The work center will facilitate many essential needs of Rainbow Omega, including a larger work area, a cafeteria, an exercise room, a computer lab and several medical offices. The dedication ceremony was highlighted by the keynote speaker, Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey.
Ivey told those in attendance that she was “deeply impressed by the staff” of Rainbow Omega as well as their “vision and commitment.” She also said through 20 years of commitment by the staff and founder Stentson Carpenter, that Rainbow Omega had built a “foundation of hope for the future.”
Four new greenhouses were also recently added to the campus of Rainbow Omega. Carpenter said the greenhouses, in addition to the work center, allow the residents to work and receive a paycheck. Jobs at Rainbow Omega include the assembly of owner manuals for Honda automobiles and the sale of plants and flowers grown at the center’s greenhouses.
Carpenter said the additions will create more jobs as well as offset some of the costs of Rainbow Omega. The additions will also bring in more tax revenue for the area. Carpenter said they are working toward a goal of becoming a self-sufficient operation.
Ivey, making her second visit to Rainbow Omega, said the center is “an answer of optimism” to the parents of those with developmental disabilities who wonder, “What will happen when I am no longer able to care for my child?”
Ivey also had a message for her co-workers in Montgomery concerning the efficiency displayed by the leaders of Rainbow Omega.
“Take note of how Rainbow Omega does things,” Ivey said. “This is a model the state should emulate.”
Ivey also had an unannounced surprise for Chris Carpenter, the son of Stentson Carpenter and for whom the work center was named. Ivey presented Chris Carpenter with a certificate recognizing him as an honorary lieutenant governor for the state of Alabama.
Stentson Carpenter responded by saying his son was the “first one in the family to be a lieutenant governor.”
In closing, Ivey told Carpenter, the staff and Rainbow Omega’s 79 residents, “I look forward to many more visits to your campus.”
Contact Kenny Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.