May 2016 Newsletter

Categories: News


Persistence Pays off for NFJP Client

Proteus programs help student attend law academy



Tylar attends training on a Sunday afternoon.

After a series of referrals and one phone call, Tylar H. contacted the Proteus Inc. office in Kokomo, Indiana. He was unsure if Proteus could help him, but was willing to take the chance. He had graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with a degree in Criminal Justice and was starting his journey to the Indiana State Police Academy. The fact that he speaks three languages, graduated Ivy Tech with honors, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa was incredible when you consider he was working and volunteering in the community while attending school. His hard work in high school, college, and volunteer work had finally paid off. He was achieving a goal he had set many years ago. The Indiana State Police Academy wanted HIM. Tylar knew the police academy training is intense and lasts several months, but through online classes he still wanted to extend his education at Ivy Tech Community College in order to further educate himself in criminal justice and the law. However, after paying his way through college, Tylar simply did not have the funds to pay for the additional costs of living, equipment, and supplies he needed for the State Police Academy, as well as his upcoming career costs. His hard work and efforts seemed to simply not be enough.

Because of his farmworker and life experiences, he was eligible for the National Farmworkers Job Program. His excitement and gratitude for the funding that would allow him the ability to obtain the gear and supplies he needed was incredible. While information gathering and contact was difficult given the intensity of the academy, his approval was finalized and he became a Proteus client. Through a series of Sunday afternoon conversations and meetings, he received funds that have allowed him to progress in his education, continue in the academy, and pay his travel expenses, as well as purchase the supplies that he will need. He will graduate and be inducted into the Indiana State Police in May 2016.


Tylar is attending school to earn a position on the Indiana State Police force. Here he looks out over the fields that made him.

His drive to progress himself and his community is amazing and is instantly recognizable. The fact that he has been able to development a goal, maintain the steps in order to accomplish his goal, and achieve so much in such a short period of time has allowed him to develop into an amazing individual who will serve his community and state well. His strength and endurance through work and school allowed him to identify with the public, which he so wishes to protect and serve.

The work of Proteus employees on Tylar’s behalf is a testament to the life changing ability that Proteus has on the farmworkers and their lives. Additionally, the changes that Proteus provides goes beyond out clients and extends throughout our community, state, and the future of the many individuals that will be touched by our clients achievements.

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Donated Vehicle Will Help Change Lives

Program allows for broader outreach



The Proteus office in Fort Dodge, Iowa, donated a vehicle to the Wheels to Work Program. Pictured here are Matt Johnson and Abigail Johnson of Fort Dodge Ford, and Matt Winkel, Melissa Rude, and Rachael Thompson of Proteus.

The National Farmworker Jobs Program staff members in Fort Dodge, Iowa, took advantage of an opportunity to donate a used vehicle to the Wheels for Work Program through a partnership with United Way and the Fort Dodge Ford dealership.

July 2015 brought several policy changes to the NFJP program, one of which was to encourage NFJP case managers and staff to use their own vehicles to conduct outreach activities. With this change, the staff at the Proteus office in Fort Dodge had the opportunity to seek out options for re-purposing the vehicle used for the NFJP program.

After considering several options, staff was made aware of the Wheels for Work Program. This program receives applications from families who are in need of reliable transportation. Past vehicle recipients have included single parents who are also taking care of other family members and are in need of reliable transportation, or those who need transportation to transport family members for medical care.

Many people go about their daily tasks without giving much thought to the challenge others experience to gain reliable transportation. Simple errands such as getting to work, taking children to school or going to get groceries are commonplace for most. So to be selected to receive a reliable vehicle through this program can truly be life changing.

Through the partnership with United Way and Fort Dodge Ford, each donated vehicle is carefully inspected and any needed repairs are made to ensure it will be safe and reliable. The new owner is responsible for registration fees, but in some cases may be eligible for assistance from the United Way when necessary. For the first year, the vehicle title is held by United Way to ensure that the car is not sold. At the end of one year, the title is transferred to the recipient.

Proteus is proud to be a part of this program that helps serve our community in a way that will drastically change the quality of life for a local family.

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Building Partnerships is Key to Employee Success

Proteus case manager provides services to Indiana’s east central region



Jeannie Meade serves as a Case Manager in the Kokomo, Indiana office.

Building outreach collaborations with local and community partners is the key to Jeanie Meade’s success as a National Farmworkers Jobs Program (NFJP) Case Manager in Indiana. Jeanie works in the Kokomo office and covers the east central region of the state where she provides career training services to qualified NFJP program participants.

Jeanie’s partnerships have proven successful with three special outreach projects:

  • Clothing Drive Project. Working with Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, Inc. to conduct a Collect and Connect clothing drive for clothing vouchers for clients.
  • Nutrition Assistance Project. Working with USDA-recognized food banks throughout Indiana to support client nutritional assistance.
  • Onboarding Project. Partnering with Red Gold, Inc. to distribute Proteus materials and information during the onboarding process for their seasonal employees.

Since joining the Proteus team in 2014, Jeanie’s professional accomplishments have included working on outreach collaborations and building relationships across many Indiana industries. Some of those partnerships include the Indiana Workforce Investment Boards, Department of Workforce Development WorkOne Offices (American Job Centers) for Regions 3, 5 and 6, as well as working with private employment agencies such as Manpower Employment and Elwood Staffing Resources.

In her role, Jeanie has been able to forge relationships with training and educational organizations such as Ivy Tech Community Colleges, SAGE Truck Driving School and other training programs. In addition, she has developed partnerships with corporations and organizations such as Red Gold Inc., R&R Employment Inc., R&L Logistics, McClure Oil Corporation, Carter Express Incorporated, XPO Logistics, Primex Plastics Corporation, C1 Truck Driver Training, Silfex Inc., IRMCA Indiana Ready Mix Concrete Association, Dot Foods Inc., Nestle, Reid Hospital, Speedway LLC., Ernst Concrete, Superior Essex, Berne Ready Mix, Grede, Evermilk Logistics, and Pinkerton Government Services, Per Mar Security Services, Indiana State Police, USDA, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, various local City Police and County Sheriff Departments. In this way, Jeanie has been able to pave the way for her client’s success in emerging and in-demand job placement.

Faith-based and other social service organizations such as Roman Catholic Charities, local missions, other local church groups, and Second Harvest Food Bank have all been a support to Jeanie’s clients as she continues to build relationships to help clients achieve support for their career goals from these organizations.

Prior to joining the Proteus team, Jeanie’s work experience included positions in manufacturing, criminal investigation, and federal security. Her education includes a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Indiana University and an M.S. in Administration of Justice and Privatized Security from University of Phoenix. She has also received certification in public safety and is a trained first responder.

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Proteus Welcomes Melissa Cooper

New staff member supports Proteus mission


Melissa Copper is Program Assistant for the Migrant Health Program.

Melissa Cooper is realizing her passion for helping others as she joins the Proteus staff as program assistant for the Migrant Health Program. In her role, she is responsible for providing assistance to the healthcare staff. In addition, she will support the program director by assisting with referral management, implementing a new billing system, making travel arrangements, assisting with coordination of clinic schedules, ordering medical supplies and pharmaceuticals and credentialing providers. She has a degree in health science administration which she recently earned at Kaplan University.

Melissa, who recently entered the healthcare field, is looking forward to her new position where she can continue to learn and grow from her experiences. She has a strong desire to expand her working knowledge and is looking forward to making a positive contribution to the success of the clents served by Proteus.

Born and raised in the Des Moines area, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends and and stays active by walking, biking, working out at my local gym. In her downtime, she likes to relax with a good book, see a movie, or work in her garden.

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