March brought big changes for the organization many knew as Blanchard Valley Industries, including a name change to Kan Du Group. The nonprofit employer of adults with developmental disabilities is no longer a “sheltered workshop.” And with the name change, the organization is growing and moving as well.
Kan Du Group employs about 50 adults. Previously working out of a large warehouse on the eastern edge of the Blanchard Valley Center campus, operations have moved to a rented building at 11728 Hancock County Rd. 99. The new location moves production closer to the industries it serves, explained Mike Chiarelli, CEO of Kan Du Group. “They (our workers) want to be involved in the community and we’re teaching them more and more how to engage in the community. This kind of puts them in the middle of everything.”
Kan Du Studio, part of Kan Du Group, moved to 322 W. Main Cross St., in February 2017, with Kan Du Group’s day habilitation program also moving to the same building early in February 2018. Now referred to as “Center 322,” Kan Du Group’s day habilitation program provides regular activities for adults with disabilities.
The Group will also use office space and conference rooms on the second floor for training and other events.
“This will truly be a community building,” said Kelli Grisham, superintendent of the Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “We have created meeting rooms and work space for our tenants. It also gives our agency access to badly needed meeting space.”
419-422-6386, kandugroup.org, “Kan Du Group formerly Blanchard Valley Industries” on Facebook