Dale Rogers Training Center helps disabled

Sunday, March 30th 2008, 9:30 pm
By: News 9

By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team

Dale Rogers Training Center in Oklahoma City was recently recognized for it's work with disabled people.

"We were business of the year this year for the Department of Rehabilitative Services," said Executive Director Connie McGoodwin. "We train or employ more people with disabilities than most people in the state ever thought about, so that was a great honor for us."

The center provides job training to those with disabilities. Every employee has a responsibility and a job for each order.

"Our folks generated $3.7 million in revenue last year in all our programs," McGoodwin said. "They're paying tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and they're becoming productive citizens."

Akili Atkinson is a job coach at Dale Rogers.

"I go on the job sites, I visit them. I learn the same job that they do," Atkinson said. "I can be a liaison between the employer and one of my clients to help them to understand everything that the job entails."

Job coaches at the center said they benefit from their job as much as the clients do.

"I like seeing someone come from a place where they're believing that they can't, and then learn that they can," Atkinson said.

Latonya Briggs is a Dale Rogers client. She had never worked before coming to the center.

"I love to work. I like to make money," Briggs said. "I don't like sitting at home and doing nothing. I want to work."

James Lackey is an employee at Dale Rogers who has Cerebral Palsy.

"Everybody should have an equal chance at jobs no matter their situation," Lackey said. "I'm in a wheel chair and can't get around too well, but, hey, I still work."

The training at the center allows employees to do simple things like help others.

"I love getting a pay check and then take my pay check and help my mom out a lot," Lackey said.

For more information about Dale Rogers Training Center or how to make a donation, log on to www.drtc.org .