


         20       they're excellent programs.  Are they evaluated by your


         21       staff and you have read reviews of them, or how are you


         22       judging them?


         23                       MR. ROBERTSON:  That's based on feedback


         24       from the participants.


         25                       MR. GAYNOR:  Do you have that in writing,


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          1       or is that something verbal or what?


          2                       MR. ROBERTSON:  It's verbal.  I'm


          3       guessing the TACE Center -- I'm trying to think.  I


          4       believe the TACE Center did share their written


          5       evaluation of the first one with us, now that I think


          6       about it, because I'm sure they collect written


          7       evaluations because it's required under their grant.  But


          8       most of the feedback that I get is in talking to people


          9       who attended and then later on talking to the managers


         10       saying, hey, we noticed a difference, has this training


         11       made a difference, and you hope it does.


         12                       MR. SIBLEY:  Do you require staff to


         13       attend these trainings, or do you just give it to them as


         14       an option, or both?


         15                       MR. ROBERTSON:  For things like that,


         16       it's optional, unless a manager makes it mandatory.  I


         17       mean I don't make it mandatory, and the Agency doesn't


         18       say you have to go to this, but if an individual is told


         19       by his or her manager that, hey, you know, I think you


         20       need to go to this, then yeah, it becomes mandatory.  But


         21       primarily it's people who have expressed an interest in


         22       wanting to attend and have let -- has let that interest


         23       be known to us.


         24                       MR. GAYNOR:  Would you able to supply us


         25       for the last year what training has been and who


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          1       attended?


          2                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I would have that


          3       information, yes.


          4                       MR. GAYNOR:  Could we get that, please,


          5       or you can discuss it with whoever you have to discuss it


          6       with?


          7                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Yeah.  The information is


          8       there.


          9                       MR. GAYNOR:  Right.


         10                       MR. ROBERTSON:  And yeah, I can, I think


         11       I can provide that.


         12                       MR. GAYNOR:  Thank you.


         13                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I'll have to check and


         14       make sure.


         15                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  How long is the


         16       training?


         17                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Which one?


         18                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Either of them.  Are


         19       they a week long, it varies?


         20                       MR. ROBERTSON:  It varies.  You know,


         21       some programs are one day.


         22                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Okay.


         23                       MR. ROBERTSON:  The training one that we


         24       were just talking about is two days a month for three


         25       months.


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          1                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  And they have different


          2       speakers, or do they have special speakers or --


          3                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Yes, depending on which


          4       program it is, yeah, they always have somebody else come


          5       in.  Like the one that Marianne was talking about earlier


          6       with Karen Wolffe, that was something that we offered up


          7       to our staff, and I think we had about 35 of our staff


          8       attend that one.  The rehab conference in the fall is a


          9       great opportunity, that's the largest conference in the


         10       state for rehabilitation professionals, so we do like to


         11       send staff to that one if they want to attend.


         12                       MR. HUDSON:  So in short, if somebody


         13       wants to attend one of those big ones, they can go?


         14                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Yes.


         15                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.  Not a limited


         16       resource that's hard to get to?


         17                       MR. ROBERTSON:  It hasn't been in recent


         18       years.


         19                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


         20                       DR. MOGK:  If an employee doesn't elect


         21       to go to any of these and the manager does not require


         22       it, then they may not attend any training sessions; is


         23       that correct?


         24                       MR. ROBERTSON:  In theory, that could


         25       happen.  Usually when Leamon Jones, the head of the


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          1       Consumer Services Division, sets up a training program,


          2       whether it's job placement, they did one last year or the


          3       year before on case management, they've done one on, or


          4       they're going to do one I think on mental health


          5       services, when he identifies a training need and wants us


          6       to set it up, then it becomes mandatory for his staff to


          7       attend.  So he's not going to set up a training


          8       regardless of who the presenter is for his staff and say,


          9       we're doing this session on, you know, June 5th and 6th,


         10       it's going to be on job placement, the counselor can't


         11       say, no, I don't feel like going.  They will go to that


         12       one.  But when we identify something, you know, if I find


         13       a training on a particular topic and I announce it to


         14       staff, there's a training on these dates on this issue,


         15       who wants to go, then it becomes voluntary.


         16                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.  Just for clarification


         17       before we get too far away, MARO did you say?


         18                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Yes.


         19                       MS. DUNN:  Could you tell us more what


         20       that is and --


         21                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I think MARO is their


         22       official name now, but it used to stand for Michigan


         23       Association of Rehabilitation Organizations, but now I


         24       think they're just MARO.  And they are the parent


         25       company, if you will, for community rehab programs around


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          1       the state, like Goodwill, Peckham, these types of places.


          2       And so they provide support to their members, and part of


          3       that is training, and they always open up their training


          4       to our staff.


          5                       MS. DUNN:  So it may not be blindness


          6       specific?


          7                       MR. ROBERTSON:  It may not, correct.


          8                       MS. DUNN:  Is there anything that they


          9       offer that is?


         10                       MR. ROBERTSON:  If we -- well, the


         11       employment one that they're cosponsoring with TACE, that


         12       is blindness specific.  No, I take that back, it's not.


         13       I don't think.  I don't think it is.  I'm trying to


         14       remember now.  But we have done a couple that are


         15       blindness specific, but when you get them from an outside


         16       organization, they're generally not.


         17                       MR. RODGERS:  They will, Marianne, as an


         18       add-on to what Bob just said, if we request something


         19       specifically, they will try to arrange a program with us.


         20       That's the arrangement we have with them.


         21                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Especially the TACE


         22       Center.


         23                       MR. RODGERS:  Yes.


         24                       MR. ROBERTSON:  You know, that's their


         25       job.  So if we contact them and say we want a training


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          1       for our staff on this topic, then they will do whatever


          2       they have to do to make that happen.


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  And we periodically hear


          4       from TACE, we periodically, either monthly or bimonthly I


          5       get communication from them, from Southern Illinois


          6       University, asking are there any hot topics that we may


          7       have, wish to have them work out some training or


          8       something.  It's an ongoing thing, it never really stops


          9       with them.


         10                       MR. ROBERTSON:  And a big thing that we


         11       stress to our counselors, if you go to this training


         12       program, it's not blindness specific, the basic


         13       principles are the same; how to develop a relationship


         14       with an employer, how to assist a client's readiness for


         15       employment, how to figure out what they want to do and


         16       what they'd be good at.  All of this stuff works


         17       regardless of the disability, and so that's what they


         18       need to get out of that.


         19                       DR. MOGK:  I have two questions.


         20                       MR. RODGERS:  Can I add one comment first


         21       on this.  What Bob's forgot to mention, and Bob knows


         22       this stuff really well, so I'm not trying to say he


         23       doesn't, but one of the things Leamon Jones has done in


         24       the past is he's also asked the TACE people to put


         25       together online training that is at times specific to


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          1       blindness, over the years, that's gone on, too.  In other


          2       words, they'll provide the training and then employees on


          3       their own schedule can go over a two-week period or


          4       three-week period and avail themselves of that training.


          5       So that's another facet of TACE.


          6                       MR. ROBERTSON:  And I'm glad you reminded


          7       me of that, because that is something that you may be


          8       interested in as well.  The Region 5 TACE Center does


          9       offer that online training, and it's available to anybody


         10       at no cost.  We have started a policy, I guess, or


         11       whatever you want to call it, that all new hires within


         12       the agency have to take the one online class that's


         13       called the History of Vocational Rehabilitation.  Most of


         14       our staff, you know, that came out of rehab grad programs


         15       have that history, or at least they did at one point.


         16       But when we hire people who don't have a rehabilitation


         17       background, we feel that it's beneficial for them to get


         18       an understanding of what rehabilitation is, how we got to


         19       where we are, and the history of it.  So but they also


         20       offer a number of other programs that any of you would be


         21       allowed to take, and they are accessible.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  In addition to training and


         23       interacting with clients in particular, does any of the


         24       training include awareness of the job trends and job


         25       situations currently out there?


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          1                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I've got to believe it


          2       does.  I mean I don't get into that much detail with


          3       them, but knowing the labor market is certainly a primary


          4       issue for our counselors and managers in general, because


          5       you have to know what the trends are so that when you're


          6       working with a client in the early stages of their


          7       program, you can help them identify those things that are


          8       going to be more suitable, depending on the labor market.


          9       So I'm sure that that topic comes up in any type of


         10       placement activity that they're involved in.


         11                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  And then my other


         12       question is, do you have a systematic approach or a


         13       systematic schedule, say, for reviewing cases, for


         14       reviewing files?


         15                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Yeah.  It's been over a


         16       year since we've done one, and we've got to start doing


         17       it again, but the goal is to do about three a year, and


         18       we have about seven offices or whatever it is.  So


         19       hopefully every two years, at least one review is done in


         20       each office.


         21                       MR. GAYNOR:  One case?


         22                       MR. ROBERTSON:  No, one office.  We do an


         23       office each time.  So like if I want to do a review of


         24       the Flint regional office, there's four caseloads up


         25       there maybe, I forget exactly right now, where you pull a


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          1       sample of cases from each of those caseloads and then


          2       look through them on the automated system and then look


          3       at the actual paper file to make sure that the --


          4                       DR. MOGK:  So it would be one or two from


          5       each counselor each time, is that --


          6                       MR. ROBERTSON:  No, it's usually more


          7       than that.  It's usually seven or eight from each one.


          8       Trying to get a cross-section, look at somebody who's in


          9       a job placement program, look at somebody who is, you


         10       know, in a training program, look at a case that's been


         11       closed successful, maybe look at a case that was closed


         12       unsuccessful.  So you try to get a cross-section of each


         13       caseload and then, you know, it works out to about six,


         14       seven, maybe eight cases for each one.


         15                       DR. MOGK:  So you do that every couple


         16       years in each region?


         17                       MR. ROBERTSON:  That's the goal, yes.


         18       Like I say, it hasn't been done for a little while, and


         19       we're going to start doing it again very soon.


         20                       DR. MOGK:  Is that something you


         21       personally would do?


         22                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Yes.


         23                       DR. MOGK:  And is there a system and/or


         24       is there feedback on the system to you from managers who


         25       reviewed files, is that done regionally?


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          1                       MR. ROBERTSON:  You mean the managers


          2       doing their own review?


          3                       DR. MOGK:  Of their staff, right.


          4                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Hopefully they're doing


          5       that.  They don't share that with me, that's not part of


          6       my process.  But yeah, I would assume the managers are


          7       looking at cases of, you know, current cases in their


          8       office.


          9                       MR. HUDSON:  So yours is more than a


         10       performance-based review, it's to see if you're meeting


         11       datapoints that you need to do department-wide or


         12       unit-wide reports on your progress or your closure rates


         13       to get reimbursements and things like that?


         14                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Well, it's done for a


         15       couple reasons.  One, there are certain things we are


         16       required to do.  So in that aspect, it's kind of a


         17       compliance review.


         18                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.  All right.


         19                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Counselors don't like it,


         20       I understand it, I was a counselor and I hated people


         21       snooping through my cases, but that's part of the reason.


         22       But the main reason we do it is to identify areas that


         23       perhaps need some attention and some areas that are


         24       exceptional.  So that, you know, for example, if maybe we


         25       identify a need in one office that somebody's having a


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          1       difficult time with writing an eligibility statement, for


          2       instance, I can go to the manager and say, hey, so-and-so


          3       over in this office does an excellent job of that, maybe


          4       you can get these two together so that, you know, we can


          5       make this one over here a little better.  So it's a --


          6       it's a teaching tool primarily, but there is the


          7       compliance aspect to it.


          8                       MS. DUNN:  And are those data included in


          9       some sort of report that you compile?


         10                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I put together a report


         11       and give it to the director of the Consumer Services


         12       Division --


         13                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.


         14                       MR. ROBERTSON:  -- and then he shares it


         15       with his managers, I believe.


         16                       MS. DUNN:  And I had another question


         17       which really I recognize is quite a bit of overlap with


         18       Consumer Services.  But we've become familiar with the


         19       notion as it relates to job placement and job development


         20       of a term called enclave and concern about funneling


         21       people into, funneling consumers into jobs that somehow


         22       might limit their choice.  Is that a hot spot in terms of


         23       the issue of job placement and job development, is that


         24       something that is -- is that from a training perspective


         25       in terms of helping counselors actually place people?


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          1                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I'm not sure I'm quite


          2       understanding what you're saying.  We don't do enclaves


          3       because --


          4                       MS. DUNN:  Right.


          5                       MR. ROBERTSON:  -- there's, you know,


          6       that's not done anymore like it used to be because of


          7       the -- they have to be placed in an integrated work


          8       setting, and by definition, an enclave usually isn't


          9       integrated.  So I don't believe anybody is funneling, I'm


         10       not familiar with that term, but I don't believe anybody


         11       is funneling people into enclaves.


         12                       DR. MOGK:  Well, the context of that is


         13       some feedback that we had gotten when inquiring, for


         14       example, as to whether someone might talk to the


         15       management at Big Boy, national management at Big Boy or


         16       state management at Big Boy, whether there would be jobs


         17       in those places for visually impaired clients, for


         18       example, at the drive-in window or something like that,


         19       and the instant response was, that's an enclave, can't do


         20       that, we never do that, that's an enclave.  We said,


         21       well, we didn't even know what the word meant.  And so


         22       we're not talking about saying that that's all they can


         23       do, but that was just an example of exploring in a large


         24       company what there might be that someone could do.


         25                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I'm not familiar with


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          1       that.


          2                       DR. MOGK:  So it seemed like a hot


          3       button, the word enclave, that we were taken back.


          4                       MR. ROBERTSON:  No, I'm not familiar with


          5       what you're talking about.  I mean McDonald's has a lot


          6       of jobs, and, you know, if I'm the counselor and I


          7       believe that, you know, this person I'm working with


          8       wants to -- I mean I placed people at McDonald's before


          9       when I was a counselor, you know, so I don't know what


         10       that's about.


         11                       DR. MOGK:  It might just be individual.


         12                       MS. DUNN:  Well, it's within the larger


         13       context of how job development is done, and clearly


         14       there's an individual component to that, where the


         15       counselor works with the individual and tries to match


         16       them in their job.  But from the other side of it, in


         17       terms of developing resources and having sites, employer


         18       sites that are ready to accept, that's the issue of


         19       training that I'm wondering about, if there's a real


         20       struggle for counselors to pursue a way of developing


         21       jobs that they can then assist clients in getting so that


         22       the -- so that the universe isn't infinite, because


         23       that's a bit overwhelming, but --


         24                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Are you talking about the


         25       counselor developing a relationship with that employer,


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          1       in this example, McDonald's?


          2                       MS. DUNN:  Yes, and with the goal of


          3       perhaps having multiple consumers employed at some point


          4       with that employer, and that was the feedback we received


          5       in terms of that would be the funneling, that would be


          6       the limiting of choices.  And so I'm looking at it from


          7       the counselor perspective and recognizing, that's a tough


          8       job for them, then, if there isn't a sense that in the


          9       area of job development, we have a few Meijer, you know,


         10       Spartan stores, whatever, folks that we work with to


         11       place individuals and developing jobs in those kinds of


         12       settings.


         13                       MR. ROBERTSON:  It's been a while since


         14       I've dealt with this issue, this might be a Leamon Jones


         15       question.


         16                       MS. DUNN:  Yeah.


         17                       MR. ROBERTSON:  But I don't think the


         18       examples you're giving, whether it's a McDonald's or a


         19       Meijer or whatever, would be considered an enclave,


         20       because they are integrated, not every employee in there


         21       is going to be a person with a disability, plus they're


         22       working with the public, so interacting with the public I


         23       believe takes away the enclave notion.


         24                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.  That's helpful.


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  Marianne, what an enclave,


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          1       I think the term, the way you're using it generically, I


          2       think goes back to the old days of sheltered workshops --


          3                       MS. DUNN:  Correct.


          4                       MR. RODGERS:  -- and that's --


          5                       MS. DUNN:  And we are having a hard time


          6       getting through that.


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  Yes, yes.  Because


          8       obviously we do not want to limit the choices of clients


          9       to a sheltered workshop setting, so that's why the staff


         10       probably reacted quickly dealing with the enclave concept


         11       is because some of the counselors go back to the days


         12       when we still had sheltered workshops and they know that


         13       that's kind of taboo now in most settings.  So --


         14                       MS. DUNN:  But what it pointed to was


         15       perhaps some misunderstanding on the part of some of the


         16       rehab counselors that an effort -- let's say, for


         17       example, you've got a hundred blind people employed doing


         18       drive-through window operating and they like it and it


         19       works well, that somehow directing a client to that job


         20       would, some of counselors seemed to view that, then, as


         21       the funneling, the enclave, that that would be wrong to


         22       do, --


         23                       MR. GAYNOR:  And management.


         24                       MS. DUNN:  -- and management I guess,


         25       that was -- anyway, I'm wondering if that's a training


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          1       issue that has come up in terms of counselors feeling


          2       empowered or limited, and a confusion around where their


          3       efforts should go?


          4                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I'm a not aware of it.  I


          5       don't know.  I have not heard that.


          6                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  We've had no feedback


          8       across the board that that's an issue.


          9                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  And in terms of funneling,


         11       we do funneling to a certain extent in that over the


         12       years in the Lansing area, the Central Region, we have


         13       employed and had placed lots of our clients over a


         14       40-year period with General Motors, doing all kinds of


         15       work for what was then Oldsmobile, now it's General


         16       Motors, because they produce Cadillacs and Chevys and


         17       everything else in our local plants.  They may be working


         18       in accounting, they may be working on the line, they may


         19       be doing janitorial services.  We've always had a very


         20       good relationship with General Motors here locally, and


         21       it's developed into many of our clients working for GM,


         22       and earning very good salaries and very good benefits in


         23       the automobile industry.


         24                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


         25                       MS. DUNN:  Thanks for --


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          1                       DR. MOGK:  Anything else?  We're a little


          2       bit over time.  Very much appreciate your coming.


          3                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Okay.  Any time.


          4                 (Multiple speakers.)


          5                       MR. HUDSON:  Let me ask one more.  Bob,


          6       are you satisfied with the VR data system you have as


          7       providing the data and the structure you and the


          8       counselors need to do the best job you can do?


          9                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I don't use it that often


         10       except to identify cases for a case review.


         11                       MR. HUDSON:  Are you seeing what you need


         12       in there, is --


         13                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Yes.


         14                       MR. HUDSON:  -- the structure sound to


         15       provide --


         16                       MR. ROBERTSON:  Yeah.  I think --


         17                 (Multiple speakers.)


         18                       MR. HUDSON:  Are you seeing what you need


         19       in there, is the structure sound to provide the kind of


         20       analysis and the data tracking you need to do all the


         21       administrative operations, including reimbursements and


         22       things?


         23                       MR. ROBERTSON:  I have seen everything


         24       that I need to see, yes.


