The state has allocated $4 million from its Coronavirus Relief Fund to support Sheltered Workshops across Missouri.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will create grant programs to distribute the funds to workshops to lessen the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on workshop operations. 

The funds will be used to address specific pandemic-related matters. Sheltered workshops that closed or had decreased revenue as a result of COVID-19 will have access to business interruption financial assistance grants. For sheltered workshops that remained open for business, funding will be provided for the purchase of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies used onsite, according to DESE in a release on Monday. 

There are 89 workshop corporations located across the state of Missouri that provide employment for approximately 6,100 people with disabilities and approximately 900 non-disabled staff, according to the department.