The New Richmond Area Centre is a busy place located in the heart of this Wisconsin town. An inclusive, nonprofit organization serving the St. Croix Valley area since 2009, The Centre (as it’s known locally) has 6,000 members of all ages who enjoy a wide range of health and fitness activities, recreation, sports, aquatics, preschool child care, and kids’ camps.
With career planning and job placement assistance from Rise Employment Consultant Patty Thurk, Richard Salberg was hired in August 2016 to work with the housekeeping/maintenance team four days a week. He keeps the common areas, locker rooms, classrooms, and bathrooms clean for members and staff.
As busy as he is at work, Deanna Homme, The Centre’s cleaning manager, says Rick helps out wherever he is needed. “He will pick up extra work shifts, and is always asking to add to his task list. ‘What else can I do?’ he wants to know. He is eager to learn new jobs, especially if it involves operating equipment!”
Kim Erland, a Rise follow-up support specialist, checks in with Rick on Fridays to see how his work week has gone and help address any work-related issues.
Among Richard’s many work attributes, the one Deanna probably appreciates the most is his dependability. Having (finally!!) survived one of the coldest and snowiest Wisconsin winters in recent memory, Deanna recalls that there were several times that she called Rick to tell him to stay home and not tackle his almost-two-mile walk to The Centre. But he always came in to work anyway.
“A neighbor gave me some extra warm clothes, so I was fine,” he noted. “This is a good place to work and I have really nice co-workers and members to talk to.”
Deanna considers Rick to be an outstanding employee and recognized him as the Employee of the Year for her department in 2016.
Not only does Rick enjoy his work, but getting to chat with so many interesting, kind New Richmond-area people is definitely an added bonus for him.
Rick hadn’t worked in many years, “so it is so nice to go to work,” he said. “I was bored at home, but I am never bored here.” He usually arrives about 20 minutes early to work so he can talk sports and politics with some of The Centre’s members.
“Rick seems to have the scoop on what’s going on and has a great sense of humor,” said Deanna. “He really fits in well here and has gotten to know many of our members pretty well. They like swapping stories with him.”
In his free time, Rick enjoys spending time with his stepdaughter and her four young children who live near by.
This article appears in the June 2019 issue of the Rise Reporter.