         25                       MR. HUDSON:  Good.  Thank you.


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          1                       DR. MOGK:  Thank you.  Thanks a lot.


          2                       MR. RODGERS:  We're going to let Bob be


          3       excused, Madam Chair, if that's okay.


          4                       DR. MOGK:  Sure.


          5                       MR. RODGERS:  He has some duties he has


          6       to take care of back at the office.


          7                       DR. MOGK:  Next, Mr. Rodgers.


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  Thank you.  Good morning


          9       again.  I just want to make sure that everybody got a


         10       copy of the organizational chart, that it's up to date as


         11       we can get it.  We also provided it in two formats; the


         12       one format was the traditional one that's put out by


         13       civil service and all the departments in state


         14       government, which has, for those who are, can not read


         15       it, it has a bunch of little boxes that sometimes I can't


         16       read either with lines being drawn through, and it lists


         17       the, for instance, the central office and then the


         18       various divisions, and then, of course, we put it


         19       together for you also on a handout that Sue worked very


         20       hard on in putting it together so that there's a


         21       breakdown of everybody that is in each division.  For


         22       example, the Administrative Services Division in Lansing,


         23       it mentions that Mike Pemble and all of his employees.


         24                       The one thing I would indicate, and I


         25       think I did in my e-mail to the Chair, was that in terms


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          1       of the org chart, we used a couple generic terms because


          2       there's fluctuation, and that's with the student


          3       employees.  Student employees, student assistants are not


          4       regular employees, they're not in my FTE headcount.  Over


          5       my 30 plus years' career in government, I've learned that


          6       student assistants are a great resource because they


          7       don't cost me a lot of money and they work like crazy and


          8       they're all enthusiastic and they've always done a very


          9       good job for us.  We pay them a minimum wage of, I think


         10       we're now paying, if they're in graduate school, I think


         11       we're paying roughly $15 an hour; if they're in


         12       undergraduate school, around $13.00 an hour, but they get


         13       no other benefits, they get no annual leave, they get no


         14       sick time.  If they work three hours, that's what they


         15       get paid for.  So you'll notice on the chart and in the


         16       outline that Sue put together that we just list student


         17       assistants.  And we interchange them, we move them


         18       around.  Lauren is here this morning, one of our student


         19       assistants, and she would attest to you that she's done


         20       about 17 different jobs in her one-year career with us so


         21       far, so we move them around where we need them.  So if


         22       you have any questions about that, please feel free to


         23       either ask them today or to contact me.


         24                       Of course, you've got Bob's outline of


         25       his credentials.  And I'd like for those people who are


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          1       listening in on the internet and audio to be aware that


          2       Mr. Robertson has a B.A. from Northern Michigan


          3       University, a master's degree in counseling from Northern


          4       Illinois University, and a master's degree in public


          5       administration from Western Michigan University.  He


          6       started out as a rehab counselor for Michigan


          7       Rehabilitation Services way back in 1979 when he was


          8       about 12 years old or something.  He also has been a


          9       rehab counselor for the Workers' Comp Disability


         10       Commission where he worked with individuals who were in


         11       the worker's comp program trying to help them become


         12       employed.  He has a background also with the former


         13       Commission for the Blind as a rehab counselor.  He's also


         14       been a rehab consultant, and presently has his jobs that


         15       he's outlined for you.  And I think we're very lucky to


         16       have Bob.  It's a rare individual that has both his


         17       administrative background, as well as his rehabilitation


         18       schooled skills and experiences, and it's a necessary


         19       skill I think.


         20                       You also have, Madam Chair, a very brief


         21       outline from Rob Essenberg summarizing what BADP, the


         22       Business Assistance and Development Program, does.  We


         23       had hoped that Rob could be here today, and we when get


         24       to questions, you'll probably want me to elaborate more.


         25       He's tied up with some issues today with the Anderson


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          1       Project, as we fondly refer to it.  We're trying to get


          2       the Anderson Building open within the next couple weeks


          3       so that that facility will be able to serve the Michigan


          4       House of Representatives like it did up through 2011 when


          5       the legislature basically kicked us out for probably a


          6       lot of good reasons.


          7                       You also have a very brief outline of


          8       agreements, contracts and memos of understanding.  Memos


          9       of understanding are those type of documents where


         10       there's interchange between us and other units of


         11       government generally.  For instance, we have a memo of


         12       understanding between us and the Department of Education


         13       which outlines our relationship with the Department of


         14       Education.  This list is not all inclusive, it may well


         15       be that in putting it together, we missed one or two


         16       contracts.  I would also caution you that there are other


         17       contracts that are available to BSBP which are


         18       departmental contracts, contracts that LARA may have for


         19       various services, and there's also statewide contracts


         20       dealing with certain things, and, of course, we have to


         21       use whatever vendors are approved for statewide services,


         22       departmental-wide services, and/or services that we may


         23       have individually.  So you should have that document now,


         24       and if you have any questions about that, please feel


         25       free to --


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          1                       MR. GAYNOR:  And I'll interrupt right


          2       now, if you don't mind.


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  Pardon?


          4                       MR. GAYNOR:  Such as what type of


          5       services?  You keep saying various services.  Does that


          6       include the O&M people, the IT people, the CILs that do


          7       computer training for different clients?  Where do those


          8       fall in?


          9                       MR. RODGERS:  It includes all of that,


         10       Gary.  For example, we have a relationship with DTMB,


         11       which provides generally all of our computer needs, and


         12       then they pull that money, because they're also the


         13       management people of money, out of my budget.  But then


         14       we also have, for instance, listed on our list is we have


         15       the one with Libre System 7 people, who do a lot of our


         16       database stuff, and we're working with them, and I've


         17       mentioned them before, to increase our data collection


         18       and to improve it, and they're presently enhancing and


         19       expanding.  We just got approval to get additional monies


         20       from them in order to enhance some things in the data


         21       system.


         22                       MR. GAYNOR:  That's the big picture,


         23       though.


         24                       MR. RODGERS:  Yeah.  I can't --


         25                       MR. GAYNOR:  I'm talking on the client


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          1       level where you hire an IT person to go out and teach


          2       someone how to use their computer.


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  Yes, we do that, too.  But


          4       now you're asking me questions that are down in the area


          5       that Ed can't answer.


          6                       MR. GAYNOR:  Okay.  Because that's where


          7       we were going with that question in the first place.


          8       We've heard about O&M people, IT people, CILs that you


          9       contract.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  That will take me


         11       longer to put together --


         12                       MR. GAYNOR:  Okay.


         13                       MR. RODGERS:  -- because what that is is


         14       a vendor -- as I understand it, Gary, and I don't want to


         15       mislead you, as I understand it, which could be wrong, we


         16       have a list of departmental or state-approved vendors in


         17       a whole bunch of areas, okay.  For example, we have some


         18       vendors that are listed that do business plans, there's


         19       like two or three of those folks that help our clients


         20       who want to perhaps start their own business.  For


         21       instance, we just had a lady start a business in


         22       Kalamazoo, and I know I'm going get this wrong, so Sue


         23       may interrupt me and correct me.  It's a consignment


         24       business where maybe your daughter has a prom dress that


         25       she wears once and would like to sell that prom dress,


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          1       and I know this is a crazy example, that this lady then


          2       would put that in her store if she took it on


          3       consignment, and if she sells the prom dress, then she


          4       would get a percentage of that money.  Okay.  So we have


          5       vendors that do those kind of things, helping people do


          6       business plans.  We could give you a more expansive


          7       specific list, but that's going to take time.


          8                       MR. GAYNOR:  That's what we were looking


          9       for.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  All right.  Sorry


         11       that we were not able to provide that on this short of


         12       notice.  I think I got your request, what, a week or so


         13       ago, a two weeks ago?


         14                       MR. GAYNOR:  Well, the way that -- see,


         15       we thought with these lists should, you should be able to


         16       push a button and get them.


         17                       MR. RODGERS:  It don't work that way.


         18       Sorry.


         19                       MR. GAYNOR:  I know.  But according to


         20       Rob just now, it does work that way, he's able to pull up


         21       what he needs.


         22                       MR. RODGERS:  What he needs.


         23                       MR. GAYNOR:  Well, that's kind of -- if


         24       I'm a voc rehab person and I need an IT person, you mean


         25       it's going to take me forever to find an IT person?


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          1                       MR. RODGERS:  No, no.  There is a list of


          2       IT vendors, I just did not realize that you wanted that


          3       much minutia, but I will provide it.


          4                       MR. GAYNOR:  Thank you.


          5                       DR. MOGK:  For example, Ed, which doesn't


          6       seem to be minutia, the Jewish Vocational Services, for


          7       example, is contracted apparently quite regularly for


          8       services for clients, so that was the, sort of the


          9       impetus for our asking about contracts, not so much Kelly


         10       Services.


         11                       MR. RODGERS:  I was not aware of that


         12       per se, Lylas, but I will pursue that for you.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  Thanks.


         14                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Some of those smaller


         15       organizations, well, they're -- sometimes they're just


         16       entrepreneurs, they're one-person businesses we have


         17       purchase orders for, so we set aside money in case they


         18       are going to be contracted with, we don't have yearly


         19       contracts with them, so that's the difference in what --


         20                 (Multiple speakers.


         21                       MS. LUZENSKI:  What we chose or what we


         22       pulled together was people that we actually have


         23       contracts with that we sign because that's what we


         24       understood you were looking for.


         25                       DR. MOGK:  Got you.


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          1                       MR. GAYNOR:  Thanks.


          2                       DR. MOGK:  So we'd be interested in this,


          3       is that list of state vendors accessible?


          4                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Yes, but it's in a


          5       different -- from what Bob was talking about, that's a


          6       different program.  So that's the state program, where


          7       the Libra System 7 program where we have our case files


          8       in, that is -- that's a program that we use as an Agency


          9       or as a Bureau main where you guys all had to try to


         10       register in to get reimbursement, that's a state system,


         11       and then that's where someone else within our


         12       administrative services department would create a


         13       purchase order in order for us to be able to work with


         14       these different vendors.


         15                       MR. GAYNOR:  If I'm a counselor and I


         16       need an O&M person, how do I find one?


         17                       MR. RODGERS:  Lisa.


         18                       MS. KISIEL:  Yes.  Crap.  I was sitting


         19       back here so nice.  Typically the way that we find our


         20       vendors is that we have relationships with different --


         21       for instance, it might be, as someone mentioned,


         22       orientation mobility.  So we have a relationship with the


         23       university, you know, we know who's graduating, some of


         24       those have been interns, practicum students, et cetera,


         25       they actually a lot of times come to us, and they come to


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          1       us with resumes and we interview them and, you know, we


          2       may decide that we need to vend with them to provide


          3       services.  We actually don't use purchase orders, we use


          4       service authorizations, because that would be part of a


          5       rehabilitation plan.  Same is true if we provide adaptive


          6       technology training, if we hire an individual to go into


          7       someone's home and work with them, we -- you know, I was


          8       sitting here thinking as you were talking, a lot of that


          9       is very regional obviously because, you know -- there are


         10       some people that do some statewide stuff, but, you know,


         11       we have a big state, so a lot of times, you know, what


         12       some of the vendors that Detroit uses may not be the same


         13       as what the west would use or the central region would


         14       use.  Sometimes they are, and it's sort of a network of


         15       individuals.  We do have a technology, a list of


         16       technology trainers that's available to us.  I know our


         17       tech committee works pretty diligently to interview


         18       people and make sure that we have qualified individuals


         19       providing services.  And same is true with the O&M, you


         20       know, like, for instance, the Training Center uses O&M


         21       instructors as subs at times, so we have a list.  Those


         22       folks do have purchase orders because they're working as


         23       a sub at the Training Center.


         24                       MR. GAYNOR:  But are those shared between


         25       regions?


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          1                       MS. KISIEL:  Absolutely, yeah.


          2                       MR. GAYNOR:  So you could get me a list


          3       of those?


          4                       MS. KISIEL:  I could get you a list of


          5       those.


          6                       MR. GAYNOR:  That would be great.


          7                       MS. KISIEL:  We could certainly ask for


          8       that information.  You know, I don't know that there's a


          9       master list of those, if that's what you're asking for.


         10                       MR. GAYNOR:  There has to be something if


         11       you're sharing them.


         12                       MS. KISIEL:  Yeah, we're sharing, you


         13       know, there's a lot of, you know, who are you using and


         14       we share those resumes.  And you also have to remember,


         15       too, there's a lot of flux in that --


         16                       MR. GAYNOR:  Sure.


         17                       MS. KISIEL:  -- because people get jobs


         18       and they move away and they --


         19                       MR. GAYNOR:  So you take them off the


         20       list.


         21                       MS. KISIEL:  You take them off the list,


         22       you know, et cetera, so.


         23                       MR. GAYNOR:  Yeah.  Thank you.


         24                       MR. RODGERS:  Thank you, Lisa.


         25                       DR. MOGK:  Does anybody have anymore


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          1       questions for Ed?


          2                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  I just wanted to add


          3       something.  I am familiar with that.  Lisa, probably you


          4       know Jennifer Graham?


          5                       MS. KISIEL:  Uh-huh.


          6                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Okay.  She was my O&M,


          7       and she came to me at my office, so that was through the


          8       Commission, so she's obviously on that list.  So I don't


          9       know if you're still working with her.  And then I also,


         10       CASO worked with me in my computer training, they came to


         11       my office, so I am familiar with that, and it worked well


         12       for me.


         13                       MS. KISIEL:  And, yes, Jennifer is still


         14       providing services.


         15                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  That's good.  She's


         16       great.


         17                       DR. MOGK:  Since Lisa is here, I have a


         18       couple questions for Lisa.  But if anybody has any more


         19       to ask Ed specifically, so we don't switch gears in --


         20                       MR. RODGERS:  Before we jump to Lisa, is


         21       there anybody that -- I have met with Rob, he had


         22       provided you with answers to what, four or five questions


         23       with parts, and then Constance had provided some answers


         24       to her questions, and then you have the answers to my


         25       questions, and I know you may still be mulling that


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          1       material over.  Does anybody today, though, and you can


          2       always follow up in writing to me with an e-mail,


          3       anything jump out at you that you want to quiz me on


          4       before we switch over to Lisa?


          5                       MR. SIBLEY:  A structural question about


          6       the BADP.  Can a client be a client of the BADP


          7       individually, or would he have to go through a local


          8       counselor then be referred to the BADP?


          9                       MR. RODGERS:  The counselor system still


         10       is in place.  If you're a client of the Agency, then you


         11       meet with your counselor, you put together your


         12       individual plan, et cetera, and then if what you're


         13       interested in is starting your own business, there would


         14       be a referral from the counselor to Rob's division, just


         15       like there might be a referral to training for BEP or


         16       there might be a referral that a person goes to Michigan


         17       State University, just depends on what the individual


         18       needs are and what the counselor and the client have


         19       worked out.


         20                       DR. MOGK:  Two questions with regard to


         21       BADP.  One is whether Rob's purview is exclusively with


         22       regard to jobs, entrepreneur, potential entrepreneurs, or


         23       does it -- does any of his purview include identifying


         24       job opportunities in the community?


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  He is not involved in job


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          1       identification per se.  Okay.  Obviously in the course of


          2       doing his job, or in his division doing their job, he may


          3       become aware of stuff in the network.  It's like I think


          4       Suzanne said earlier this morning, a lot of the things we


          5       do in voc rehab, whether it's MRS or BSBP, is


          6       unfortunately word of mouth and relationships that are


          7       built up over time.  Most of his focus is going to be in


          8       business development, business assistance.  I think he's


          9       actually either unofficially or officially has helped,


         10       for instance, LeeAnn a little bit with some of her


         11       issues.  Is that correct, LeeAnn --


         12                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Yes.


         13                       MR. RODGERS:  -- that Rob worked with


         14       you?  So that's the type of thing he's doing.


         15                       DR. MOGK:  And my other question in that


         16       regard is the, will the new businesses that he develops


         17       receive support anywhere similar to what the BEP vendors


         18       do?  I mean will the Commission provide monetary support


         19       to these businesses?


         20                       MR. RODGERS:  There will be an initial


         21       assistance because it will be a business plan.  Bob is --


         22       one of the things that Rob is doing now -- I have Bobs


         23       and Robs and Roberts, sometimes I call Bob Rob and


         24       Robert, et cetera.  One of the things that we will be


         25       looking at is the individual's business plan.  If it's a


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          1       nonexistent business that they want to start up, let's


          2       say they want to manufacture T-shirts, okay, as an


          3       example, and they come to us and they want to do -- they


          4       don't want to be part of BEP, they want their own


          5       business, he or she will then work with Rob to create a


          6       business plan, and there will be startup costs that we


          7       will assist with, like we've done under our Voc Rehab.


          8       For example, I mentioned the young lady that has the


          9       consignment store in the Kalamazoo Mall, we gave her


         10       startup costs.  There was some initial startup and


         11       assistance on equipment that we gave her.  We will do


         12       that also with a new business.  But we will not continue


         13       to sustain that business like we do with the BEP.  The


         14       BEP is regulated under the Randolph Sheppard Act and


         15       P.A., and I always forget, 269, which does provide for


         16       continual funding.  For example, if the cafeteria at the


         17       Ottawa Building needs a new oven, we will pay for that


         18       oven, that's part of the BEP program.  If you start your


         19       own Subway, once you're up and running, if you need a new


         20       oven, you're on the hook for it, because there's not a


         21       mechanism that allows for funding beyond the BEP program


         22       in the same way that we do with the BEP program.  And I


         23       don't know if I've answered your question or not, but


         24       that's how it will work.


         25                       DR. MOGK:  Yes, you have.  We're


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          1       interested, just by virtue of the statistics, that 90


          2       percent of small businesses fail.


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  Yes.


          4                       DR. MOGK:  So that would seem be a very


          5       risky operation.  And I realize it's a benefit to have


          6       the startup costs.


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  It is risky.  Okay.  And


          8       when I say startup costs, and you're testing an old guy's


          9       memory now, when I say startup costs, the lady in the


         10       Kalamazoo Mall, I think we gave her enough money to pay


         11       her first six months' rent, to pay for her first six


         12       months' cell phone service, provided her, as I recall,


         13       with an accessible cell phone, bought her a cash register


         14       and some other things.  I think we even may have helped


         15       her with her utilities for the first six months.  But


         16       it's not going to be a continuing thing.  She's either


         17       got to make it or not on her own.


         18                       DR. MOGK:  So there are, the 90-day


         19       guideline for Voc Rehab, is there a timeline for these


         20       businesses, that they have to be in operation for two


         21       years to decide whether it's successful or --


         22                       MR. RODGERS:  I'm not sure I know what


         23       you mean, Lylas, by the 90-day Voc Rehab.


