The Next 40

Rolling Hills Progress Center

History and timeline:

Rolling Hills Progress  Center has experienced significant growth and development in the nearly forty years of its existence.

Prior to 1976:

The needs of individuals in Carroll County were met through two organizations:

1. Carroll County Day Care for Disabled Adults
2. Village of Progress in Oregon (meant a bus ride of up to a 120 mile round trip for some individuals)
The good intentions and efforts of these two organizations were instrumental in directing development of the future RHPC.

Parents, friends, and concerned citizens along with the assistance of the Village of Progress lay the groundwork for establishment of Rolling Hills.

A coordinated effort among a variety of individuals and organizations were key elements to the establishment of the agency.


Rolling Hills opens its doors on June 1st. Nineteen individuals with disabilities, four staff and 8000 square feet of space mark the official beginning of Rolling Hills.

This was a monumental day for Rolling Hills and Carroll County!


Success and growth require an addition of 8000 square feet bringing the original building total to 16,000 sq. ft.

This was the first of several building additions to occur during the next 20 years.


Continued success and growth necessitate the building of a small warehouse on the east side of Lanark.

This building would eventually become plant #2.


An addition featuring work space and warehouse space is added to the east side warehouse. The building is renamed Rolling Hills Plant #2
The stage was set for RHPC to become more industrial and modern.

Late 1980s – Early 1990s:

Property is acquired adjacent to plant #1 enabling the creation of a fruit orchard.

Part of this property was previously used as a sweet corn patch. The orchard was more focused as a cash crop project.


The warehouse and workspace at plant #2 is doubled creating a state of the art production and storage facility.

This is our largest and most aggressive building expansion. It led to additional opportunities that would not have existed otherwise.


106,000 square feet of space, 95 individuals with disabilities and 35 staff are present in two plants in Lanark.


We have seen significant growth in our ability to provide opportunities for the handicapped of Carroll County as well as building space and property have occurred during Rolling Hills first 40 years.

Hard work and community support have created a workshop and agency second to none.

The dream of individuals with disabilities to work and be a productive member of society is realized.

Programs and Services:

Work is the primary focus of Rolling Hills, in fact Real work on real jobs is our motto! We, also, recognize, however, that individuals with disabilities have many non-work needs. To complement our work opportunities and address those needs we actively work to assist individuals through a variety of programs and services.

Services are multifaceted and provide opportunities for individuals to grow in different skills and abilities. Areas of programs and services are:

• Activities are designed to help become more independent at home and in the community. These activities range from and include basic, educational skills, grooming and hygiene, meal preparation, safety when crossing the street and other community safety concerns.
• Skills are designed to help the individual meet the challenges of the workplace and increase earning capabilities. Instruction focuses on workplace safety, relations with supervisors and co-workers, learning new job skills and understanding wages.
• Opportunities to explore the community occurs regularly. Trips are both fun and educational. We’ve been to the theater, museums and local and state parks just to highlight a few of our outings.
• Special Olympics provide the opportunity to complete in real sports with fellow athletes from around the state. Athletes complete in golf, bowling, track and field and more.
• Seasonal Parties occur throughout the year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Independence Day are a few of those events that we celebrate.
In addition to direct programs and services Rolling Hills provides a variety of ancillary services as well.

• Transportation to and from the individual’s home and work each day.
• Transportation to medical appointments.
• Referral to specialized services not provided by Rolling Hills.
• Assistance “wading” through the red tape of Medicaid, Social Security, and other governmental services.
• Close cooperation with schools, residential programs and other linked human service organizations is key to successful provision of services.
• Nutritional assistance is provided through Rolling Hills own food pantry.
• Clothing and household goods are provided to those in need.
Services, support and programs – clearly essential to provision of well-rounded and meaningful participation for individuals at Rolling Hills.

Work or ProductionDSC_0086

Rolling Hills Progress Center was under the gun from its very inception. A prominent writer for the Savanna Times Journal, Lyla Atherton wrote “Although Rolling Hills Progress Center serves a great cause, Carroll County does not have the resources that will allow it to make it for more than a few years.”

At the time we took that as a personal challenge and managed not only to “make it”, but to thrive. Now 40 years later we are ready for another set of challenges.

Rolling Hills has always been very aggressive in procuring work to be completed at the workshop. This is how we provide the clients with varied work experiences and any profit that is made goes back into the program keeping the money we require from the community and the state at a minimum.

We have acquired and continue to acquire very large jobs from major companies like Procter and Gamble, Nestle, Dean Foods, Kraft, and Wahl Clipper – just to name a few.

Our assembly and packaging lines rival some of the finest and most efficient in the state. If you would like to see our lines working please view the video on our website at

Our client workers do a fabulous job completing assembly and packaging tasks. In almost 40 years we have never had a significant quality control issue and we have always completed the work on schedule.

Our client workers are so proud of completing tasks in a quality fashion. They take so much pride in their work and in being productive citizens of our community. They now have dignity and purpose in their lives because of their accomplishments.

We are always on the lookout for more assembly or packaging work. Any referrals would be appreciated. With the quality of our work, our ability to meet deadlines, and our competitive price we have the professionalism required to meet even the most rigorous standards.

Fund Raiser (The Next 40)

This is the first time DSC_0101in 40 years we are having a MAJOR Fundraiser for Rolling Hills. The fundraiser will be titled “The Next Forty”.

Our goal will be one million dollars. The purpose is to help insure that Rolling Hills will continue to provide the developmentally disabled of Carroll County with the services and work experiences they need to be part of a productive community.

“The Next Forty Years” funds will be used primarily to help in the area of capital development. We need to insure that our facilities and equipment remain current to be competitive in the assembly and packaging business world. Without updating, we can no longer price our services to be competitive and will not be able to procure lucrative jobs. Our clients will suffer in the long run as we would not be able to provide comparable services for them.

We will also utilize these funds for emergency purposes mainly to cover facility needs. At times a business may need a specific job done immediately and we may need to purchase modern equipment to make the task profitable for us. We need to have the funds available to make these purchases in a timely manner. The emergency funds could also be used to help a client worker in crisis.

In forty years we have never had a major fund raiser for Rolling Hills Progress Center. We feel now is the time to stabilize the program to insure that the next forty years can be as productive as the first forty have been.

If you could see the smiles every morning when our client workers walk in the door you would see just how important our mission is. The pride and satisfaction on their faces tells how they feel about working and being productive. Our mission has never been more important and we need to insure that Rolling Hills remains a strong force in Carroll County for “The NEXT FORTY YEARS”.





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