A Little Background
In the fall of 2014, Gompers Leadership team came together and put forth an aggressive five-year plan to reshape our organization to better serve our current and prospective members. Entitled GOMPERS 2020 the plan allowed us to systematically examine all of our programs and the ever shifting landscape of disability services. The plan sought to determine how we could position ourselves to best serve our members, students and families for years to come. Like any plan of this magnitude it had been a living document subject to the outside forces of the ever-changing disabilities world. Amidst the changes, it continues to remain true to its core values: creating a more robust and respectful culture for members and staff alike, creating greater financial stability for Gompers, and growth.
A New Season For Gompers
On May 1, 2017, our core values were more important than ever before when we seized the opportunity to acquire Blythe Center, a 30 year old disabilities provider in Peoria. Blythe Center was a family operated business that had been providing exceptional disability services, but due to the challenging economic pressures, their Executive Director reached out to Gompers in January about acquiring their organization. For the next two and a half months, our team worked tirelessly to ensure that this acquisition would not only be profoundly beneficial for Blythe Center, but also for Gompers. Finally, our Board of Directors approved the largest expansion of our services in 20 years!
But why? Why take on a financially struggling organization with so much uncertainty surrounding the funding of disability services in Arizona? There are a few reasons:
The synergy between our two organizations
As we shared our program with Blythe Center and they shared their program with us, there was a tremendous sense of similarity between the two organizations. Walking through the halls you can witness a caring passion in the eyes of Blythe Center staff, the same passion that can be seen in those who serve the individuals at Gompers.
Gompers has become an industry leader in disabilities with a foundation of organizational and financial stability. All credit goes to the tremendous stewardship of Gompers Board of Directors, our leadership team and our staff. We have been able to build a solid organization full of people with wildly passionate hearts of love that they freely show the individuals we serve.
The Gompers 2020 Strategic Plan
The acquisition of Blythe Center has allowed us to complete two of our strategic plan goals that would make us more successful: 1) Expansion of our DTA services westward in the Phoenix area and 2) The addition of Home and Community Based Services (i.e. respite, habilitation, and attendant care).
To create an organization that would benefit everyone involved
Our goal is to take the best of what each agency offered to become even an even better at serving our members. When all was said and done with this acquisition, the future genuinely looks brighter than ever for both organization!
Our Vision for Blythe
Though we aren’t quite four months into the acquisition, the results have been promising. The members, staff and families at the Blythe Center campus have been open to new experiences and news ways of operating. Gompers is working hard to modernize the former transportation system that the Blythe Center campus had been using to increase comfort and efficiencies for all our new members and staff.
Our Assistive Technology initiative is being introduced at the Blythe Center campus providing new opportunities for the members to interact with the community around them. Finally, the campus is being updated and reconfigured to the benefit of our members, and to handle the anticipated growth. In all of this, we are learning from the exceptional programs and services that Blythe already had, so that we can improve all of our programs across all three campuses.
There is a lengthy road ahead of us as we complete this acquisition and transform the Blythe Center into Gompers, but we’re sure of a bright future for our new members at this location.
Also published on Medium.