         24                       DR. MOGK:  They have to be in a job 90


         25       days before it's declared successful; if they quit on day


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          1       92, that's not our problem.  So we have -- they have to


          2       be in the job 90 days to be considered a successful


          3       closure.  So I'm asking for the BADP, is there -- I


          4       presume that when they're launched, the numbers would


          5       suggest that they would be able to maintain the business


          6       forever?


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  That's why they have to put


          8       together -- that's correct.  That's why they have to put


          9       together a business plan, and it has to be a business


         10       plan that's approved by the Agency.  For example, we had


         11       a recent business plan in a small community where this


         12       person wanted to get into the auto mechanic business, and


         13       this person wanted to have to start with two bays, you


         14       know, which are two work areas, so you can be working on


         15       two cars at once.  We did a feasibility study of the area


         16       and concluded that it was risky to give him the amount of


         17       money that was necessary for two bays, but we felt that


         18       there was a legitimate possibility he could be successful


         19       with one bay and limiting the amount of employees he


         20       would employ.  He was a mechanic himself.  So he has a


         21       facility that eventually he could put in a second bay,


         22       but that's going to be on his dime, not ours, if the


         23       business is successful.  And again, I don't know if I


         24       answered your question.


         25                       DR. MOGK:  No, yeah, that's fine.


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          1                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.


          2                       DR. MOGK:  And presumably Rob will be


          3       tracking these businesses?


          4                       MR. RODGERS:  Rob will be tracking them


          5       more than 90 days, if for no other reason, because a lot


          6       of the startup costs are based over six months or a year,


          7       because we realize that small businesses getting started


          8       do have that curve in terms of failure.


          9                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


         10                       MS. DUNN:  I had a question, Ed.  In


         11       developing this position, this division, what was the


         12       input that you had from rehab counselors in the field in


         13       terms of their identifying a need?


         14                       MR. RODGERS:  The feedback we got with


         15       them is we put out the idea, and from there we


         16       entertained any feedback that there was that they have


         17       clients, whether or not they wanted to go out and do


         18       their own business.  The problem we felt philosophically


         19       was the BEP program is one that is almost a parent/child


         20       relationship, and our goal was to provide individuals


         21       with an opportunity to be in the private sector and be


         22       their own entrepreneurs and run their own business, much


         23       as LeeAnn has done, for example.  The problem with the


         24       BEP Program is it has evolved over time into a program


         25       that was not reaching, in my opinion, its initial


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          1       creation.


          2                       When the BEP Program was created in the


          3       '30s and '40s, and I could be a decade off, it was


          4       supposed to be a startup program to get people trained,


          5       let them have experience running their own businesses,


          6       and then go off.  And what's happened in Michigan and in


          7       other states is it's become a life-long occupation with


          8       no growth beyond the program itself for some of those


          9       individuals.


         10                       So there was feedback, but it was


         11       informal.  There was a view that we needed something that


         12       would put people in the private sector and make them less


         13       dependent upon the Agency or state government per se.


         14                       MS. DUNN:  A followup, then, to that


         15       question.  The sense I had was that the division was


         16       developed in response to some of the failed sites in the


         17       legislation buildings, and that there -- that you are


         18       wanting to have someone heading up the relationship with


         19       different companies, the -- I forget who it was initially


         20       where there was all the hubbub, but --


         21                       MR. RODGERS:  Tim Hortons.


         22                       MS. DUNN:  Tim Hortons.  And I guess I'm


         23       wondering from that perspective, it seems like that was


         24       the intent of the division, and that the other


         25       entrepreneurial pieces related to individual clients


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          1       is -- I can't -- I have a hard time getting my mind


          2       around that being the primary focus of this division.


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  It was not the primary


          4       focus, so I think you're --


          5                       MS. DUNN:  Could you talk about the


          6       primary focus?


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  I think you're misinformed


          8       by somebody.  The main focus, as I just said, was to take


          9       BADP and help create opportunities for blind


         10       entrepreneurs to be in the private sector, that was the


         11       focus.  Now, how you get there, there's different


         12       mechanisms we can use.  And in fact, we on occasion have


         13       had some BEP operators go off into the private sector and


         14       start their own businesses.  So while that was one of the


         15       vehicles we've used in the past, we wanted to expand it


         16       so that there was more assistance for people to get out


         17       there and get started, or assistance to continue a


         18       business they started on their own.  For instance, I


         19       mentioned T-shirts earlier because I'm aware that there's


         20       a blind entrepreneur in this state who started his own


         21       T-shirt company, and he's been somewhat successful, but


         22       he now I think is seeking assistance from our new


         23       division to help expand his business.  I don't know if I


         24       answered your question or not.


         25                       MS. DUNN:  Maybe a little.


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          1                       MR. RODGERS:  I'm sorry.


          2                       MS. DUNN:  So I assume the Anderson


          3       Building, we're working with a particular company, and


          4       the hope is that we can enlist companies that will then


          5       employ a number of blind individuals; is that a big piece


          6       of what the --


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  That could be --


          8                 (Multiple speakers.)


          9                       MS. DUNN:  Is that a big piece of why the


         10       BADP was developed?


         11                       MR. RODGERS:  It's not a big piece, but


         12       it obviously is one of the consequences of creating the


         13       division.  What we have done in the Anderson Building, it


         14       was a three-part thing; we wanted to get back in the


         15       Anderson Building, we wanted to be in a form that was


         16       acceptable to the legislature, we also were in need of a


         17       separate training facility for Rob's division, and we


         18       also wanted to expand out into the private sector by


         19       encouraging the private sector to be a partner in this


         20       endeavor in the Anderson Building.  So the Anderson


         21       Building is an example of a public/private project, so to


         22       speak, in that we have offered and are presently working


         23       with private-sector people to allow us to sell their


         24       products in the Anderson Building kind of as a pilot


         25       program.  So we're reaching out to local companies.  You


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          1       probably read the press release which indicated that in


          2       fact we were working hand-in-hand with the Michigan


          3       Restaurant Association.  And that's about all the details


          4       I can get to at the moment.


          5                       MS. DUNN:  Could you talk a little bit


          6       about the overlap there with -- how it's similar and


          7       dissimilar from BEP?


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  It's similar in that some


          9       of the training will be similar.  It's an enlargement of


         10       what BEP does in that the goal is for Rob and his


         11       division employees to be able to train and assist


         12       individuals to go out into the private sector rather than


         13       just training them to be BEP operators.  It will be run


         14       in conjunction with a blind operator and with Rob's


         15       division.  And remember, part of the training that BEP


         16       does is to have on-site training, too; so there may be


         17       some coordination between Rob and the blind operator in


         18       terms of doing some on-site training with some of the BEP


         19       people after they finish their schooling.  But that's all


         20       evolving now, Marianne.


         21                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.  And one further


         22       question, if I may.


         23                       MR. RODGERS:  Sure.


         24                       MS. DUNN:  How many business plans do you


         25       currently have from consumers, and what do you anticipate


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          1       in that?


          2                       MR. RODGERS:  That's a tough question


          3       without either Rob being here, because he's been involved


          4       with Voc Rehab and reviewing business plans.  My recall


          5       is that this year we have approved five or six business


          6       plans for Voc Rehab clients, and that there's three or


          7       four more in the hopper, so to speak.  So by the end of


          8       the fiscal year, it may be a dozen or more, just depends.


          9                       MS. DUNN:  And when can we anticipate Rob


         10       will be able to speak with us?


         11                       MR. RODGERS:  Hopefully -- well, your


         12       next meeting is when?


         13                       DR. MOGK:  October.


         14                       MS. LUZENSKI:  October 2.


         15                       MR. RODGERS:  He should be available by


         16       then.


         17                       MR. GAYNOR:  Think he can put it on his


         18       calendar?


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  I will make sure it's on


         20       his calendar.


         21                       MR. GAYNOR:  While we're -- go ahead.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  I just want to clarify in my


         23       mind.  So Rob is training people for food service?


         24                       MR. RODGERS:  As a start, as a starting


         25       point --


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          1                       DR. MOGK:  Right.


          2                       MR. RODGERS:  -- he's training people for


          3       food services, because that's what the Anderson Building


          4       is providing, food services.


          5                       DR. MOGK:  Right.


          6                       MR. RODGERS:  As his division evolves --


          7       this is brand new concept remember, it's just getting off


          8       the ground.  As it evolves, there will be additional


          9       training added on as it grows.


         10                       DR. MOGK:  But if he -- if people are


         11       sent in to be trained in food services and they are not


         12       going to go into the BEP, then there isn't a format for


         13       contacting other major restaurant companies to place


         14       these people in those jobs.


         15                       MR. RODGERS:  Rob is developing those


         16       contacts as you and I speak here.


         17                       DR. MOGK:  So that he will be out there


         18       finding job placements --


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  I see where you're


         20       going, because of your earlier question.  So I


         21       misanswered your earlier question, I apologize.  He will


         22       be going out there, because he is out there now.  And I


         23       can't give you -- I would love to give you details today


         24       of one or two companies he's finalizing agreements with,


         25       but I can't.  I simply can't.


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          1                       MS. DUNN:  That's fine.


          2                       MR. RODGERS:  I got burned once on the


          3       Tim Hortons' thing, that's not going to happen to me.


          4       The old saying, shame once on you, shame twice on me.  So


          5       until it's finalized, I'm not going to release anything.


          6                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  That's -- I think I got


          7       it.


          8                       MS. DUNN:  Just -- I'm sorry -- for


          9       clarification again, so the primary focus is food


         10       service --


         11                       MR. RODGERS:  No, that's --


         12                 (Multiple speakers.)


         13                       MR. RODGERS:  No, no, no, that's isn't


         14       what I said, Marianne.


         15                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.


         16                       MR. RODGERS:  No.  What I said was it's


         17       starting up with that as the first part.


         18                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  It will evolve and grow


         20       into other training and to other opportunities.  We had


         21       to have a base to start.  When you -- when you're


         22       teaching mathematics, the first thing you have to do is


         23       teach the little kid what the numbers are, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,


         24       and then you teach them how to add, 2 and 3 is 5.


         25                       MS. DUNN:  What other areas are you


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          1       looking at then?


          2                       MR. RODGERS:  Again, I'm not at the point


          3       that I want to release that.  Sorry about that.


          4                       MR. SIBLEY:  Rob is, the division now, if


          5       somebody gets referred to him with another business, not


          6       in food service, he is in the position --


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  He's the man.


          8                       MR. SIBLEY:  -- now -- he could assist


          9       them with their guidance and possibly --


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  Absolutely, that's one of


         11       his charges.


         12                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


         13                       MR. GAYNOR:  Next.  Part of the reason


         14       that we are here is because of the readiness of BEP


         15       operators or the lack thereof at some of the facilities,


         16       and so we when requested the exit exam for the BEP


         17       operators, it was denied.  I'd like to know why.


         18                       MR. RODGERS:  It was denied because it's


         19       a test that is used to determine if a person has


         20       successfully completed their training, and as such, were


         21       they ready to be in the program so that they could be


         22       awarded a facility when it comes up on the bid line.


         23                       MR. GAYNOR:  Exactly.  And so how do we


         24       know that those questions are working if we don't get the


         25       chance to review them, because the reason we're here is


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          1       because it wasn't working?


          2                       MR. RODGERS:  The reason you didn't get


          3       the questions is if two or more people know something,


          4       then word gets out, and I don't want to impugn anybody --


          5                       MR. GAYNOR:  Two or more people already


          6       know it.


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  Pardon?


          8                       MR. GAYNOR:  Two or more people already


          9       know it.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  But that's staff only.


         11       Okay.  One of reasons that test questions are not


         12       released under FOIA is because once you release things of


         13       that nature, there's a way of them having make it around,


         14       so to speak, and I don't, at this time, want to have to


         15       divert important staff time of the BEP Program to revise


         16       the test at this moment because it gets out.


         17                       MR. GAYNOR:  So it's the same test you've


         18       been using?


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  It's a security -- it's a


         20       security issue.


         21                       MR. GAYNOR:  It's the same test you've


         22       been using, then?


         23                       MR. RODGERS:  It's the same test we have


         24       been using.  And our passing rate, I can get you the


         25       passing rate.  I mean if people are passing the test and


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          1       going on in the program and running a facility, I would


          2       say that that's some assurance that they were asking the


          3       right questions from their trainer.  Remember, the


          4       questions are based on the training.


          5                       MR. GAYNOR:  Some of the reason we're


          6       here is because they weren't running it efficiently.


          7                       DR. MOGK:  Why are they not all


          8       successful in that case?


          9                       MR. RODGERS:  There's all kinds of


         10       reasons, like you said earlier, Lylas, why a business


         11       fails; sometimes it's location, sometimes it's trends in


         12       the economy, sometimes it's a person that has difficulty


         13       for personal reasons.


         14                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  I understand.  I just


         15       have to go on record taking exception to the idea that


         16       information given to the advisory board appointed by the


         17       Governor would be the equivalent of leaking it to the


         18       public.  I just think that's --


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  I understand, but we


         20       philosophically disagree on that.  At this point, if we


         21       had three, for instance, versions of the test, I'd be


         22       more inclined then to give you a version, but at this


         23       point, I'm just not in the position that I believe I


         24       would be carrying out my duties if I released the test to


         25       anybody.


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          1                       DR. MOGK:  Because the suggestion is that


          2       one of the seven of us may --


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  I know the suggestion.


          4                       DR. MOGK:  -- release this information.


          5                       MR. RODGERS:  I understand.


          6                       DR. MOGK:  We agree to disagree on this.


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  Yes.  Thank you.


          8                       DR. MOGK:  Lisa, a couple questions.  Do


          9       you -- can you tell us what the reasons for the medical


         10       visits, the outpatient and ER medical visits for T.C.


         11       residents were for the last year?  Do you have --


         12                       MS. KISIEL:  The reasons?


         13                       DR. MOGK:  Yeah.  Thanks, Lisa.  When we


         14       were at the T.C., you had mentioned that you could keep


         15       the local ER and outpatient clinic busy with T.C.


         16       residents.  So our question that we had sent in early in


         17       April was what are the reasons for the emergency room and


         18       outpatient clinic visits, do you record that when you


         19       take someone, do you have a record of --


         20                       MS. KISIEL:  Yes.


         21                       DR. MOGK:  -- why they were taken or --


         22                       MS. KISIEL:  We do record that, however,


         23       I will give you generalities, you know, just because


         24       obviously I can't speak about specific cases.


         25                       MR. GAYNOR:  You can't give us names --


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          1                       MS. KISIEL:  Right.


          2                       MR. GAYNOR:  -- but with --


          3                 (Multiple speakers.)


          4                       MR. GAYNOR:  I'm sorry.  No, it's okay.


          5       Well, I just wondered, it's been -- it was requested back


          6       the beginning of April, and I don't see why we can't have


          7       specifics.  We can't have names, we know that.


          8                       MS. KISIEL:  Right.


          9                       MR. GAYNOR:  But what type of visits, and


         10       then it should be easy to come up with a year-long list


         11       of where people went?


         12                       MS. KISIEL:  I can -- I mean I can get,


         13       you know -- there are -- I can answer your question today


         14       generally, and I can share with you that, as you well


         15       know, the leading cause of blindness for individuals 55


         16       and younger is diabetes, so there may be incidents of low


         17       blood sugar.  A lot of times it's incidents of just


         18       general illness, you know, flu, colds, could be, you


         19       know, they have to have something, we have individuals


         20       who have received transplants, so they have to get


         21       certain labs done, they have to, you know -- sometimes --


         22                       MR. GAYNOR:  It's not an ER visit?


         23                       MS. KISIEL:  No, that's not -- but


         24       sometimes people choose to go on the weekends when the


         25       only place to go do it is -- okay.  That's a judgment


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          1       call on their part, not mine.  Okay.  I wouldn't manage


          2       it that way, but they're individuals and they can choose


          3       to do that.  So most of them are urgent care visits just


          4       because they don't have doctors in the area, so they


          5       just -- they -- there are a flourish of lots of, you


          6       know, sometimes medications, they need to get something,


          7       you know, refilled, and they, maybe they didn't do that


          8       before they left home.  As I said, flus, colds, seasonal


          9       stuff, just -- it's really that general.  It really is.


         10       And sometimes I think, you know, there's just lots of


         11       people that come, there's lots of reasons that they go,


         12       but not necessarily are they remarkable.


         13                       MR. GAYNOR:  But I guess the question


         14       would be, it was a month ago we asked for it.  Now, these


         15       are all generalities that anyone could say.  Why didn't


         16       we get the list?


         17                       MS. KISIEL:  I can't answer that


         18       question.


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  If I could?


         20                       MR. GAYNOR:  Sure.


         21                       MR. RODGERS:  The reason you didn't get a


         22       specific list, such as cardiac arrest, just listing


         23       cardiac arrest might lead to identifying the student.


         24                       MR. GAYNOR:  My gosh.


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, I'm sorry, Gary, I'm


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          1       playing lawyer with you now, but it's a concern that I


          2       have, and it's a concern that the federal government and


          3       the state government have, that we have to be careful


          4       that we do not identify clients.  I'm not even supposed


          5       to give you --


          6                       MR. GAYNOR:  Then why didn't you just --


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  -- the client's name.


          8                       MR. GAYNOR:  -- put that in writing


          9       before today so that we wouldn't keep asking the same


         10       questions?


         11                       MR. RODGERS:  I don't recall how your


         12       question was posed.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  It was e-mailed.


         14                       MR. RODGERS:  Was it e-mailed?


         15                       MR. GAYNOR:  Uh-huh.


         16                       MR. RODGERS:  I apologize, that one went


         17       over my head.  I don't recall that e-mail.


         18                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  My other question is,


         19       in the numbers that I read were a 178 successful closures


         20       last year, which was a 32.7-percent success rate, and so


         21       my question is -- and this is not just for you, Lisa, I


         22       guess it's for Leamon, who's not here -- what percent


         23       were in school, what percent were employed?  And then I


         24       noted that only 59 of those 178 successful closures went


         25       through the Training Center, so does that mean that the


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          1       other 119 already had full jobs skills, did they already


          2       have jobs and the department kept them in the job or --


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  There --


          4                       DR. MOGK:  I was surprised to find that


          5       of the successful closures, a minority of them,


          6       significant minority went through the Training Center.


          7       So does anybody have an explanation for who --


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  I can give you a general


          9       explanation, and then we can, if you'll put that in an


         10       e-mail to me and Leamon, we can give you more specifics I


         11       think.  The figures you just gave, the 179 and the 59


         12       went to the Training Center, I suspect that a large


         13       amount of the 179 may have been college students who were


         14       graduating.  Okay.  That would be one category.  And they


         15       might not have gone from the Training Center, they might


         16       have gone through Transitional Services, they could be a


         17       person like me who's low vision who simply went from high


         18       school into college and is now graduating this year,


         19       because we did graduate a significant percentage of


         20       students.  Every year we have a significant number.  We


         21       have right now I think something like 260 students that


         22       we're supporting in various educational programs.  So if


         23       you just do the math, if they're in a B.A. program, you


         24       know, a fourth of those generally graduate every year, so


         25       you're talking about 60, maybe 60 people completing


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          1       programs right there.  So you add that to the 59 and now


          2       you're up to 120 in terms of the total 179.  It could


          3       also be that the individuals who were coming through the


          4       program for a variety of reasons didn't need the skills


          5       at the Training Center, they already had those skills.


