Loretta, who is employed at PerCo in New Lexington, is a determined person, who takes pride in her work, and wants to help other people. At the age of 70 she does not see retirement in her future. In fact, she enjoys working so much, she is hoping to find a part-time job. Loretta has worked as a custodian, cook, as well as manufacturing jobs through ARC Industries.

Outreach Coordinator

Her name is Loretta, and she has overcome many barriers her entire life.

As a child Loretta, was told she would never be the same as the other kids. As a young adult, she was involved in a serious house fire leaving her hospitalized with second degree burns, and as a middle aged adult has been in remission of cancer twice. Loretta credits her parents, grandparents, and support staff for believing in her abilities. Her positive attitude, work ethic, and quirky personality, are some of the things her co-workers at PerCo Inc. enjoy about her.

Now at age 70, Loretta has discovered her passion is work, and helping others – “anything I can do to keep busy”, she said. She worked for over 25 years at ARC Industries, before coming to Perry County.

Loretta currently works five days a week at PerCo Inc. on a new job that was received by Creative Packaging. “I cannot tell you, as a director, how hard it is to find someone who wants to work, cares about their work, and takes pride in that work. It has made all the difference for our business on this new Creative Packaging job,” Jay Barnhart, PerCo Inc. executive director said.

“I want to do things for myself, help people and buy things for myself, which is why I work,” Loretta said. Even though she is past retirement age, she is determined to stay busy. In the past, she worked as a custodian, cook, and on manufacturing jobs through ARC Industries.

“At first, when I became Loretta’s Service and Support Administrator (SSA) through Perry County Board of Developmental Disabilities (PCBDD), she challenged me, so I was determined to find the best services to explore. I learned quickly she values a job so much and I could see it meant so much to her,” said Kaylee Tokie, SSA. “I started looking around to see what would be a good fit for her, and that’s when we discovered PerCo Inc.”

Loretta stated if she was given one wish in the world, it would be to continue working, as her job allows her to buy things she needs. She included she would also offer to help her friends out if they needed it. Loretta continued to share that she is interested in finding a part time job on the weekends to keep busy, and by doing so she will be able to help people.

By all measures, Loretta has a full life, complete with the personality, job and a self-proclaimed, “rotten to the core” attitude she once doubted. She has proved herself and her doubters wrong, every step of the way!

If you have a story to share of how the PCBDD has made an impact, please contact Jago at l.jago@perrydd.org or call 740-342-3542. These stories will help the board and providers; help our community, serving as a reminder of how the role that has evolved over the years.

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