Timothy Kettle takes over reins at Northeast Placement Services
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Woodstock - posted Mon., Jun. 10, 2013
Timothy Kettle was recently named the new executive director for Northeast Placement Services in Woodstock. Kettle replaces Rick Roy, who retired from the position at the end of 2012. Kettle was named interim director in January.
NEPS provides vocational and day services, community experience programs, group-supported employment, individualized placement, enrichment programs, and residential services to approximately 150 individuals in Windham County and beyond. It has a staff of 150 employees. Kettle said his staff have the biggest hearts around. “They treat people like family,” he said.
Kettle worked for NEPS more than 15 years ago. “I've done the support jobs of all my staff,” he said. He's run the Cinnamon Tree Bakery. He expanded the “Just a Second” consignment shop in Danielson. He's found jobs in the community for those in individualized placement programs. He also ran a community home.
“Instead of putting people in group homes, the state tries to put them in people's homes,” he said. The attempt is to create more natural support systems and a more natural family environment.
Kettle's social service background is coupled with an associates degree from Quinebaug Valley Community College and a bachelor's degree in business management from Eastern Connecticut State College.
NEPS was at the forefront of the movement to integrate persons with disabilities into the community, according to Kettle. “The mission that NEPS started with is to be number one at it,” he said. “It continues to drive us to stay number one in the northeast corner.”
His challenges will continue to be working with tight budgets and stricter allocations from the state. NEPS is instituting a health and wellness initiative for its participants in order to foster better shopping and eating habits. “We're working with a Day Kimball nutritionist who will take clients to the grocery story and show them how to shop,” Kettle said. “We're going to have cooking classes. We want all of our participants to be healthy.”
Kettle also wants to expand efforts at the Shoppes at Sawmill to sell some of the goods made by NEPS participants. Soap, jewelry, artwork and baskets are for sale alongside the work of local artists. And then there is the health care reform act. “We have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said.