Central Aroostook ARC Established in 1959
"Making a difference for people with developmental disabilities"

Current News

October 14, 2016

On October 7th, members of the Opportunity Training Center (special purpose private school) attended a conference titled Arostook County Autism at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.  130 participants and 6 vendors converged in the Campus Center for a very unique learning experience.  The conference schedule included highly regarded and trained professionals within the field of Autism.  Among keynote speakers Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher was guest Atlee Reilly of Disability Rights Maine.  Dr. Paul Johnson discussed Fostering home-school collaborations, a keynote on Coexisting conditions by Dr. Margaret Bauman and breakout sessions with Dr. Silvia Merida Copeland on medication management, Dr Ajay Rana addressing pediatric gastroenterology and autism, and Disability Rights Maine on supported decision making.  The full day event was sponsored by AASG.   


September 12, 2016 

From September 11-17 Central Aroostook Association will join organizations nationwide to pay special tribute to direct support professionals (DSPs) who assist individuals with developmental disabilities to live fulfilling lives. This 9th consecutive National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week is in appreciation of the hands-on care and tireless effort set forth by dedicated, well-trained staff.

DSPs are the primary provider for people needing assistance in order to establish the highest quality of life and level of achievement. DSPs are responsible for a broad range of personal assistance including preparation of meals, cleaning, helping with medications, mobility, medical appointments, accessing community resources, safety in the community, among many other tasks.  DSPs provide a critical link to help keep individuals with disabilities connected to family, friends, and community. 

Central Aroostook Association’s board of directors and leadership team extend a sincere thank you to staff who, day after day, commit themselves to making life for others better with their assistance.  



Opportunity Training Center Summer Schedule for June

                    Monday 20                                       Tuesday  21                                   Wednesday 22                            Thursday  23                            Friday 24    

            Group 1 Movies                 Group 2 Mini Golf                    Group 1 Fishing           Group 2 Horticulture        Group 1 Horticulture

                Monday 27                                Tuesday 28                          Wednesday 29                     Thursday   30                  Friday July 1     

           Group 2 Movies                        Group 1 Movies                         Group 2 Fishing             Group 1 Horticulture            Group 2 Horticulture/Swimming


 Opportunity Training Center Summer Schedule for July


             Monday  11                         Tuesday 12                          Wednesday  13                               Thursday 14                         Friday 15

Group 1 Movies                         Group 2 Haystack                    Group 2 Goughan's Farm      Group 2 Horticulture/Swimming     Group 1-Horticulture/Swimming

           Monday 18                          Tuesday 19                             Wednesday 20                               Thursday 21                         Friday  22

Group 2  Movies                      Group 2 Haystack                    Group 2 Goughan's Farm        Group 1 Horticulture/Swimming    Group 2 Horticulfure/Swimming


    Opportunity Training Center Summer Schedule for August


                                       Monday     1                      Tuesday 2                    Wednesday  3                   Thursday 4                              Friday 5

                          Group 1- Movies                       Group 2 MiniGolf               Group 1-Bowling    Group2 Horticulture/Swimming    Group 1 Horticulture Swimming

                                     Monday    8                       Tuesday   9                     Wednesday   10               Thursday    11                         Friday  12

                          Group 2-Movies                      Group 1-Movies                Group 2-Bowling    Group 1 Horticulture/family BBQ   Group 2 Horticulture/family BBQ




                                                      Aroostook County Special Olympics Receives K of C Donation

The Knights of Columbus Maine State Council recently notified recipients of the 2016 Program for People with Disabilities Fund (also known as the Tootsie Roll Fund). Among the recipients was the Aroostook County Special Olympics Area Management Team. 

Mark Bourgoin, State Treasurer of Knights of Columbus presented a check for $500 to recognize the efforts of and financially contribute toward Aroostook County Special Olympics. Accepting the funds was long-time Special Olympics Area Management Team member Steve Richard, Executive Director of Central Aroostook Association.  Bourgoin stated “We recognize the good works your organization has been doing for Special Olympics in Aroostook County.  We hope these funds continue to assist you with future endeavors.”

Aroostook County’s Special Olympics program was established over 20 years ago with oversight by Central Aroostook Association and eventually grew to requiring its own organizing committee. State agencies, municipalities, and school districts provide valuable resources and strong volunteer involvement.

Certified activities include track and field, aquatics, basketball, and soccer. The “Snowdogs” basketball team has notably achieved state championship titles and continues to be a leader and competitive rival at state competitions. The $500 donation by the Knights of Columbus has been earmarked for summer program’s equipment and supplies. 





County Box & Pallet Celebrates 4 Years of No Lost Time

Less than one year after receiving their national safety and health achievement recognition program (S.H.A.R.P) designation, County Box & Pallet is celebrating the achievement of 4 years no-lost-time due to injury. The major milestone was achieved on February 26th. 

