Migrant Seasonal Farm Workers' Program

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Vocational Rehabilitation Management of Rockford, Inc.
City & State:
Organization's Mission Statement

To conduct an outreach campaign throughout Illinois to identify injured and disabled migrant and seasonal  farm workers and their families, and to provide bilingual vocational rehabilitation with this group.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Three Ways In Which Microsoft Technologies Assist Our OrganizationMarco Lenis, Executive DirectorVocational Rehabilitation Management of Rockford, Inc. Microsoft technologies have enabled our organization, Vocational Rehabilitation Management of Rockford, to enhance the effectiveness of our community-based outreach efforts aimed at assisting the Hispanic populations of Northern and Central Illinois. VRMR is a small non-profit organization with very limited resources. Thus, we appreciate the cost-savings Microsoft has provided us. In the following essay, we will describe the ways in which we have utilized the Windows XP platform and the Microsoft Office Suite to facilitate three primary organizational objectives: (1) organizational resource management, (2) networked communications with our programmatic partners, and (3) client-centered outreach efforts (See Figure 1 and Table 1 for a synopsis).Organizational Resource Management Microsoft’s Office Suite plays a significant role in our organization’s daily operations. We use Word to create technical reports, grant proposals, promotional literature, and program evaluations. We use Excel not only to keep track of human resources and financial information but also to collect data relevant to our projects and conduct basic statistical analyses of these data. In addition, we use MS Outlook to communicate with staff members in four different locations in Central and Northern Illinois. Finally, we use Internet Explorer to conduct research so that our awareness of our service population and potential partners is always current. Thus, the Office Suite is crucial to generating and sharing information related to our programs, especially the Migrant Seasonal Farm Workers’ Program, and allowing our organization to effectively manage this information to ensure it is available and useful to the organization and those with whom we partner.Networked Communications with Programmatic Partners The services that our organization provides are highly dependent on our ability to identify and collaborate with other NGOs, government agencies, and community groups. Without the assistance of Office Suite programs, we would find it extremely difficult to form and maintain viable networks for service provision. Thus, we are fortunate to have access to this software because it allows us to instantly communicate with our program partners. This ability is necessary as it facilitates the development of trust between our organization and our partners. Such trust strengthens our ties with our program partners and paves the way for honest discussions related to our inter-organizational operations. Additionally, PowerPoint and Word enable us to present our findings in a cogent manner whether we are in the same room with representatives from our partnering agencies or hundreds of miles away.Client-Centered Outreach Efforts

Perhaps most importantly, Microsoft software simplifies the activities at the heart of our programs: client-centered outreach efforts and service provision. We use Word and Excel to generate documents that we provide to the clients we serve. These documents range from promotional flyers to full-blown course manuals. Without the ability to create our own documents, we would have to rely on other sources. This would have two potential drawbacks: (1) these materials, if not generated by members of our organization, could be too expensive for us or members of our target population to afford; and (2) these materials might not provide a sufficient amount of specialized information targeted at assisting our clients with specific problems that they face. Furthermore, many of the clients and families we serve are monolingual Spanish speakers. Thus, we have found the translation capabilities in Word to be extremely helpful when staff need to generate Spanish letters, brochures, and other documents. In addition, we use PowerPoint to create instructional and motivational presentations aimed at our clients. PowerPoint is especially helpful because it adds a visual dimension to our verbal communication efforts. Finally, Microsoft Internet Explorer greatly reduces the time we spend in looking for answers to clients’ questions and concerns, allowing us to focus our efforts on helping clients to process the information that they have requested.


This brief essay provides only a small sample of the ways in which Microsoft software has helped our organization in three dimensions of our service-provision efforts. In truth, it would be difficult to describe the myriad of possibilities that Microsoft software has provided our organization. This fact humbles us and helps us to recognize the very important role that Microsoft plays in helping us, our program partners, and our clients. For this, we offer our deepest and most sincere appreciation to Microsoft.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
Supporting Work Files