It’s not often that a win-win-win situation comes up, but that’s exactly what’s happened with a new partnership that is forming between APT, Long Lake Conservation Center and Aitkin County Developmental Achievement Center.
Long Lake Conservation Center, an environmental learning center located in the heart of Aitkin County, needed help with some of the day-to-day tasks that are vital but difficult for the regular LLCC staff to keep current, such as collecting materials for student journals, repairing arrows, making name tags and cleaning residence halls.
At the same time, the Aitkin County Developmental Achievement Center has been providing job training and employment support for developmentally disabled adults, but they were often struggling to find meaningful job opportunities for their clients. The DAC has gained a reputation as a vibrant and active day training program, but the job opportunities are scarce in this rural area.
At first glance, it appears that LLCC and DAC were made for each other. LLCC has jobs that need to be done, and DAC has workers that are looking for just that kind of employment, but the disconnect became apparent with the dollars. LLCC operates within a slim budget, and the DAC clients are seeking jobs and not merely volunteer opportunities. There was no doubt that LLCC and DAC could both benefit from a partnership, but the funding simply wasn’t available.
Enter American Peat Technology. Since 2011, APT has been designating a percentage of its net income into a giving fund that is administered by a committee of APT employees. The committee operates under three guiding principles: a commitment to education, a hand up rather than a hand out, and local recipients receive preference. The partnership between LLCC and DAC qualifies on all accounts. Long Lake Conservation Center hosts 2500 students every year and their curriculum meets the Minnesota Department of Education academic standards. The DAC clients are seeking employment opportunities so that they can gain marketable skills and ultimately find jobs at more traditional employers. And both organizations employ Aitkin County residents and serve the local community.
The APT-LLCC-DAC partnership is just beginning, but all parties are looking forward to a long and growing relationship. American Peat Technology is proud to be a part of the synergy between two of Aitkin County’s most important organizations. Sometimes win-win-win does happen.