          6       That would speak, to my mind, that perhaps Transitional


          7       Services was, and the school districts and BSBP were


          8       doing a good job because these folks already had the


          9       skills when they finished Transition and went on to


         10       whatever they're going to do.  So there's a variety of


         11       reasons that would impact on those figures.  And we can


         12       sit here all day and make up a list of categories that


         13       would impact that.


         14                       DR. MOGK:  Right.  So it would suggest


         15       that the bulk of successes are students going through


         16       school, not people --


         17                       MR. RODGERS:  I don't know if it suggests


         18       that, I only offered that as a possibility, --


         19                       DR. MOGK:  Right.  So Leamon --


         20                       MR. RODGERS:  -- as a percentage


         21       possibility.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  So Leamon would have that


         23       information?


         24                       MR. RODGERS:  I think so.


         25                       MS. KISIEL:  If I could add, that's 178


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          1       successful closures.  Those are individuals that obtained


          2       employment and their cases were closed.


          3                       DR. MOGK:  Or they were in school?


          4                       MS. KISIEL:  No.  If they were -- 178 is,


          5       it was of the list of individuals who obtained successful


          6       employment in FY '13.


          7                       DR. MOGK:  That does mean they --


          8                       MR. GAYNOR:  Homemakers --


          9                 (Multiple speakers.)


         10                       MS. KISIEL:  Homemakers included.


         11                       DR. MOGK:  -- weren't in were college?


         12                       MS. KISIEL:  I'm sorry.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  That doesn't mean they weren't


         14       in college?


         15                       MS. KISIEL:  It does not mean they -- I


         16       mean they could have been in college, they may have


         17       graduated and got a job, but at the end of the day, they


         18       were employed, and their case was closed because they


         19       were employed.


         20                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  So --


         21                 (Multiple speakers.)


         22                       MR. HUDSON:  And that would include


         23       job-in-jeopardy cases, also?


         24                       MS. KISIEL:  Correct, that would include


         25       job-in-jeopardy, that would also include Business


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          1       Enterprise Program, that would include any employment


          2       that was longer than 90 days where the case was closed


          3       successfully.


          4                       MR. RODGERS:  Lisa, would it also include


          5       upper mobility?


          6                       MS. KISIEL:  It could, yes, if the case


          7       was opened as a new case, it could include upper


          8       mobility, yes.


          9                       MR. RODGERS:  So there wouldn't be a


         10       Training Center referral in that case, right?


         11                       MS. KISIEL:  Correct.  There would be --


         12       you know, there's lots of variables, although I will tell


         13       you that the reason I wanted to know that number as far


         14       as who came to the Training Center is I felt we needed a


         15       baseline, because I would love to see our numbers be way


         16       higher than that, you know, in providing services to


         17       individuals to help them become more employable, but I


         18       don't know that we had that previous, so I wanted to


         19       start somewhere.


         20                       DR. MOGK:  Right.


         21                       MS. KISIEL:  And so that's where we, you


         22       know, that's where we are.  And I also compared that to


         23       other Training Centers, and it was pretty high.  It's


         24       fairly high.


         25                       MR. HUDSON:  Now, the maximum number of


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          1       people that can actually go through the Training Center


          2       in the year is about 100 now?


          3                       MS. KISIEL:  Last year we served 136, and


          4       that's a steady incline since -- I'm sorry -- yes,


          5       incline since the renovation.  You know, it went down for


          6       a bit when we were at the Clarion and so on, and now it's


          7       on a steady incline up.  2009, which was the year before


          8       the renovation, we served 153, I believe.


          9                       MR. HUDSON:  Right.  But I mean that


         10       isn't counting the remote mini adjustments, right?


         11       That's just -- or are you counting --


         12                       MS. KISIEL:  That is not, no, that is not


         13       including that.  No, we count those numbers separate.


         14                       MR. HUDSON:  But your capacity at


         15       Training Center is about 28, right, and you --


         16                       MS. KISIEL:  Correct.


         17                       MR. HUDSON:  -- can do only -- you do


         18       ten-week sessions now, so there's four of those a year.


         19                       MS. KISIEL:  There are four, however, if


         20       someone needs to be there longer, they take a week break


         21       and come back.


         22                       MR. HUDSON:  But 4 times 28 might be near


         23       a hundred then, but you think you can get up to 130?


         24                       MS. KISIEL:  Yes.


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, you did, didn't you,


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       Lisa?


          2                       MS. KISIEL:  We did last year, but we


          3       weren't on the ten-week schedule.  We had 136.  And, of


          4       course, this is a, you know, this is a pilot for that


          5       particular program --


          6                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


          7                       MS. KISIEL:  -- and we're looking at


          8       those numbers.


          9                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  The other thing that may


         11       happen, Mike, when somebody comes in and they only need


         12       three or four weeks and they go out and then somebody


         13       else comes in --


         14                 (Multiple speakers.)


         15                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


         16                       MR. RODGERS:  I'm sorry.  So it may be


         17       that a person's only there, too, for four or five weeks,


         18       they leave and somebody else takes their spot.


         19                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


         20                       MS. KISIEL:  Correct.


         21                       DR. MOGK:  Anything else?


         22                       MS. DUNN:  This is a pilot program, I


         23       know, Lisa, as far as the ten-week modules, but do you


         24       have any sense how many individuals might be doing two-,


         25       three-week program?  Do you have a lot of clients that in


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          1       the past have only needed about that level of training or


          2       amount of training?


          3                       MS. KISIEL:  A lot in the past as opposed


          4       to now?


          5                       MS. DUNN:  Well, I mean you'd have to be


          6       basing it on the past.  Are there a lot of individuals


          7       who come to the Training Center who only need three or


          8       four --


          9                       MS. KISIEL:  Most stay longer.


         10                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.


         11                       MS. KISIEL:  Yeah.  The average stay is


         12       about eight weeks.  There are, you know, at least -- I


         13       have the numbers if you need them, I've got that all.


         14       But, you know, there are a significant amount that stay


         15       more, usually.  You know, someone said to me yesterday,


         16       they said, someone wants to come for two or three weeks


         17       for training, and I corrected them and said, they may


         18       come for two weeks, but it won't be necessarily training


         19       because we're going to be assessing you.  You know, you


         20       have to know what a person's capabilities are, and then


         21       you start working, you know.  So it's a good introduction


         22       in two to three weeks, but it's a slow start if you're


         23       going to -- you know, unless you come with a fairly


         24       extensive basket of skills and you just need to do some


         25       finishing touches, which happens, but most of the time


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       people want and need to stay longer.


          2                       MS. DUNN:  Okay.


          3                       MR. HUDSON:  So Lisa, if you think, then,


          4       that 28 is the kind of capacity revolving four times in a


          5       year, you must think that probably about a third of the


          6       people are going to come in for short periods, like less


          7       than ten weeks, to get to your 130, so you've got some


          8       ideas for the mini programming of some kind I guess to


          9       get to 130?


         10                       MS. KISIEL:  Yeah.  I mean we're studying


         11       that this year and seeing how that's -- I think the last


         12       time -- we just checked that count -- it was somewhere


         13       over 75 people we've served so far --


         14                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


         15                       MS. KISIEL:  -- this year, so.


         16                       MR. SIBLEY:  Do you have any early


         17       feedback on the ten-week program, or is it too early to


         18       tell?


         19                       MS. KISIEL:  You know, so far -- I'm


         20       sorry.  So far, Joe, I think it's going well.  I think


         21       that some of the benefits are that, you know, students,


         22       you know, individuals get an opportunity to have a break,


         23       they do get to go home, take care of, you know, finances,


         24       business.  People have lives, you know, that they're


         25       leaving.  It's been good for the staff in some sense


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       because we've been able to do some -- you know, I, during


          2       the week that we're closed, I meet with the teachers for


          3       at least a whole day and we do work on curriculum


          4       development, you know, things that you do when you work


          5       with staff, and staff development and things like that


          6       that they don't have time to do when they're working all


          7       day.  You know, the difference between being in the


          8       field -- and I can say this from experience.  The


          9       difference from being at the field and -- in the field


         10       and being at the Center is that your time is much more


         11       structured, you don't have the time to do what I'm doing


         12       today, because if I'm teaching and I'm here, that means I


         13       either have to get a sub or somebody else has to cover my


         14       students.  So, you know, it's nice, that's a real benefit


         15       for us.


         16                       MR. HUDSON:  Ed, one question for you.


         17                       MR. RODGERS:  Sure, Michael.


         18                       MR. HUDSON:  Part of being a good


         19       advisory person, I feel like sometimes -- and I may be


         20       just speaking for myself here -- but I would benefit -- I


         21       hear you mention earlier a press release, and I feel like


         22       I don't know what press release that was, and I'm


         23       wondering if there's a way that, either if I'm not --


         24       maybe I'm missing something -- but I'd like to get on the


         25       list that would send me information before I see it in a


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       newspaper or a publication.  Like if you're going to do a


          2       press release, could I be in the circuit, or could the


          3       board be in the circuit of learning about those, you


          4       know, as they're being sent out?  And then on some other


          5       dynamics --


          6                       MR. RODGERS:  Can I address that one


          7       first?


          8                       MR. HUDSON:  Yes, sure.


          9                       MR. RODGERS:  It's my understanding that


         10       the press release on the Anderson Building, either the


         11       chair or you folks did receive that.


         12                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.  Then I must have


         13       misplaced it.


         14                       MR. GAYNOR:  I didn't either, Mike.


         15                       MR. SIBLEY:  I didn't.


         16                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.  So --


         17                       MR. RODGERS:  Sue tells me we sent it to


         18       you.


         19                       MR. GAYNOR:  Within the last two weeks


         20       you mean?


         21                       MR. RODGERS:  No, no.  No, no.  When


         22       it -- either the day -- the day it was going to be


         23       issued.  You have to understand, I don't control


         24       departmental press releases, the department does, and


         25       they don't give it to anybody until the day they're going


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       to release it.  So no, you wouldn't have gotten it two


          2       days before, if that's what you're asking for, because


          3       the department won't do it that way.


          4                       MR. HUDSON:  I'd like to get on -- I'd


          5       like to give you my e-mail later and get on that list to


          6       receive those kind of things as they come out, because I


          7       feel a little sometimes surprised as I learn things in a


          8       paper that I didn't see directly, and that may have been


          9       my mistake on that one that I missed it.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  There is a list we can put


         11       you on that you'll receive all the departments, they


         12       don't break it down by agency, you'll receive all their


         13       press releases.


         14                       MR. HUDSON:  I want to get the ones for


         15       this agency, though.


         16                       MR. RODGERS:  There is not a list that


         17       the department has that does that.  They have a general


         18       press release list that they can put you on.


         19                       MR. HUDSON:  Maybe I can get on Sue's


         20       list, then, to get that.


         21                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Yes.


         22                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


         23                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, the only thing that


         24       Sue and I have gotten in the last year that I'm aware of,


         25       because it's BSBP, was just that one press release, I


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          1       mean they shared it with me like at 4:00 o'clock the day


          2       before they issued it.


          3                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


          4                       MR. RODGERS:  And then I think we got the


          5       copy the next morning in an official e-mail, and then it


          6       went out.


          7                       MR. HUDSON:  Then the other thing, I


          8       don't know how much of an invasion this feels for you,


          9       but sometimes I believe key unit-wide communications


         10       might go out internally that I don't know about and would


         11       help me get a sense of the flavor, the feel, the


         12       dynamics, the shifts, the trends going on, and ways that


         13       would help me be really a little more thoughtful than


         14       just reading a lot of reports that you've been good at


         15       generating at our request, the flavor for how a


         16       communication goes out to directors of units or staff.


         17       For instance, I heard at -- I heard that staff were


         18       directed not to speak to the board members, and I don't


         19       know if that's true or not, but I have no sense of how to


         20       gauge that other than if people tell me they can't talk


         21       to me because I'm on the board without going to you


         22       first.


         23                       MR. RODGERS:  No.  What staff was


         24       instructed is to let us know about contacts with the


         25       board.  That's different than saying they can't talk to


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          1       you.


          2                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.  So they can talk to


          3       me?


          4                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, and we also have


          5       asked that when you, as a group, want to talk to them or


          6       interview them, that you coordinate it with Sue so we


          7       know -- we have to know where our employees are, it's


          8       just that simple.  You know, you met with, for example,


          9       Lisa I think at the Training Center, right?


         10                       MR. HUDSON:  Yes.


         11                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  And Sue was involved


         12       in coordinating that for you.  That's all.  We're not --


         13       I have not showed up, if you'll recall, if you think back


         14       now, I don't think I have showed up, if you're worrying


         15       about a chilling effect, at any of your interviews with


         16       any of my staff.  We have made staff readily available to


         17       you.  I don't think you can really shoot at us and say we


         18       haven't made staff available to you.


         19                       MR. HUDSON:  No.  And actually, I don't


         20       want to be adversarial at all in this.  I'm just saying I


         21       don't have a good sense of how things happen, but I hear


         22       things like people shouldn't talk to me, and it makes me


         23       feel like I'm being kept at a distance, and I just -- I


         24       want to be thoughtful and partner-oriented in this


         25       advisory process, and anything I can do, like hearing the


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          1       press releases or seeing key kind of unit-wide --


          2                       MR. RODGERS:  Sure, sure.


          3                       MR. HUDSON:  -- directives would help me


          4       get a sense for, you know, the needs, the feeling, the


          5       operation of a big organization that I'm supposed to


          6       help, you know, reach higher levels of succession.


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  Sure, sure.  Let me give


          8       you a food for thought, then I'll tell you how we work


          9       contacts within the Agency.  Assume for a moment that you


         10       are able to, meaning just you, and then multiply it by


         11       seven, to contact any of my staff any time you want


         12       directly over any issue --


         13                       DR. MOGK:  Ed, that's not what we were


         14       suggesting.


         15                       MR. GAYNOR:  We've already addressed


         16       that, Ed, and we don't do that.


         17                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.


         18                 (Multiple speakers.)


         19                       MR. GAYNOR:  We're talking about walking


         20       along through the building and stopping and talking to


         21       someone and being told they can't talk to you because --


         22                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, if anybody does that,


         23       let me know who they are.  All right?  How's that?


         24                       MR. GAYNOR:  Okay.  Okay.


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  Now, here's what we do have


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          1       in place, so that you don't get the idea that I'm just


          2       picking on the advisory commission, that I'm trying to


          3       play hide the ball, we have a contact form.  When an


          4       employee is contacted by a member of the legislature, a


          5       department director's office from like MDOT or my


          6       department or whatever, the media, a consumer group, or a


          7       member of your board, they are -- they fill out a contact


          8       form that they send to Sue Luzenski showing what the


          9       contact was, that way we know what contacts were made.


         10       And I think it's reasonable of an agency to do that.


         11       Now, if that -- if that's what staff is referring to that


         12       I can't talk to you, then that's a real stretch on that


         13       form.


         14                       DR. MOGK:  I think that was it, Ed.  We


         15       have not made any contacts with staff without going


         16       through Sue, but --


         17                       MR. RODGERS:  And that's what I thought,


         18       Lylas, yeah.


         19                 (Multiple speakers.)


         20                       DR. MOGK:  -- when we're in Lansing --


         21                       MR. RODGERS:  But Mike threw me the way


         22       he asked the question, guess.


         23                       DR. MOGK:  When we're in Lansing and


         24       happen to be walking through and see someone that we know


         25       and we say, hi, how's it going, and the response is, I


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       can't talk to you because you're on the advisory board,


          2       that's what we're talking about.


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, that is not a message


          4       that was sent to anybody in terms of talking to you


          5       obviously.  And we do have the contact forms and, you


          6       know, that we just want to know.


          7                       MR. HUDSON:  So do you do unit-wide or


          8       commission-wide or bureau-wide communications that I


          9       might be able to see, kind of get a feel for the inside


         10       feel?  I just don't have that right now.


         11                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, I'm not going to


         12       promise you that I'm willing to send you every internal


         13       communication.


         14                       MR. HUDSON:  Absolutely not.


         15                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  General things, I am


         16       willing to share with you, but to be honest with you,


         17       there's not a lot of that.  I think you have the


         18       impression, Michael, that there's a lot more bureau-wide


         19       communications going on than there really has been in


         20       terms of an e-mail that goes to everybody.  Now, I get a


         21       lot of e-mails from staff that's generated, like a voc


         22       rehab counselor will run across something.  For instance,


         23       one of them sent out an e-mail recently where they had


         24       gone to the Wolffe presentation and they sent an e-mail


         25       to the entire BSBP list with a comment about the program


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       and something they had learned in the program.  Okay.


          2       That kind of thing happens a lot.


          3                       MR. HUDSON:  So there is a BSBP list,


          4       that's good for me to know.


          5                       MR. RODGERS:  There is a BSBP list,


          6       that's correct.


          7                       MR. HUDSON:  Could I be added to that?


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  I don't see any problem


          9       there.  You'll have to coordinate that with Sue, because


         10       I don't know how the internet works.


         11                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


         12                       MR. GAYNOR:  I think what Mike was


         13       thinking about, about nine months ago or a year ago,


         14       might be a year ago now --


         15                       MR. RODGERS:  Time flies, yeah.


         16                       MR. GAYNOR:  Yeah.  We received an e-mail


         17       that said the director's update or director's report or


         18       something like that that you sent out --


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  Yes.


         20                       MR. GAYNOR:  -- kind of outlining what


         21       was going to happen and/or what is happening, or if


         22       you've made some changes; like you're working with Mike


         23       and you made this, Mike Pemble, and you made a change


         24       here, just things that, because we don't have a policies


         25       and procedures, which we'll talk about, and then so that


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          1       we see that, you know, you're moving here, like the


          2       target keeps moving, so it would be nice to know where


          3       it's moved.


          4                       MR. HUDSON:  Yeah.


          5                       MR. GAYNOR:  That's all.


          6                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, we're still evolving,


          7       so it may seem from the outside that the target is


          8       moving.  In some instances, that's true, and other


          9       instances, it's not.  I think I shared with you that


         10       report, did I not?


         11                       MR. GAYNOR:  Yes.  That's what mean, nine


         12       months or a year ago.


         13                       MR. RODGERS:  That's the only report, so


         14       to speak, that we have issued so far.


         15                       MR. GAYNOR:  Okay.


         16                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  I did, at the end of


         17       my first year of my administration, I issued that report.


