Helping those with special needs help themselves

Erazmus Banyak sorts used playing cards at the Progressive Choices training center Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The cards come from casinos that use multi deck shoes for dealing. The cards are resorted back into individual decks for sale at gift shops. The organization helps find employment for people with developmental disabilities.

Progressive Choices

Shawn Jefferson, standing center, poses Tanya Zwick, phone receptionist, Marcus Olige, greeter, and Terrance Woods, greeter-in-training, at the Progressive Choices training center Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The organization helps find employment for people with developmental disabilities. Launch slideshow »

Progressive Choices Inc.

Address: 3000 Rigel Ave., Las Vegas

Phone: 248-9484

Email: [email protected]


Hours of operation: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday

Owned/operated by: Michelle Gerard

In business since: 1997

Describe your organization.

Progressive Choices is a vocational service provider that develops jobs, in-house contract work and charities for adults with special needs.

Who do you help?

Developmentally disabled adults of Clark and Nye counties.

Why was this organization launched?

To give options to disabled adults in Las Vegas for job growth and development and provide vocational choices for their families.

What makes your organization unique?

We are a family-founded business that has supported employment for our clients and helped the UNLV campus grow in kitchen work since 1997, and the CSN campuses since last year in grounds and horticulture studies.

How does someone go about enrolling in the programs you offer?

Our clients take a certification test with Desert Regional Center and, upon passing, can be hired by Progressive Choices. Most start at one of our two training workshops in Las Vegas and Pahrump, sorting decks of cards and gaming supplies, and move on to community enclave work.

What types of partnerships do you have in the community?

We work with a variety of businesses, including restaurant hospitality work, as well as full janitorial and building maintenance. We also provide in-house contract work for gaming wholesalers and local food and beverage distribution centers.

What’s the most important part of your job?

Helping our clients grow as professional adults in the workforce.

What is the hardest part about operating in Las Vegas?

The competitive job market, and finding charity donors who will support our workshop and clients is always challenging.

What obstacle has your organization overcome?

We have lost hours at our community enclaves during the recession as well as cut back on staffing and client work hours to stay in operation. We have overcome business cutbacks by providing unique work opportunities for our clients while staying aggressively competitive at our enclave sites.

Where do you see the organization in five years?

Progressive Choices will be a top nonprofit business for Las Vegas hospitality markets while continuing to help our clients grow as professional working adults.