County Box & Pallets (CBP), a program of Central Aroostook Association, operates from a leased building located at 96 Houlton Road in Presque Isle Maine. The building consists of 9600 square feet of which approximately 9200 square feet is used for the production area.  The remaining footage consists of an office, break/lunch room and two bathrooms. The work space is used for dismantling, repairing, manufacturing and storing new and refurbished pallets. A dismantler is used to tear apart any used pallets deemed not feasible for repair and the parts will be used for the refurbishing of used pallets that can be repaired.  The assembly line consists of two rail systems surrounded by work table stations that staff use to either repair or build new pallets.  CBP manufactures or repairs approximately 80,000 pallets per year and makes 50,000 construction stakes annually.  All workers are required to use personal safety equipment including but not limited to, eye, ear, feet and hand protection.

From its inception CBP has always had an acute focus on safety. The employees of CBP see safety not only as a critical component to their workplace but also as a culture necessary to be productive and competitive in the current pallet market.



3/16/2016                                                                  Expansion of Adult Program Offers More Space for Services

The Central Aroostook Association Board of Directors, Administration, and Staff celebrated the completion of a construction and renovation project to the facility to benefit one of its largest programs. Adult Day Services Program for individuals having intellectual disabilities has been occupied and open for services.  

Central Aroostook Association has evolved into 8 programs that employs 150 staff throughout central Aroostook County. After stabilizing through growth and retention over recent years, Executive Director Steve Richard and Adult Services Director Pam Powers conducted an assessment and soon thereafter entered planning mode to create more usable space for services.  The effort has nearly doubled usable space and has improved the scope and efficiency of care including day room, audio and video technology, private medication room, physical/occupational therapy room, large activity areas, and deck. 

“It’s common to hear of the term quality in the service delivery world these days. We have been a long-time regional leader in providing a variety of person-centered service through the years and we’re confident this investment will exceed expectations of the individuals who attend our program.” Powers stated.

In addition to the program expansion, Central Aroostook Association also built a storage facility to house vehicles and equipment. The 30-acre facility has been home to Central Aroostook Association since 1967 following a government subsidy to provide opportunities to individuals diagnosed with physical and developmental disabilities. 



3-11-16                                                    Miller and Young rally support to feed the County                                                                                   

LaJeanna Miller and Rena Young, residents of Mars Hill and Fort Fairfield, respectively, are receiving praise these days after completing a very successful food drive campaign at Central Aroostook Association. 

The food drive started on February 8 and officially came to an end on Friday, March 4th.   The planning ensued following a ladies group meeting where the topic of conversation was about homelessness and hunger in Aroostook County.  The two friends were quick to agree on the supportive venture and created a needs list and identified the donor agency.  “In our ladies group the topic of hunger attracted our attention.  It made us feel fortunate of how lucky we both are to have food on the table and roof over our heads,” explained Rena Young.  So, Rena and LaJeanna made flyers and posted them, spoke with staff, program attendees, and others associated with their daily routine.  They took it upon themselves to make sure the food drive maintained momentum and continued interest.  “Once we had drop-off points at each Central Aroostook Association location, we were amazed by everyone’s support” stated Miller.  

For several weeks the duo solicited contributions and praised contributors.  Miller reported “175 pounds of food will be transported to Catholic Charities Maine for dispensing to those in need.”  When asked if there will be a next time Young responded “we’re working out the details.” 


1/21/2016                                                 Athletes Converge on UMPI's Gentile Hall for Special Olympics

115 athletes from 13 sending schools and programs converged on University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Gentile Hall for the annual Special Olympic Basketball event on January 14th. The event was delayed by one day due to inclement weather the day prior. Six divisions with four teams each competed against one another following pre-game warm up exercises. Many volunteers assisted with the coordination of the event including students from Presque Isle, Caribou, and Easton. In addition, coaches, referees and state officials all supported the event by way of volunteerism. Longtime support by area law enforcement and UMPI staff and created a seamless activity with many spectators cheering athletes on. Our very supportive area media WAGM and The Star Herald were on-hand to promote the activity.



Christmas Party & School Break

Opportunity Training Center (Special Purpose Private School) will hold its annual Christmas party on Wednesday, December 23rd.  Students will enjoy snacks, dancing and movies.  School closes at the end of the day for the Christmas vacation.  School will be closed through Monday, January 4, 2016.  Questions regarding school break or additional student activities through the month of December can be directed to Paula Perkins at 554-4518. 



Central Aroostook Association Visitor Procedure-Effective August 1, 2015

Guests of Central Aroostook Association will be asked to follow a new entry precedure upon arrival.  A brief visitor entry form will be completed that simply states the guest's name, purpose of visit,  and details of his/her automobile.  A badge will be assigned with time of arrival logged.  Upon departure, the badge will be returned and departure time added to the log.  Staff will be escorting visitors as needed.   



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