         18       Well, it actually came a month or two after my first year


         19       was completed.  At the end of my second year, you'll get


         20       another report; at the end of my third year, you'll get


         21       another report.  I'm not going to do interim reports per


         22       se.  Quite frankly, I don't have the time to do it.


         23                       MR. GAYNOR:  Right.  We understand that.


         24       But when there's -- if there's a major change of some


         25       kind --


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1                       MR. HUDSON:  Policy changes, direction


          2       changes, things that will help us --


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  I'm more than willing to


          4       share those.


          5                       MR. HUDSON:  That's what I -- I just


          6       don't feel like I understand those things right now.


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  Okay.


          8                       DR. MOGK:  If we're set, we should take a


          9       break so we don't delay our next guests.  Okay.  So we


         10       have 10 minutes rather than 15.


         11                 (At 11:40 a.m., there was a ten-minute recess.)


         12                             -  -  -


         13                       DR. MOGK:  We'll start this second half


         14       with presentations by James Chaney and Greg Keathley from


         15       the Elected Operators Committee, and we appreciate very


         16       much that you both have come.  And go ahead.


         17                       MR. KEATHLEY:  I'm Greg Keathley, vice


         18       chair of the Elected Operators Committee for the BEP


         19       Program.  First of all, thanks for the invite, it's a


         20       pleasure to be here, I consider it an honor.


         21                       You asked what you felt our role as EOC


         22       members was.  My personal belief, and I mean I'm sure


         23       everybody doesn't have the same feeling that I do, but we


         24       basically try to represent all the operators in the


         25       program's opinions, views, concerns, we try to stop a lot


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       of problems before they become problems, we often direct


          2       operators to the right person to maybe get this resolved


          3       with any problems they have.  We also do a lot of


          4       research ourself, we try keep up what's going on


          5       legislatively, new products that they might be interested


          6       in, maybe demographics have changed in their region;


          7       resolving a lot of unwarranted I feel sometimes


          8       complaints, a lot of rumors get going, and we try shut


          9       those down before they become bigger problems.  It's been


         10       a big problem in the past in the program.  We've been


         11       working together closely with the Agency and


         12       administration to hopefully stop all this.  We kind of


         13       like cutting it off at the legs when it comes in now.  If


         14       it's not a real problem, we try to stop people from


         15       bringing those issues.  Like if we're having a meeting,


         16       rumors, we shut down immediately.  You know, if they have


         17       a genuine complaint or concern, we try to take that to


         18       the correct subcommittee.  We have subcommittees that


         19       generally handle certain parts.  Like we had one for


         20       rules and regulations, and if something pertaining to


         21       that, which I take that to that subcommittee.  We have a


         22       training subcommittee, so if it's a training issue, we'll


         23       take it to that subcommittee.  We have a workshop


         24       subcommittee where we try to put together our annual


         25       workshop, they work on doing that.  We have one just for


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       insurance, so if that's a concern, we take it to that


          2       subcommittee.  Promotions and seniority.  At any rate, we


          3       take -- we try to take it down that avenue of the


          4       subcommittee, and then it will come to the EOC and we'll


          5       vote on it there if it couldn't be resolved on the lower


          6       level.


          7                       We dedicate a lot of time.  You know, the


          8       pay is horrible, the benefits are great, though, to be


          9       able to feel like you're actually helping somebody make a


         10       difference.  I take my role very seriously, spend a lot


         11       of money on my, you know, on my own dime.  I go to D.C. a


         12       lot and lobby for the program, I try to attend the Blast


         13       and the Sagebrush.  And I just love helping people.  And


         14       my interest is in the future of this program and for it


         15       to be successful.


         16                       And I came into this program, when I


         17       first came in, that was a big problem.  Before I ever got


         18       my foot in the door, just at the Training Center alone I


         19       heard so much negativity from people not even involved in


         20       the program, outside the program, whether it would be


         21       people from certain groups or just individuals that had a


         22       grudge.  And so, you know, a lot of people like myself


         23       were coming in with a chip on their shoulder thinking


         24       that it was negative and that they're going to do this


         25       and do that, they just want to get you out; and over


                         Metro Court Reporters, Inc.   248.426.9530




          1       time, in my own personal experience, I figured -- I


          2       figured out that, you know, it's not true.  And we try to


          3       stop any of the new people coming in now, we try to put a


          4       positive message in there here if we can, that's why we


          5       go to the new class and meet with them, myself and


          6       Mr. Chaney.  And we just want them to realize, you know,


          7       you're going to get out of this program what you put into


          8       it.  But we just don't want people to be coming in with


          9       the negative views that's been happening in the past.


         10       And I think we've done a lot of great work changing that.


         11       Like I said, we've been working very close with the


         12       Agency staff, and we've built a great relationship.  A


         13       lot of things are changing, and I feel in the right


         14       direction.


         15                       The mandatory trainings we put together I


         16       think is crucial for not only the new people coming in,


         17       but for the existing operators that have been here, you


         18       know, 10, 15, 20, 25 years that maybe didn't have that


         19       type of training, you know.  And whereas before we had,


         20       you know, it's always been voluntary training that they


         21       can attend, but some people just don't have the drive


         22       that they necessarily need, so now we've made it


         23       mandatory for them to go to this training, and I think


         24       it's a -- you know, we just started this year, but it's


         25       helping out great.  We've really cracked down on


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          1       recordkeeping and bookkeeping and, you know, holding


          2       operators accountable on that part of it, and I think


          3       that's helping.


          4                       The negatives, I think before a lot, we


          5       had a lot of facilities that just didn't make enough


          6       money for somebody to make a living, a single person


          7       couldn't make a living, let alone a family.  We've been


          8       working with the Agency to really knock these out, get


          9       rid of them, either add to those facilities to make them


         10       a sustainable site, or we've broken up them sites and


         11       added each site into another facility to make it


         12       stronger.


         13                       I don't have a lot of negative to say,


         14       like I said, other than, you know, the rumors that went


         15       around that we're really working on.  I feel great about


         16       where we're going, I feel great about the staff that's


         17       been put together and the relationship we built, the EOC


         18       and the Agency, and I think we're on a rail for success,


         19       and we're definitely heading down that rail.  And I am


         20       just -- the only thing I could see that could help the


         21       program at this point in my view is we definitely need --


         22       or well, I guess us, too, but the Agency could use some


         23       more help.  We need another promotional agent, we need a


         24       permanent trainer, you know, things like that.  But, you


         25       know, those are conversations we're having, and these are


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          1       things we're leaning toward, in my opinion, moving


          2       forward, and I'm happy to be a part of it.


          3                       DR. MOGK:  Great.  Thank you very much.


          4       I had originally indicated that each of them would give


          5       their presentations and we'd ask questions to both, so


          6       we'll delay they questions for Mr. Chaney.


          7                       MR. CHANEY:  Okay.  Well, when I first


          8       became the chair, when I first came into the program, the


          9       one thing that I did see was the intimidation and I saw


         10       the disconnect from both sides, the operators as well as


         11       the Agency; no one was talking, it was like a bad


         12       marriage, and I had to come in and try to be the


         13       counselor, because nobody was listening to each other


         14       talk.  It was, the Agency was doing their thing, the


         15       operators doing their thing, and no one was listening.


         16       So what I wanted to do when I got with Greg and the rest


         17       of the board was to try to mend that gap.  And when you


         18       do that, sometimes you get told that you're an Agency


         19       person or told that you're a selling out and all this,


         20       but the thing is that you're trying to do what's good for


         21       the whole.  See, it's not about taking two pieces and


         22       pulling them apart, you want those two pieces to come


         23       together, and that's all we ever been trying to do is to


         24       get the Agency to listen to us and us to listen to the


         25       Agency, and to work together as one.


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          1                       Now, I'm not saying this just because Ed


          2       and Mike is here, I'm saying this because I say this to


          3       them in their face, when they first came to me and asked


          4       me what did we need, I told them honesty.  We need for


          5       you to be honest.  Whatever you going to do, put it out


          6       there.  Just be honest.  Treat the operators like adults,


          7       they're grown.  We are entrepreneurs, we're not poor


          8       blind people.  Oh, those poor blind people.  No, we're


          9       not that.  We're entrepreneurs.  Treat us as such.  And


         10       that's one thing that I can say that Ed and Mike have


         11       came in and done, they treat us like adults.  It's this


         12       way and it's this way, it's black and it's white, and I


         13       can deal with that better than I can deal with somebody


         14       behind closed doors telling me one thing and then walking


         15       out that door and doing something different.  So I want


         16       to thank them for that part of it, because that's the


         17       part that they listen to me on.


         18                       Now, do we agree with everything they do?


         19       No, you never going to do that.  You could be married


         20       years and never agree with everything your wife or your


         21       husband saying.  Right.  But we agree to work together.


         22       And that's the one thing that I appreciate with them,


         23       they do listen, and they make everybody accountable, the


         24       operators, as well as his own staff, and that's all I can


         25       ask for, it's accountability.


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          1                       Now, if you ask me what we need, we need


          2       continuous training in this program.  And the only


          3       problem that I'm seeing is this; you've given us tools,


          4       you've given us computers, but no software or no


          5       training.  It's got to all go hand-in-hand.  You can not


          6       give a surgeon -- you can not tell your surgeon to


          7       perform a surgery without a scalpel.  You wouldn't put a


          8       police officer on the street without a gun.  So why would


          9       you give us a computer with no software and no training


         10       of it?  It's not so much Ed and Mike and them fault, they


         11       came in at the -- they came in when you have operators


         12       that wasn't required to come up with the 25th century,


         13       they didn't have to have the technology.  Now we're


         14       trying to move this thing forward.  You got the iPhones,


         15       you got the iPads, you got the iNotes, the Braille


         16       Notetakers, you got all this stuff that is, that is


         17       coming out that will make this program move along a lot


         18       faster and further, you given us the technology, but


         19       you're not giving us the training.  We're asking for the


         20       training.  It should be written in automatically, when


         21       you get this computer, 30 hours of training automatically


         22       comes with it.  Now, if you're person that computer guru


         23       like we have some that's in our program, then you turn it


         24       down, but automatically these people should get this


         25       training.  Because you got to think, 25, 30 years ago


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          1       when some of them came in, it wasn't required.  Now


          2       they're lost.  Some of them don't even know how to turn


          3       it on.  So I'm pleading to the Agency to get these people


          4       this training.  Let's not hold it up.  And if it's Voc


          5       Rehab that's got to pay for it, stop worrying about how


          6       much money we're making, worry about that we continue to


          7       make money, because as long as we're making money, we can


          8       continue to hire people outside of the program, we can


          9       keep working and offering jobs to sighted people, as well


         10       and non-sighted people.  This is a program that is a


         11       giving program.  Let's continue to give.


         12                       MR. KEATHLEY:  And can I add to that for


         13       a second, James.  I think what James is saying is


         14       mandatory, because an operator can request training and


         15       will get that training, and some, like we said, just


         16       don't have the drive, so if it was mandatory, maybe some


         17       of these operators would get out and get that training.


         18                       MR. GAYNOR:  Should you have to test out


         19       of the training?


         20                       MR. CHANEY:  Yeah.


         21                       MR. GAYNOR:  You said some people don't


         22       need it.  Could you test --


         23                 (Multiple speakers.)


         24                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Sure, sure, I think that


         25       would be great.


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          1                       MR. CHANEY:  What I'm saying is, you


          2       know, when we first came into the program, we were told a


          3       computer is not necessary for you to run your business.


          4       Well, now it is.  So you got to remember somebody -- I'll


          5       just take you back to when we had John (inaudible) here


          6       as a trainer, he said when he was in the program in the


          7       '70s and '80s they just threw them in a room and threw


          8       the parts at them and say, here, figure it out.  Well,


          9       you still got some people that still come from that era


         10       that's still in the program.  They didn't have to have


         11       computers.  Now we're throwing them in the room and


         12       saying, here, here's the computer, figure it out.  You


         13       can't, you can't do that.  And I don't -- and I'm not


         14       saying that it's the Agency fault, it's we have to get on


         15       the same page if we going to do all this.


         16                       MR. KEATHLEY:  A lot of it could be fixed


         17       right at the Training Center itself or wherever we have


         18       our class, because there is a -- you have to be able to


         19       demonstrate that you can use a computer to even be


         20       accepted into the class, but it's very, very minimal


         21       skills, basically turning it on and show that you can


         22       save a file I think, at least what it was when I went


         23       through.  So I mean, yeah, testing out would be great and


         24       probably save a lot of time and money and effort for a


         25       lot of people.  If somebody could pass that test, yeah,


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          1       they would be good to go, but mandatory for those who


          2       couldn't, and it would be a good thing to start I believe


          3       in the classroom to get better training right from the


          4       get-go, that way we don't have to worry about people


          5       coming in later and having this problem.


          6                       MR. CHANEY:  And the communication


          7       throughout the program, it would be excellent for that.


          8       You know, a lot of operators are getting these iPhones,


          9       and if Ed puts out something, say he wants to put


         10       something out, most people don't listen to the deadline.


         11       You put it out through somebody's e-mail that comes right


         12       up on your iPhone, you can read it right then and stay in


         13       touch with whatever's going on in the program.


         14                       DR. MOGK:  There are some operators who


         15       are successful and others who are not.  What do you think


         16       the key ingredients are that make that difference?


         17                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Well, drive is the number


         18       one thing.  I think most of the operators that aren't


         19       successful are just not willing to do what they need to


         20       do to be successful.  A lot of them just let their


         21       facilities go downhill, they won't ask for training; even


         22       when offered training, they don't accept it, you know,


         23       they know what they're doing and that's it, until it gets


         24       to a point where unfortunately a lot of times, you know,


         25       their license has to be revocated [sic] or other measures


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          1       have to be taken.  But I think that successful operators


          2       are the ones that are hungry, that are true


          3       entrepreneurs, that get out there and, you know, they


          4       have goals and they have that drive and they're willing


          5       to do what it takes.  You know, they stay up on what's


          6       new and fresh in the industry and what demographic


          7       they're shooting at and what they want to sell, what's


          8       trending, what's fadding, what's ever selling at the


          9       time, they change product, they don't same stay with the


         10       same products for 20 years without ever -- you know, they


         11       bring something new to it.  And also a lot of, a lot of


         12       operators have a problem with customer service, you know,


         13       some people just aren't people people, and unfortunately


         14       that shows in a lot of situations.  Some people aren't


         15       willing to be a gracious host and to accept what the


         16       customer wants, you know, they want to sell what they


         17       want to sell and do what they want to do, and you're


         18       never going to be successful that way.


         19                       Trust you me, we went to a lot of


         20       operators and answered a lot of calls and tried to help a


         21       lot of people that just, you know, you just don't get


         22       through to them.  Some you do, some you don't.  But if


         23       you want to be successful in this program, you can and


         24       will be successful in this program.  If you're willing to


         25       do what you need to do to be successful, you will be


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          1       successful.  That's my opinion.


          2                       MR. CHANEY:  I want to say a word, I want


          3       to say the word analyze.  I think when we go in and


          4       analyze some of these places, we need to evaluate them a


          5       little better than we do and give the people the toolage


          6       to be successful at the same time.  If a person need to


          7       make salads in his building, they got have a three-


          8       compartment sink.  If they need coffee, they got to have


          9       a water line.  So when we go in these places, we need to


         10       evaluate them a little better and be honest with the


         11       building.  See, sometimes I think what's happening is the


         12       building has this way of thinking that the things that


         13       they want, but it's unrealistic, because then the health


         14       department comes in and tells them, you can't do A, B, C


         15       or D.  Now, if we want -- if you want them to make that


         16       money, they have to be able to do A, B, C and D.  And


         17       we're telling the buildings that they're going to do A,


         18       B, C and D, but then the health department comes in and


         19       say, you can't do A, B, C, or maybe not D.  So we got to


         20       start analyzing these places better and giving these


         21       people the toolage to make the money.  And we got to


         22       understand in these buildings, also, that that's what


         23       that operator is there for.  He's there to tend to your


         24       needs, he's there to provide these things for you.  Get


         25       the training to allow him to do that, but also let's


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          1       analyze these buildings and be honest, because if they're


          2       not going to be up to code to these things, then we can't


          3       offer that, and we need to be honest with one another.


          4                       DR. MOGK:  So it sounds like, from what


          5       you said, that in terms of success or not, that part of


          6       it has to do with the individual and the drive and the


          7       people skills, and that would seem to rest on a selection


          8       process?


          9                       MR. CHANEY:  Right.


         10                       DR. MOGK:  I mean that needs to be


         11       discovered ahead of time.


         12                       MR. KEATHLEY:  That is something we've


         13       talked about for quite a while now.  And it's my


         14       understanding that now there is a, the screening is a


         15       little more vigorous now than what it was in the past to


         16       make sure we're bringing in the right kind of person


         17       that's willing to do this type of work and be successful.


         18       In the past, you know, you signed up, you pretty much,


         19       you passed a test, you got in.  Now we're looking for


         20       people that are more driven toward, you know, to being an


         21       entrepreneur, to go into, you know, what the program was


         22       intended for, to becoming successful.


         23                       It's like James was saying, some


         24       facilities, you know, your building population might --


         25       your customer might want something that you can't


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          1       provide, which I think doesn't necessarily bring it back


          2       to a negative thing to say, hey, I got this, can't do


          3       this, I think that goes back to your relationship with


          4       your customer and your customer service and being able


          5       to, you know, convey to them why you can't or can do


          6       something and what you're willing to do.  I think as long


          7       as your customer base knows you're doing what you can and


          8       you are about satisfying, you know, their wants and needs


          9       in that business, I think customers are, the majority of


         10       them are willing to work with you and still frequent your


         11       establishment.


         12                       MR. GAYNOR:  I'm pretty new to all this.


         13       What role does the EOC play in the selection process of


         14       candidates, you know, that will get businesses?


         15                       MR. KEATHLEY:  We play no role.


         16                       MR. GAYNOR:  Okay.


         17                       MR. CHANEY:  Of which I wish we would.


         18                       MR. GAYNOR:  And what is mandatory, just


         19       the -- for an operator and you, it's -- are they, do they


         20       have to come to the meetings or --


         21                       MR. KEATHLEY:  No.  The only meeting that


         22       all the operators on the whole have to attend is the


         23       annual workshop, unless it is, like a we've scheduled


         24       this year, a mandatory training, and then it's mandatory,


         25       and if they don't show up, you know, there's some sort of


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          1       penalty for that, they're not allowed to bid out to


          2       promote or --


          3                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  That's because of the


          4       point system, they have a point system each meeting or


          5       training session you go to?


          6                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Right.  Which kind of goes


          7       back to your question, I mean that would be the role I


          8       guess we play, we help them permit that promotions and


          9       seniority program to help operators, you know, so I guess


         10       that helps them bid, because, you know, they get points


         11       for doing training, certain things you do, go to food


         12       shows, you know --


         13                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Could you explain --


         14                       MR. KEATHLEY:  -- going to college.


         15                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Excuse me.  Could you


         16       explain the point system so everyone has clear


         17       understanding how you rate as far as your points and your


         18       attendance and the, to bid on a new site and so on?


         19                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Sure.  You come into the


         20       program and we got a points and promotions system where,


         21       like going to the workshop every year, I think it's one


         22       point now, one time I think it was two; if you go to like


         23       a food show or some kind of voluntary training, you get a


         24       point for that; being on EOC board is a point; being a


         25       member of one of the subcommittees is a point; further


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          1       education that has anything to do with your business and


          2       knowledge of improving your business is pointable;


          3       seniority is pointable; evaluation, you have an annual


          4       evaluation, and on that evaluation, your score, like, you


          5       know, how you're running your business, if you're keeping


          6       your records, if you have all your appropriate licenses


          7       and all that, so you get scored that way.  And, you know,


          8       some things are cumulative, some aren't.  Seniority is


          9       cumulative, you know, any trade shows or those type of


         10       points.  The only things that are cumulative is like your


         11       annual -- your annual evaluation can change from time to


         12       time, so it's not the same.  It's whatever, whatever your


         13       last score in that evaluation goes toward your points.


         14                       MR. GAYNOR:  Who performs that


         15       evaluation?


         16                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Our promotional agents,


         17       which is like the business consultant to all the


         18       operators, they call them promotional agents here, but


         19       they're basically business consultants.


         20                       DR. MOGK:  You mentioned Blast and


         21       Sagebrush, what are those?


         22                       MR. KEATHLEY:  You want to take that?


         23                       MR. CHANEY:  Yeah, those are like annual


         24       meetings that like the NFB might have or the American


         25       Council for the Blind might have each year, that you come


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          1       together and -- it's a great, great farm system for


          2       information and gathering knowledge.  Every year I go I


          3       learn something different.  It's blind entrepreneurs


          4       across the country that all come together at one time in


          5       one spot for that one weekend or week, and they share


          6       their experiences, they share different ideas about how


          7       to better your business, they share customer service,


          8       they do some training, some training, and then they also


          9       have food shows that also offer you and show you


         10       different products to bring back maybe to your state and


         11       talk about to your fellow operators and stuff.  I think


         12       it's something excellent that we should continue do,


         13       because every time I go, I come back with just a glass


         14       full of knowledge, and it just, I come back feeling good


         15       about this whole thing every time I go.


         16                       MR. RODGERS:  For example, Lylas, last


         17       year's conference -- and, James, correct me if I'm wrong,


         18       it could be last year, the year before -- they brought in


         19       a tax expert --


         20                       MR. CHANEY:  Yes.


         21                       MR. RODGERS:  -- who gave an hour and a


         22       half presentation on tax issues that the BEP operators


         23       might run into.


         24                       MR. CHANEY:  Yes.


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  So it's educational, too.


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          1       It isn't just, you know, go and sit around and talk,


          2       there's actually presentations by different experts in


          3       different areas.


          4                       MR. CHANEY:  And training.


          5                       DR. MOGK:  Is this something that you


          6       foot the bill for, taking yourself to the conference?


          7                       MR. KEATHLEY:  I have in the past footed


          8       my own bill, but the Agency, they recently have started


          9       paying for the chair and vice chair to go.  And as a


         10       matter of fact, I think the whole --


         11                 (Multiple speakers.)


         12                       MR. KEATHLEY:  -- the whole EOC was able


         13       to go.


         14                       MR. CHANEY:  Yeah.  And they also, I did


         15       go to Ed and ask him that if some people of the board


         16       that couldn't go out of the eleven of us, can we


         17       substitute it for operators that would want to go, and he


         18       graciously said yes, so we had a few operators that was


         19       not on the board that were just in the program that got a


         20       chance to go because some people on the board just, you


         21       know, passed up on it or just couldn't, you know, it


         22       couldn't -- it didn't fit around their schedule.  But the


         23       ones who went came back glowing about it, because they


         24       had never been.  And that was one of the things that when


         25       I went for the very first time, they were just sending


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          1       the chair and the vice chair, and I came back and I said


          2       to Ed and Mike that we got to spread this wealth because


          3       it's so much wealth of knowledge, a lot of people need to


          4       know what's going on and get that camaraderie and find


          5       out that it's -- every state has their problems and every


          6       state has their good.  This is an excellent, excellent


          7       program throughout the country, and I'm glad to be a part


          8       of it.


          9                       MR. RODGERS:  I think we sent 15 last


         10       year, Lylas.


         11                       DR. MOGK:  Yes.


         12                       MR. HUDSON:  James, you talked about


         13       software issues.  Tell me more about the software need,


         14       and what does that software do, and is there a product


         15       that is already available, or does it need to be


         16       developed?


         17                       MR. CHANEY:  No, I think it's already


         18       developed, and I think me being an iPhone user, I was one


         19       of those people that was not afraid of technology, but


         20       didn't really understand how it was going to affect me,


         21       because when I first came in the program, I was very high


         22       partial, but as I went on, I lost more and more of my


         23       sight, and I'll probably be total in another year or two,


         24       but I didn't get discouraged because I loved to read


         25       books; now I'm reading the books on my iPhone, I'm


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          1       reading the books on my iPad, I'm looking up my


          2       information from the Sam's Club on my iPhone.  Everywhere


          3       I go, I'm reading my e-mail on my iPhone or getting it


          4       off the iPad, writing my letters and getting out my


          5       e-mails, you know, even with assistance from, you know,


          6       someone, but it's just still, the technology is there,


          7       it's the training that we need to get more of, because I


          8       think a lot of people wasn't getting the training.


          9                       MR. HUDSON:  So it's not a business


         10       process software you're looking for, it's not the


         11       accounting, it's not the interaction system that you're


         12       looking for?


         13                       MR. CHANEY:  Yeah, it's all that, because


         14       you got to think about it, if you need to make an order,


         15       you can do it right over your phone or right over your


         16       computer; if you need to change an order, you do it right


         17       then; if you want to take credit cards for your facility,


         18       you can swipe it over the iPhone.  It's a lot of things


         19       that's the technology now you can do, that's hand-held


         20       that you can do it right then, right there.


         21                       MR. HUDSON:  So it's not a need to


         22       develop, but it's a need to assemble it, know what it is,


         23       and get trained on it?


         24                       MR. CHANEY:  There you go, that's the


         25       proper way to put it.


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          1                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.


          2                       MR. KEATHLEY:  It's as simple as I


          3       think -- it's no specific software I don't think, it's as


          4       simple as teaching some of these operators how to use


          5       Excel, how to put together a spreadsheet, how to online


          6       shop, how to put an order together, and believe it or


          7       not, some is as simple as sending and receiving an


          8       e-mail.  So I mean it's no big piece of technology that


          9       we need --


         10                       MR. CHANEY:  Right.


         11                       MR. KEATHLEY:  -- it's just getting


         12       everybody trained to just have a general sense, at least


         13       be able to put together an Excel spreadsheet.


         14                       MR. HUDSON:  Now, Greg, one thing you


         15       mentioned was your trips to national conferences and


         16       conventions and so forth, one being Elected Operators


         17       nationally.  At those events, does the topic of


         18       accessibility in the very vending machines that you might


         19       be setting up places ever come up?  I work at a


         20       university, and we just had a big student project to


         21       Braille label a bunch of machines, but it was labor


         22       intensive and it will be outdated very quickly if the


         23       vendors choose to put things in a different place on


         24       those machines.  So it seems like a big Elected


         25       Operators' system nationally would have some sway on


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          1       vending machine manufacturers so that we can get some


          2       better accessibility in those things.


          3                       MR. KEATHLEY:  That's a topic at every


          4       one I've ever been to, and there's plenty of


          5       presentations of new adaptive equipment and what's new


          6       and what's coming new.  But yeah, every convention,


          7       whether BACB or NFB or whatever, that's been a part of


          8       every --


          9                       MR. HUDSON:  Good.


         10                       MR. KEATHLEY:  -- one I've been involved


         11       with.


         12                       MR. HUDSON:  And from a user's


         13       perspective of equipment, too, so blind people are well


         14       understood by the vendors, then?


         15                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Right.


         16                       MR. HUDSON:  The vending machine


         17       manufacturing?


         18                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Right.


         19                       MR. HUDSON:  But we're not getting any


         20       closer to anything we can do, or do you think it's coming


         21       soon?


         22                       MR. KEATHLEY:  I think it's coming,


         23       there's a lot of new things coming down the pipe that are


         24       really exciting, and I think it's only going to get


         25       easier for us.


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          1                       MR. SIBLEY:  I want to compliment these


          2       guys, I've known them for some years now, and it wasn't


          3       that many years ago, like they said, that it was like a


          4       real war zone between the operators and the Bureau, or


          5       the Commission at that time, and I think these guys here


          6       have been a central part of bringing it down to saying,


          7       okay, let's talk to each other, let's be reasonable about


          8       this, let's work together instead of fighting each other,


          9       so I want to compliment them on that.


         10                       And I'm also just kind of curious --


         11       totally changing gears -- I checked the bid line


         12       yesterday, I think there's six facilities open right now.


         13       Did some operators drop out, or what's the status of


         14       that?


         15                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Yeah, there's been a


         16       couple operators that have stepped down, and I believe


         17       there's a couple in the process of getting their license


         18       revocated [sic] as well.


         19                       MR. RODGERS:  As a followup to that, Joe,


         20       unfortunately yesterday I had to summarily suspend the


         21       license of an operator.  That's one example of what


         22       fluctuates and causes that.


         23                       DR. MOGK:  What is the term of the EOC


         24       board and president and vice president, is it a set


         25       number of years or --


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          1                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Two.


          2                       DR. MOGK:  Two years.


          3                       MR. KEATHLEY:  There's eleven members,


          4       and it's offset, one year five are up, the next year six


          5       are up.


          6                       MR. CHANEY:  It's sort of a two-year term


          7       each time you're elected, but the chair is voted on each


          8       year by his fellow board members.


          9                       DR. MOGK:  Is there a limit to how many


         10       years you're allowed to serve?


         11                       MR. KEATHLEY:  No.


         12                       MR. CHANEY:  No.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


         14                       MR. CHANEY:  Which I think is a good


         15       thing, because like with this year, we -- if we didn't


         16       have some -- and it's not knocking anybody else on the


         17       board -- but if we'd have put somebody new in there, they


         18       would have had to go all over with trying to build what


         19       me and Greg had built far as knowing, knowing the


         20       operators and knowing the Agency and knowing where we're


         21       at in certain positions in certain things.  They would


         22       have been trying to come in, come into a situation really


         23       not knowing where we were at with certain operators on


         24       certain things, and it could have disrupted some things.


         25       And not saying that they couldn't have did a good job,


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          1       but sometime when, you know, when you come in and do


          2       somebody else's job, that person has to try to get you


          3       trained to understand where we're at, because the


          4       slightest little thing can chip the paint right off.


          5                       DR. MOGK:  I agree, a one-year term is


          6       short for -- so yeah.  Any other questions?


          7                       MR. GAYNOR:  I'm just curious, if it's


          8       appropriate, what type of operations do you have?


          9                       MR. KEATHLEY:  What type of what?  I'm


         10       sorry.


         11                       MR. GAYNOR:  Your personal operations,


         12       what do you run?


         13                       MR. KEATHLEY:  I have a vending route in


         14       southeast Detroit, vending route that includes the Walter


         15       Reuther Psychiatric Hospital, some DHS offices, the post


         16       office garage in Detroit, I have a customs office, an


         17       immigration office.  So it's a lot of driving for me, lot


         18       of on-the-road time.  James actually has the one that's


         19       pretty much the same --


         20                 (Multiple speakers.)


         21                       MR. CHANEY:  Yeah, he have the -- what,


         22       you have the south?


         23                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Yeah.


         24                       MR. CHANEY:  And I have the east side of


         25       vending, which I have the customs, I deal with a lot of


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          1       custom officers on the bridge, I have a lot of the


          2       immigration, I have the immigration building, a lot of


          3       DHS offices, a lot of FIA and CPS office, which Child


          4       Protective Services.  I love my customers, I do, and they


          5       love me, and I like to see them every day, every day they


          6       make contact.


          7                       MR. HUDSON:  I just want to say it's


          8       great to see you guys shining in your work, you're


          9       obviously excited about what you're doing and having some


         10       fun at it.


         11                       MR. CHANEY:  I'm excited -- Joe, I'm


         12       excited about the program.  I know everybody's not, and I


         13       know everybody's kind of upset with some of the things


         14       that's being done, but I see the one step ahead.  I don't


         15       think for today, I think for tomorrow.  I think where are


         16       we going to be the next day, and I kind of see some


         17       things that Mike and Ed are trying to do that some people


         18       might not see.  Now, do I think some of the stuff is


         19       political?  It's very political.  We all expect that,


         20       you know, we can accept that, but I do love the honesty


         21       and the upfrontness, I'm glad that the operators are not


         22       intimidated anymore, they're willing to stand up for


         23       their own and speak out.  I hate that we're going to lose


         24       a great operator in Hazell, but she has to do what she's


         25       got to do, but she was a strong point of this program,


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          1       too.  And, you know, I think Ed and them are going to


          2       leave this thing in a strong and straight way, and when


          3       they do step down, I hope that we as operators and the


          4       program can keep what they set as an example, and if I'm


          5       still here, I'm going to make sure we keep it, because I


          6       don't want to see this program go away.


          7                       MR. KEATHLEY:  My goal is to leave a


          8       better program than what I came into, because, you know,


          9       this program came into my life at a time where it was


         10       very well needed and I certainly appreciated the


         11       opportunity it gave me, and I want to make sure it's here


         12       in the future for, you know -- I'm a big get off to


         13       college and do what you want type guy, but some people


         14       sometimes get in circumstances where, especially in


         15       today's job market, you know, and being considered


         16       handicapped, it makes it even harder, so it's nice to


         17       know that this program is here to help those who may need


         18       it, and I just want to make sure it exists in the future,


         19       and if I can leave it better than I found it, well, then


         20       I've accomplished what I've set out to do.


         21                       MR. CHANEY:  And thank you guys for


         22       listening to us, because that's very important to the


         23       operators to know we are being heard.


         24                       MS. DUNN:  James and Greg, this is


         25       Marianne Dunn.  I just had a followup question.  You both


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          1       made several references to wanting be sure the program is


          2       here in the future.  What are the concerns?


          3                       MR. CHANEY:  That one day the legislature


          4       is going to go behind closed doors and try to ax us off,


          5       but we're not going down like that.  We're not going to


          6       take it sitting down.  I'm not.  I'll turn my light on


          7       and stay up 24 hours before I let them do that.  And


          8       that's not a threat, it's a plea to say, we need this.


          9       No other where or place can you go where they're going to


         10       give blind people this type of opportunity.  And there


         11       are some excellent, excellent operators in this program.


         12       Now, there's nothing going to be perfect, nothing.  The


         13       earth's not perfect.  You put a hundred people in one


         14       room, you're going to get 5 or 10 that's not on the same


         15       page, but do you get rid of the other 90 because the 10


         16       don't want to listen?  No.  And that's how I feel about


         17       this program.  We have some excellent, excellent


         18       operators that do a hell of a job and bust their butts


         19       every day to try to not just make a dollar, but represent


         20       this program, and they carry they self as such.  They


         21       have put their kids through college, they have paid off


         22       mortgages, they have gave jobs to sighted people.  We


         23       matter.  Don't just sweep us under the rug.


         24                       MR. KEATHLEY:  That's my biggest fear,


         25       too, a legislative that -- not that it will disappear,


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          1       I'm afraid it will be combined in house with another


          2       program that will eventually dissolve the entirety of


          3       this program and what it stands for and what it offers


          4       blind persons.  And that's why I'm so concerned, like I


          5       said, about people with, outside the program coming in


          6       with the rumors and personal attacks and just so many


          7       unwanted accusations and attacks that, you know, that got


          8       inside for a minute, people started passing that along,


          9       and we've been working so hard to shut that down and show


         10       the positive side of this program and show people what's


         11       real and what's, what is exactly that, just a rumor.  And


         12       I'm afraid if, you know, if they hear too much of that up


         13       there, the legislators are going to say, well, this


         14       program isn't working, it's bicker, bicker, bicker and


         15       back and forth, and, you know, that's really what we're


         16       trying to take out of the equation right now.  We want to


         17       show the positive parts of this program and really get


         18       some positive press out there on what it does for people


         19       and what it accomplish and what it means to us, the


         20       people that are involved inside of it.


         21                       MR. RODGERS:  We spend, just for the


         22       committee's reference, we spend approximately, and I


         23       can't give you exact figures, but it's over $4 million a


         24       year in support of this program to employ approximately


         25       70 people.  So as you can imagine, I periodically get an


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          1       inquiry from the legislature that says, where is all this


          2       money going, why are we spending $4 or $5 million to


          3       employ 70 people.  So what these fellows have helped do


          4       is to present exactly what they're talking about today, a


          5       positive image and how the program can grow rather than


          6       be canceled.


          7                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


          8                       MR. KEATHLEY:  That's exactly right.


          9                       MR. SIBLEY:  Do you feel that the


         10       training right now, the people that are coming out of the


         11       training as it exists right now are pretty much ready to


         12       go?  Put you on the spot.


         13                       MR. CHANEY:  You want me to take it


         14       first?


         15                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Go ahead.


         16                       MR. CHANEY:  I think it could be better,


         17       the training could be better, and I'm just going to be


         18       honest, it could be better because of the simple fact I


         19       think some of the things you're not going to get in that


         20       classroom that maybe we can offer you, because it's just


         21       like if your mother comes in and tosses you your blanket


         22       and sheet and say, here, make up the bed, son, you never


         23       made up that bed before, you're not going to know where


         24       to start or how to get the wrinkles out; but if somebody


         25       comes in and shows you a couple of times to give you the


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          1       hands-on training, I think it's a lot better.  I think it


          2       should be more hands-on than books.  You can read and


          3       learn that stuff, you can't learn customer service, you


          4       can't be taught how to think on the fly, you have to go


          5       through that.  And when I train people, I'm the booby


          6       trap king, when I train you, I'll go unplug a pop


          7       machine, I'll go loosen something up, and they run to me


          8       go, James, the serve is not dispensing (inaudible), well,


          9       what would you do.  And you need to -- that's what you


         10       have to do.  You have to take the register -- I take the


         11       register tape out, you know, they come in, there's no


         12       register tape, because I want you to think on the fly,


         13       because there's not going to be anybody there to teach


         14       you that and tell you that.  You have to learn that


         15       instinctively.  And those are the type of things I try to


         16       get them prepared for.


         17                       MR. KEATHLEY:  I agree a hundred percent.


         18       And that's the main thing we hear from operators that


         19       have been through the training, including ourselves, is


         20       more on-the-job, because that's where you learn.


         21       Certainly you need some classroom, you know, you need


         22       your Serve Safe and you need to know, you know,


         23       legalities of it, but hands-on, yeah.  Like right now we


         24       have I think, what is it, ten weeks of classroom and then


         25       two months of on-the-job.  I would like to see the whole


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          1       class based around on the job.  Or we did discuss, here


          2       in the last couple years we've been discussing, matter of


          3       fact, is maybe getting one of our facilities as a


          4       training center, you know, where the class actually is


          5       inside a facility running a facility.  That hasn't


          6       materialized, although, you know, they have started a new


          7       department that helps train blind individuals, not in


          8       this program, but they come to Voc Rehab, and I think


          9       that's a great thing, but I would love to see us succeed


         10       in that goal one day to have a facility that is nothing


         11       but a training facility for the people coming in the


         12       class.  I mean they would learn so much more and it would


         13       alleviate so many problems, you know, like James is


         14       saying, things that come up that aren't going to come up


         15       on that pencil and paper, you know, just real life comes


         16       up.


         17                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  This is LeeAnn.  They


         18       basically can think for themselves.


         19                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Exactly.


         20                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  They're learning to not


         21       ask the questions, taking ownership of what they're


         22       doing.


         23                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Right.


         24                       MR. SIBLEY:  Is there adequate followup


         25       training, like when an operator is -- like you're doing


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          1       that intense training, you're not going to remember


          2       everything.  If an operator needs more work in a


          3       particular department, do they have decent followup


          4       training available or is --


          5                 (Multiple speakers.)


          6                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Well, the Agency is


          7       willing to give you any training that you need at any


          8       time.  It's -- the biggest problem is operators are


          9       asking for that training or being -- willing to admit


         10       that they have a problem.  And a lot of that goes back, I


         11       hate to go back to this again, is the negativity from


         12       those rumors, a lot of people were afraid in the past to


         13       ask for help, afraid that, well, they're going to suspend


         14       my license because, you know, I don't know how to do


         15       this.  And that's one of the things we've really been


         16       working with the operators with, you know, if you got a


         17       problem, let us know, that's the most important thing.  I


         18       mean they look more responsible as a business person


         19       asking for help on something you don't know than just


         20       letting it go to it's a point to where, you know, you


         21       cost yourself a job or you run a facility down that might


         22       take years to fix.


         23                       MR. CHANEY:  And one of the things that I


         24       would want to see is, you know, and I'm not saying this


         25       because he's here, like Hazell went to culinary art


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          1       school, and she's a blind person; you have a lot of blind


          2       people in the program that technically are scared to make


          3       a sausage sandwich or a McMuffin or to bake a baked


          4       chicken or anything in their facilities because they just


          5       don't, they never had to face that, because we have what


          6       we call newly blind people.  See, I been blind since I


          7       was six.  Now, some people that's been blind six years,


          8       six months, so I call them newly blind, so they're still


          9       adjusting.  But you could have took someone like Hazell


         10       and put her in a position where she could have went to


         11       these facilities and taught these people how to make


         12       sausage sandwiches or make salads, and they're being


         13       taught by their peers, somebody they feel comfortable


         14       with, somebody that's not going to judge them, that can


         15       take their hand and put it in the oatmeal and say, this


         16       is how it's supposed to be done.  And I think that's


         17       where we're lacking, right there, that connect, because


         18       some of the people are asking for some of this stuff in


         19       the building, and it's not that the operators don't want


         20       to do it, they just don't know how, because some of them


         21       are newly blind.  They're still adjusting themselves.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  The classroom training that


         23       you have, is that done at the Training Center?


         24                       MR. KEATHLEY:  It is now, and it was in


         25       the past, but for a couple years they wanted us out of


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          1       the Training Center and we moved out.  They were actually


          2       doing it in a hotel in, was it Farmington Hills I think


          3       it was?


          4                       MR. CHANEY:  Yeah.


          5                       DR. MOGK:  Doesn't the Training Center


          6       have the sort of equipment or close to what some


          7       operators would need to learn that?


          8                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Yeah, and they do use the


          9       kitchen there.  The reason that they were, you know, even


         10       slow to go back to the Center is they felt that it


         11       enabled them too much, made it too easy, you know, they


         12       wanted them to learn mobility and being on their own and


         13       having to do those things.  So it's a different setup at


         14       the Center now compared to what it was five, ten years


         15       ago.  I mean things -- anything you ask for five years


         16       ago, you know, they were at your beck and call.  Now


         17       pretty much if you're there, you're pretty much sleeping


         18       there and using the classroom and their kitchen, you get


         19       hardly any assistance from them, which is great.  It's


         20       actually helped a lot of people become a lot more


         21       independent rather than asking, there it is, you know.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  But my question is sort of


         23       directed toward the need that you've expressed for more


         24       on-the-job training integrated with classroom training.


         25       Could that not be integrated at the Training Center and


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          1       do --


          2                       MR. KEATHLEY:  I don't think so.  I think


          3       they would have to be put into, like I said, into a type


          4       facility that actually is ran and open to a customer


          5       base, you know, to get the customer service part of it


          6       down, to be able to interact and even just make change,


          7       you know, a lot of them, a lot of training on the cash


          8       registers alone.


          9                       MR. CHANEY:  Right.  To what Greg said,


         10       to mimic the real-life speed of it.  Because if I put you


         11       in a kitchen and you have no timing, yeah, you'll make a


         12       beautiful sandwich because you'll take, you're taking


         13       your time, but if I got four people, five people in line


         14       saying, hey, where's my sandwich, you know, it's going --


         15       you going to get a lot faster and a lot better and a lot


         16       quicker, you know, with that intense training.  It's


         17       nothing like hands-on.  But it can be done.  It can be


         18       done.


         19                       DR. MOGK:  And it takes more than the two


         20       months I'm hearing?


         21                       MR. KEATHLEY:  I would think so, to


         22       actually -- and that's what -- see, our on-the-job


         23       trainings are done with other operators.  The people that


         24       finish class go to an operator that's run a facility and


         25       they do like four weeks with somebody that's doing a


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          1       vending route, and then they do four weeks with somebody


          2       that's either doing a snack bar or a cafeteria, but it


          3       would be nice to see an experienced cafeteria, a snack


          4       bar, vending, what have you, so when they do bid, you


          5       know, their options were more open, they can go into


          6       something they've been into, because they might go into a


          7       snack bar and not a cafeteria and a cafeteria might come


          8       up on the bid line and they would go in there not knowing


          9       the first iota.


         10                       MR. CHANEY:  Right.  And then the


         11       employees, see, it's different from going to no employees


         12       to having six employees, and if you're -- if you're not


         13       used to dealing with different personalities, oh, Lord,


         14       you're going to go -- it's different.  I mean people that


         15       have children, you know each one of your child has his


         16       own personality and you have to deal with that as such.


         17       But when you have some operators that go from zero


         18       employees to six employees, and I think they need to get


         19       that and toss that in, too.


         20                       MR. HUDSON:  I missed the detail of where


         21       the classroom experience is held today.


         22                       MR. KEATHLEY:  It's in the Kalamazoo


         23       Training Center.


         24                       MR. HUDSON:  It is in the Training


         25       Center.  Okay.


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          1                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Training Center.  Yeah.


          2       We just went back there this year I think.


          3                 (Multiple speakers.)


          4                       MR. KEATHLEY:  We been in Farmington


          5       Hills for the last couple of years in a hotel.  But


          6       previous before that, it was in the Training Center all


          7       the time.  My training was at the Training Center,


          8       James's was at the Training Center.


          9                       MR. CHANEY:  Yeah, mine was at the


         10       Training Center, too.


         11                       DR. MOGK:  Anybody else?  Okay.  Thank


         12       you, gentlemen, very much.


         13                       MR. KEATHLEY:  Thank you.  Appreciate it.


         14                       MR. CHANEY:  Thank you.  Thank you.


         15       Hopefully we answered all your questions.


         16                       MS. DUNN:  Very helpful.


         17                       DR. MOGK:  These last few minutes, we


         18       just have three updates from the various subcommittees.


         19       So the Training Center, Marianne or Mike, if you have


         20       anything you want to share with the rest of the


         21       Commission or the --


         22                       MS. DUNN:  I think that I sent around


         23       kind of a synopsis of the (inaudible) meeting that we had


         24       (inaudible).  You each got that.  So I don't really have


         25       anything more to add.  Do you want to add anything?


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          1                       MR. HUDSON:  I think I'm still in a


          2       sensing stage of watching and understanding, there's been


          3       ample change there, and yeah, that's what I can add right


          4       now.


          5                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  Good.  Anything, Joe or


          6       LeeAnn, that you wanted to add?


          7                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  Well, I did go to the


          8       Training Center a few weeks ago, and I was able to listen


          9       to James Hall with two or three clients that are


         10       potential operators, and they read through the manual, or


         11       part of it, it's quite lengthy, and James was answering


         12       the questions for the clients in detail, and I found it


         13       was very helpful, I thought the clients that were in


         14       training were excited and they had good questions, and he


         15       was very thorough.  It was good experience.


         16                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


         17                       MR. GAYNOR:  Did you get a tour?


         18                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  I did not get a tour,


         19       but I am going back for one.


         20                       DR. MOGK:  Anything you want to add, Joe?


         21                       MR. SIBLEY:  Nothing much more to add.  I


         22       thought these guys were terrific (inaudible).  I thought


         23       these guys were terrific today with the information that


         24       they shared and their insights, because they're in the


         25       pits, they're doing what needs to be done.  So some of


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          1       the things we can't really analyze because of the changes


          2       in the policies and such are still pending.  So really


          3       nothing much new today.


          4                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  Gary, do you want to


          5       say anything?


          6                       MR. GAYNOR:  I guess I would start out


          7       with the same thing that Joe just finished with, that


          8       we're still waiting on the policies, which I thought was


          9       April, we still don't have the date on when those would


         10       be finished, so it's hard to evaluate policies and


         11       procedures based on what we've accumulated when we know


         12       that it's changing, but we're still looking at that.  And


         13       then also in doing needs assessment, which was part of


         14       our directive, that we'll be working on the demographics


         15       for what groups, age groups, how many blind or visually


         16       impaired are in different age groups throughout the state


         17       and evaluating how the Bureau is servicing them and/or if


         18       they are reaching them, or if people even know about the


         19       Bureau's availability for services.


         20                       MR. RODGERS:  Madam Chair, comment on the


         21       policies and procedures.  We received -- there was a date


         22       in one of your e-mails where there was the statement that


         23       I had received a policy manual on April 1, I believe?


         24                       DR. MOGK:  No.  It was that you had said


         25       to your staff that you expected it back two weeks from


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          1       the time of that e-mail, and the e-mail was like April


          2       2nd I think.


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  Oh, okay.  Appreciate that


          4       clarification.  I have received part it, and I hope my


          5       answer to your inquiry, in particular, Gary, following up


          6       on your question, there is a policy manual and a


          7       procedure manual that are a package together.  The policy


          8       manual, as I understand it from the committee, the draft


          9       has been done; the procedural manual part of it has not


         10       been completed yet, and quite frankly, I'm not going to


         11       review their work until both pieces are done.  So, and I


         12       can't give you a date other than they're -- they are


         13       working, they're meeting diligently to -- the procedure


         14       part of it is very lengthy and very detailed, and they're


         15       working on that and trying to get that done for me soon.


         16                       MR. GAYNOR:  As a followup to your


         17       followup --


         18                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.


         19                       MR. GAYNOR:  -- who is on that rev -- the


         20       committee that's formulating it, and what are you using


         21       at this point to evaluate performance if you don't have


         22       policies and procedures?


         23                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, the old manual is


         24       still in place until the revised one has been completed,


         25       along with the procedures.  Lisa, are you on that


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          1       committee?


          2                       MS. KISIEL:  Yes.


          3                       MR. RODGERS:  Who else is on that


          4       committee, please?


          5                       MS. KISIEL:  The management team, so that


          6       would be Leamon and the five regional managers and


          7       myself.  There is a counsel -- let's see.  Let me this


          8       about this.  There is two counselors that are -- three


          9       counselors in addition who are also on committee.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  Do you remember the names?


         11       So it's you and Leamon?


         12                       MS. KISIEL:  Yeah.  And then Beth White,


         13       Gwen McNeil, Shannon McVoy, Debbie Wilson, Dan Ferton,


         14       Nicole Wright and Danielle Smith.


         15                       MR. RODGERS:  Two of them being


         16       counselors out in the field, which would be Nicole and --


         17                       MS. KISIEL:  Nicole, Danielle and Dan.


         18                       MR. RODGERS:  Dan, three.


         19                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Is Wilda Haney on that as


         20       well?


         21                       MS. KISIEL:  Oh, yes.  I'm sorry.  Wilda


         22       is new to us.  I forgot her.


         23                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Is Wilda --


         24                       MS. KISIEL:  Wilda Haney from Detroit.


         25                       MR. GAYNOR:  So is there a target --


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          1                       MS. KISIEL:  Actually, we've completed,


          2       Gary, we are going through the edits and grammatical


          3       spelling, making sure everything is where it needs to be.


          4       So we're -- the target is -- it's --


          5                       MR. RODGERS:  Soon.


          6                       MS. KISIEL:  -- very soon.  It's we're


          7       done.


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  Well, you're not done,


          9       Lisa, don't put your boss on the spot, in the sense it's


         10       not ready to hit my desk yet.


         11                       MS. KISIEL:  No, no, it's not.


         12                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  Thank you.


         13                       MS. KISIEL:  I'm saying we've reviewed,


         14       we've done the work, and now we're editing it and making


         15       sure that it, you know, it looks good and make sure we


         16       put all the finishing touches.


         17                       MR. GAYNOR:  Is that separate from or


         18       will that include the BEP manual as well, or is that


         19       separate?


         20                       MS. BUCKINGHAM:  It is separate, isn't


         21       it?


         22                       MR. RODGERS:  Yes.


         23                       DR. MOGK:  Is the BEP manual being


         24       updated?


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  My understanding from


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          1       Constance was that she had started that process, but I


          2       don't know the stage at this point.  They are reviewing


          3       it.


          4                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


          5                       MR. SIBLEY:  So if I understand, you are


          6       tightening some of the regulations in the BEP --


          7                       MR. RODGERS:  That's correct.


          8                       MR. SIBLEY:  -- to make the operators


          9       more accountable?


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  In fact, we did last May,


         11       we held one of our mandatory meetings, and as the people


         12       from the EOC told you, we changed their reporting


         13       requirements and we told them that these were effective


         14       January this year, which they were.  They now have to


         15       make sure that their year-end inventory is in before


         16       February 1.  One of the motivations for that was when I


         17       was at the meeting last year, an operator of many years'


         18       experience raised his or her hand and said, I haven't


         19       turned in my inventory yet.  Now, this was in May.  And I


         20       asked the question, why haven't you turned in your


         21       inventory; the response by that person was, you didn't


         22       remind me.


         23                       MR. GAYNOR:  Gosh.


         24                       MR. RODGERS:  I then asked what happens


         25       on April 15 every year in this country; the person said,


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          1       well, that's tax day.  I said, I don't know about you,


          2       but the IRS has never reminded me.  There's requirements.


          3       There's now also monthly requirements, and in conjunction


          4       with that, we're in the process of completing an RFP that


          5       is going to be a data collection system that will allow


          6       them to easily do their monthly reports with the use of


          7       computers, and we're starting by implementing that just


          8       with vending routes to start, because it's easy to hook


          9       this up with the vending machines.  It's going to be more


         10       difficult, for instance, to do cafeterias, we're going to


         11       get there eventually.  That's a long-range goal.  So


         12       those are requirements that we have.


         13                       The other thing that's happened is,


         14       before I took over the successor agency, I don't think in


         15       the previous ten years we had ever suspended a person's


         16       license for imminent danger to the public health, safety


         17       and welfare under the APA; we've done it about six times


         18       since I've been there, and it was necessary.  So the word


         19       has gotten out to the operators that you must be doing


         20       your job.  And the committee has done a great job of


         21       educating their members, and they agree that the


         22       standards needs to be raised, and I appreciate the


         23       cooperation that they -- they have stepped forward and


         24       done a great job by saying to their members when Rodgers


         25       is not in the room, if you guys don't step up and improve


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          1       this program -- because I keep telling them my worst fear


          2       is that this inquiry I get once in a while from the


          3       legislature grows.  And every two years in this state we


          4       face what is a political issue, and that is lame duck


          5       sessions, and one never knows what's going to happen.


          6       Michael, being in a university, can give you probably war


          7       stories that the university worries about the lame duck


          8       session, things they might be doing to MSU.  So, and lame


          9       duck is when they just introduce bills, they don't do any


         10       committees, they do voice votes, and they ramrod stuff


         11       through, so we don't want that happening to this program


         12       obviously.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  All right.  I think we now are


         14       open for public comment.  If anybody else besides those


         15       of us sitting up here would like to say anything to


         16       anybody, you're welcome to do so.


         17                       MS. BROOKS:  I have a public comment.


         18       I'm Hazell Brooks.  Thank you, Mr. Chaney, for those


         19       shameless plugs.  Thank you so much.


         20                       This has been an amazing journey for me.


         21       I was able to go to college, to meet people there, get a


         22       culinary degree, and also have a food service


         23       certification through this program.  I've kind of


         24       stretched and limited myself in terms of being here


         25       anymore.  I've accepted an unbelievable opportunity in


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          1       Washington, D.C. to impress those folks with what I've


          2       learned here in Michigan.  And I'm now waiting, you know,


          3       for Mr. Rodgers and Leamon to sign off so I can actually


          4       go.


          5                       Today was the day I was supposed to have


          6       been going to sign my new lease, and I can't do it, you


          7       know, and I'm at a quandary.  And I know you're going to


          8       tell me what you told me in the hallway, it's in Voc


          9       Rehab hands, but I have say, I'm at your mercy, I really


         10       am.  I am ready to expand my wings and take my training


         11       and do some of these extraordinary things that we've done


         12       in the program with not only other operators, but just to


         13       go to another market and shine and say that I came from


         14       Michigan, you know.  Those people are very excited about


         15       me coming.  I mean they've spent a ton of money on


         16       technology and stuff that I'm just like excited about,


         17       like a kid in a candy store, and I'm ready to hit the


         18       ground running because they have the type of facilities


         19       that's best suited for my skillset, you know.  And


         20       they're going to be going online here in a minute with a


         21       lot of cafeterias that have different types of cuisine,


         22       Asian cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine, Mexican.  I'm


         23       trained in all of those.  And so I'm looking forward to a


         24       wonderful transition to the Washington, D.C. area, I just


         25       need Mr. Rodgers, maybe Mr. Pemble, because see, you're


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          1       the numbers guy, man, you're the guy that knows the


          2       numbers.  I shouldn't be saying this to you.


          3                       But anyway, just I didn't say bye at the


          4       workshop because I'm not, I'm not good at that, you know


          5       what I'm saying, but I will say I'm ready to go here


          6       and --


          7                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Thirty seconds.


          8                       DR. MOGK:  -- it's been a great journey


          9       here in Michigan, and I can't wait to get to D.C. and


         10       shine for Michigan.


         11                       MR. SIBLEY:  Congratulations to you.


         12                       DR. MOGK:  Anyone else?


         13                       UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Hello.


         14                       DR. MOGK:  Yes, on the phone.


         15                       MS. LUZENSKI:  We can hear you on the


         16       phone.  Can you speak up?


         17                       UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Okay.  This is


         18       Wanda.  This is a question, but I don't know if you all


         19       answer it or if I missed it.  In the -- Rob, I heard


         20       you -- I heard this Rob Essenberg division.  Within that


         21       Rob Essenberg division, is there any other opportunities


         22       for positions in his division (inaudible) that's the way?


         23       From the time I been on the phone that's all I kept


         24       hearing, Rob division.  So I'm (inaudible).


         25                       DR. MOGK:  As I understand it, the


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          1       question is, is there any other opportunity besides what


          2       comes through Rob Essenberg's division; is that correct?


          3                       UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Is there any, yes,


          4       any other opportunity in Rob's division, yes.


          5                       MR. RODGERS:  To work for it?


          6                       DR. MOGK:  To work in it, you mean to be


          7       employed by the Bureau?


          8                       UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.


          9                       DR. MOGK:  Mr. Rodgers.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  The answer is yes.  We


         11       posted and filled his first position, which was an


         12       analyst position.  That person is, that was selected is


         13       now working full time.  We posted a second position on


         14       the civil service web page, which will be -- follow the


         15       regs, it will be posted, there will be interviews, and


         16       that position will be filled.  And as we go along,


         17       positions are starting to get filled.  So there will be


         18       other positions within that division.  Like I say,


         19       there's one that has been filled, we're going through the


         20       process of hiring a second person.


         21                       DR. MOGK:  Thank you.


         22                       UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Joe (inaudible),


         23       public comment.  Can you hear me?


         24                       DR. MOGK:  Yes.


         25                       UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Yes.  I requested


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          1       over and over again that this agency follow the Americans


          2       With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, and


          3       that includes all information, all information that you


          4       folks have related to this meeting at the time of


          5       production, and yet all these requests for information


          6       get convoluted and turned into phony Freedom of


          7       Information Act requests for which they want to charge me


          8       for what you people already have in your hands, including


          9       things like you referenced today, including the reports,


         10       the responses, you name it.  More -- I can't fight a


         11       running battle to even get up-to-date directly


         12       information.  Mr. Rodgers talks about, you know, holding


         13       accountable, you know, BEP operators, but does not


         14       respond to requests for information about how our


         15       thousands and millions of dollars worth of federally-


         16       funded money goes.


         17                       One simple thing, the capitol has been


         18       run for years, or now close to a year, by a non-operator,


         19       and yet they put in untold amounts of new capital


         20       expenses, they do not respond to how much they're


         21       grossing, they do not respond to even whether or not


         22       they're paying a sales tax.  They do not respond to that,


         23       or they want to charge me.  And things are already


         24       accessible and they're already available, they're


         25       supposed to be made available to the public.  Period.


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          1                       We've had -- we've had dozens upon dozens


          2       upon dozens of student assistants who are hired.  Not one


          3       of them are blind.  Not one.  There's a Section 503


          4       obligation (inaudible) all, all rehab programs that


          5       requires affirmative action.  And I'll tell you what --


          6                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Thirty seconds.


          7                       UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  -- we've got


          8       219 -- we have 219 people going to college, you know, we


          9       already have a pool.  You folks have also -- you folks


         10       have also heard parents of blind children screaming to


         11       get some job experience, and yet this has been turned


         12       into a pool for sighted, nondisabled people.


         13                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Time.


         14                       DR. MOGK:  Any other comments?  Valerie.


         15                       MS. YARGER:  Good afternoon.  I'm Valerie


         16       Yarger with the Statewide Independent living Council.


         17       One of my first encounters with this organization, I told


         18       you that one of my main concerns was that there was not a


         19       lot of communication between BSBP and the Centers for


         20       Independent Living, and I felt that the consumers that we


         21       served were -- could benefit from it, and I'm here today


         22       to tell you that there is major changes in that area.


         23       BSBP and the CIL network are holding regional meetings


         24       around the state, so far four of them have happened.


         25       They're walking away from that day-long meeting with


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          1       to-do lists, they're sharing information, they're more


          2       aware of what the Centers have to offer, and the Centers


          3       are much more aware of what BSBP provides and have taken


          4       the opportunity to have the Department come in and


          5       provide their staff with one-on-one training in blindness


          6       issues.  This last week I received a phone call that


          7       said, I have been at this CIL for ten years and I have


          8       received my first referral from BSBP, and I am so happy


          9       because they're happy with what we're doing.  So I want


         10       to say thank you for creating the environment to allow


         11       this to move forward, and I look forward to telling you


         12       more about it as we continue to move forward.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  Thank you, Valerie.  I would


         14       like to say that that is a perfect example of something


         15       we might like to know about, because we might like to


         16       attend one of those, but we had no idea that it was even


         17       happening.


         18                       MR. RODGERS:  You mean the Independent


         19       Learning Center?


         20                       DR. MOGK:  Yes, these regional meetings.


         21                       MS. YARGER:  The regional summits.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  The regional meetings.


         23                       MR. RODGERS:  Oh, the regional meetings.


         24       Well, I wasn't aware that they were held either, Lylas.


         25                       MS. YARGER:  I can take care of that.


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          1       Sorry about that.


          2                       MR. RODGERS:  That's okay.


          3                       DR. MOGK:  Anyone else?


          4                       MS. YARGER:  I just wanted to make sure


          5       you knew that we were having positive outcomes.


          6                       DR. MOGK:  Well, we're happy to hear


          7       that.


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  With Leamon's employees, I


          9       would assume?


         10                       MS. YARGER:  Yes.


         11                       MR. RODGERS:  Yeah.  See, this is


         12       something being scheduled by Leamon's division obviously,


         13       and I wasn't aware of it.


         14                       MS. YARGER:  Each one of the division


         15       managers are working with the directors from the CILs in


         16       each region.  The CILs are hosting it, it's at their


         17       location, you know.  The costs are basically being split.


         18       And it's been awesome.  I mean the first one I went to, I


         19       thought, oh, and it was great, it was like -- it was


         20       really good.


         21                       DR. MOGK:  Excellent.  That's good.


         22                       MR. RODGERS:  I try not to micromanage.


         23                       MR. HUDSON:  Ed, a little out of public


         24       comment, but, you know, this might be an ideal way to use


         25       some of that student assistants.  I mean that's what we


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          1       do in our department for our internal -- in fact, we make


          2       it external to a newsletter about what's happening.


          3       Exciting new engagements might be a good positive


          4       visibility thing that would really be good for everybody,


          5       probably employees in the agency, boost morale, boost


          6       communication and awareness.  You know, just think about


          7       that.


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  Let me make a comment about


          9       the student assistants, since you brought it up again.


         10       We post the positions for student assistants, we go


         11       through the civil service process.  In the last year,


         12       we've only had one blind student who was interested and


         13       was on track probably to get hired, and then at the last


         14       minute decided they were going to go to summer school


         15       instead.  So we're out there trying to bring in blind


         16       student assistants but, you know, I can't go to the dorms


         17       at MSU and go to the all the blind folks and say you got


         18       to --


         19                       UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Yeah, you can.


         20                       MR. HUDSON:  I'd be happy to help


         21       distribute that information and I -- that's a new


         22       opportunity to me that I learned about through these


         23       meetings, so I've never heard of it before, so I'll be


         24       glad to help.


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  Thanks.


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          1                       MR. HUDSON:  And I have a network of


          2       higher ed institutions that would help, too.


          3                       MS. DUNN:  Are we talking, Ed, about


          4       student assistants at the Training Center or throughout


          5       the Bureau?


          6                       MR. RODGERS:  Throughout the Bureau, we


          7       use them in all the -- for instance, the Grand Rapids


          8       office has one or two student assistants.  In fact, that


          9       was the office that we were going to hire a blind student


         10       this summer, and at the last minute it went away because


         11       they decided to go to summer school.


         12                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Madam Chair, I actually


         13       have a couple e-mail that came in.


         14                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


         15                       MS. LUZENSKI:  I do need to ask, Hazell,


         16       does your in-person public comment replace the e-mail


         17       that you sent on Tuesday?


         18                       MS. BROOKS:  Yeah.  Listen, you know, I'm


         19       a little antsy because, you know, I'm going to be out of


         20       my primary residence, I'm out of work, and --


         21                       MS. LUZENSKI:  No, I'm just asking, does


         22       what you sent on Tuesday, did you want me to read that as


         23       a public comment, or what you sent -- presented today, is


         24       that sufficient?


         25                       MS. BROOKS:  It's basically the same,


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          1       isn't it?


          2                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Okay.  I just wanted --


          3                 (Multiple speakers.)


          4                       MS. BROOKS:  It's basically just saying


          5       that I'm out of work and I need to move on, I want to get


          6       my transfer with BR's blessing and get going, because,


          7       you know, I relinquished my facility, it was a great


          8       facility.  Boy, do I miss my customers.  Boy, do I miss


          9       them.


         10                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Okay.


         11                       MS. BROOKS:  And, you know, I'm not


         12       garnering any money at this time.  So I just want it to


         13       be part of public record, you know, to let you folks know


         14       that, you know -- and I mean -- and these transfers, you


         15       know, we transferred a guy in, what was his name, Bill


         16       Kenney, from Illinois not too long ago, and they happen,


         17       you know, periodically, and I just, I'm just running out


         18       of time now, you know, I'm getting a little, you know --


         19       because deadlines are happening and I don't want to miss


         20       my opportunity to go.


         21                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Okay.  Thank you.


         22                       MS. BROOKS:  You can read it if you'd


         23       like, though.


         24                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Oh, that's fine.  That's


         25       what I was asking.


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          1                       Okay.  This was received by Hazell Brooks


          2       on Tuesday.


          3                       Would the Board of Commissioners discuss


          4       why a licensed operator waiting for transfer to another


          5       state with an open VR case is not being moved as promised


          6       and is currently out of work?  Secondly, why was a BEP


          7       operator trained in Canada at the cost of $30,000 with a


          8       franchise that was not awarded a contract in Michigan


          9       with the BSBP?  Finally, why is a blind law school


         10       student being out of state on the BSBP budget, and yet


         11       you give no explanation on moving an operator to a better


         12       paying job within Randolph Sheppard?  That was Hazell


         13       Brooks.


         14                       And I received from Joe Hartz this


         15       morning, it was a reissued -- from -- reissued May 1,


         16       2014, to BSBP Commission as public comment, a letter that


         17       he sent to Director Rodgers on October 21, 2013.  It is:


         18                       Dear Mr. Rodgers:  Link from page at


         19       michigan.gov, go to LARA Accessible Meeting Policy, this


         20       is what you get in the PDF file which I've converted


         21       here.  Start reading the policy.  Effective date 9/20 --


         22       or 9/12/2011, Policy Number GO1 supersedes 33105, Meeting


         23       Accessibility.


         24                       The Department of Licensing and


         25       Regulatory Affairs --


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          1                       THE REPORTER:  Excuse me, Sue.  Can you


          2       just send that to me, because I can't write as fast as


          3       you're talking?


          4                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Oh, I'm sorry.


          5                       Well, basically he put the policy in


          6       there, and then I'll get to the end of the policy.  We


          7       can send you the policy.


          8                       (Document not provided.)


          9                       MS. LUZENSKI:  It says:  Please note,


         10       this is based upon Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act


         11       of 1973 and Title 2 of the Americans With Disabilities


         12       Act 1990.  Both are federal civil rights laws.  Now, all


         13       documents related to these meetings are to be produced in


         14       accessible formats (inaudible) let alone upon request and


         15       for free.  No surcharge, Subpart (e) Title 2 ADA


         16       effective communications.  And it is an abuse of the


         17       Michigan FOIA to use it as a means of extorting a


         18       surcharge for all documents made, which I've informed you


         19       of in the past.  You, as an attorney and federally-funded


         20       state official have persistently violated my and other


         21       civil rights in these regards, then surely you must know


         22       that you've acted with willful and malicious indifference


         23       to known civil rights of myself and the entire class that


         24       you are paid to advocate for in the first place.


         25       Sincerely, Paul Joseph Hartz, Jr.


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          1                       Then there was also two other e-mails


          2       from Joe Hartz this morning about the audio streaming,


          3       first that it was not working, but I don't think it was


          4       activated yet, and then another one a couple minutes


          5       later saying that it was working properly.


          6                       MR. RODGERS:  Can we send those to Lylas?


          7                       MS. LUZENSKI:  Yes.


          8                       MR. RODGERS:  Okay.  We'll send you all


          9       those e-mails.


         10                       MS. LUZENSKI:  And that's all the e-mail


         11       I have.


         12                       DR. MOGK:  Can I just clarify that the


         13       materials that are available here that were sent to us


         14       ahead and the transcript, is that available to Mr. Hartz


         15       and anyone by e-mail, electronically?


         16                       MR. RODGERS:  It is available to


         17       Mr. Hartz once you have approved it.  The disagreement


         18       that Mr. Hartz and I have is, number one, I don't control


         19       this committee.  He wants me to be accountable for the


         20       Open Meetings Act when I don't control you, you're an


         21       independent body, you're your own boss on the Open


         22       Meetings Act, whether or not you believe you follow it,


         23       whether or not you want to follow it, and whether or not


         24       you want to prepare and give documentation to Mr. Hartz


         25       before you approved the transcript.  I told Mr. Hartz he


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          1       can always get the transcript once you folks have


          2       approved it and sent it to me.  Until the document is in


          3       my hands as approved, I can't be releasing it.  We only


          4       charge him when he makes FOIA requests, we have never


          5       charged him to make things accessible, because that is


          6       against the law.  But we put your minutes up on the web


          7       page, which he has access to, that's his preferred, as I


          8       understand it, mode of receiving things so that he can


          9       get it electronically that way, and as such, we've always


         10       granted those requests.


         11                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


         12                       MS. LUZENSKI:  And everything is archived


         13       on our website.


         14                       DR. MOGK:  Fine.


         15                       MS. LUZENSKI:  So agendas, old minutes,


         16       new transcripts, and everything as to -- everything


         17       you've approved previously is on the website.


         18                       MR. RODGERS:  Right.  I get the same


         19       weekly -- I get these e-mails weekly from him on the same


         20       issues, 503, 504.  In my opinion as a lawyer, he


         21       misinterprets what 503 and 504 say.  503, for example,


         22       deals with contracts only and deals with federal


         23       agencies, and neither of which apply to us.  He also


         24       wants the minutes from the EOC.  Until the EOC sends me


         25       the minutes, I have nothing to give him.  And again, I


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          1       don't control the EOC, they're also independent from me.


          2       I can't tell the EOC what to do.


          3                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.


          4                       MS. DUNN:  Could I just ask one more


          5       quick question?


          6                       MR. RODGERS:  Sure.


          7                       MS. DUNN:  We became aware that a couple


          8       of new positions were opened and are being filled in the


          9       BADP.  What other positions are going to be added?


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  The 12, first 12 level


         11       position was approved, there is a second one that is on


         12       the web page, I can't remember what level it is.  Do we


         13       know -- here's where I put Mike Pemble finally on the


         14       spot.  Is that second position in BADP, is that closed


         15       now, do we know?


         16                       MR. PEMBLE:  The timing of that, it could


         17       be closed, it might be up for another day or two, but I


         18       think that went up about a week ago, so I really am not


         19       sure, Ed.


         20                       MR. RODGERS:  We usually post them for a


         21       week.


         22                       DR. MOGK:  What is that position?


         23                       MS. DUNN:  Yeah, what are those


         24       positions?


         25                       MR. RODGERS:  That's a position that will


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          1       assist -- and I haven't looked at the P.D.  That's a


          2       position that will assist Rob in carrying out his duties.


          3       I'm not sure exactly what the focus will be in that


          4       position.  It's all on the web page.


          5                       MR. HUDSON:  Maybe it's -- I feel a


          6       little less than optimal in my performance if I don't


          7       know positions are being posted.  I don't follow the


          8       state posting system, and I just wonder how -- I'd just


          9       challenge you, Ed, to figure out how we can be apprised


         10       of these things as they're happening.  Maybe that


         11       internal list is going to do it, because I imagine you


         12       send it out to the staff that we've created this exciting


         13       new position, tell your friends and consider applying if


         14       you meet the qualifications.


         15                       MR. RODGERS:  I think Bob sends out an


         16       e-mail, doesn't he?


         17                       MS. LUZENSKI:  He sends an e-mail out,


         18       and it does go to --


         19                       MR. HUDSON:  Good.


         20                       MS. LUZENSKI:  -- other people outside --


         21                       MR. HUDSON:  So that will --


         22                       MS. LUZENSKI:  -- Agency --


         23                 (Multiple speakers.)


         24                       MR. HUDSON:  -- be solving that issue


         25       then.  Okay.  Great.


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          1                       MR. RODGERS:  Now, with the student


          2       assistants, I'm pretty sure MSU gets -- I don't know if


          3       it's directed to you or not, Michael, but I'm pretty sure


          4       MSU gets those postings --


          5                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.  And I --


          6                       MR. RODGERS:  -- because I think all the


          7       colleges do.


          8                       MR. HUDSON:  Okay.  Yeah, it certainly


          9       has never come across my desk.


         10                       MR. RODGERS:  And I know the MSU Law


         11       School gets that material, Noma, I can't remember what


         12       her name is that's over there, so.


         13                       DR. MOGK:  Okay.  All set.  Our next


         14       meeting will be Thursday, October 2, and depending on the


         15       agenda, it will either be at 9:15 or 9:30, similar


         16       arrangement to this.  And with that, I think this meeting


         17       is adjourned.


         18                 (At 1:10 p.m., the meeting adjourned.)


         19                             -  -  -














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          1  STATE OF MICHIGAN )


          2  COUNTY OF MACOMB  )


          3                       I, Lori Anne Penn, certify that this


          4       transcript consisting of 175 pages is a complete, true,


          5       and correct record of the proceedings held on Thursday,


          6       May 1, 2014.


          7                       I further certify that I am not


          8       responsible for any copies of this transcript not made


          9       under my direction or control and bearing my original


         10       signature.


         11                       I also certify that I am not a relative


         12       or employee of or an attorney for a party; or a relative


         13       or employee of an attorney for a party; or financially


         14       interested in the action.






         17       May 28, 2014       ______________________________________

                  Date               Lori Anne Penn, CSR-1315

         18                          Notary Public, Macomb County, Michigan

                                     My Commission Expires June 15, 2019















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