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Friends of Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Thank you for your interest in Tri-Valley Opportunity Council! We are pleased to be able to present TriValley’s 2016 Annual Report. In the following pages you will be able to read information on the wonderful work done by our Board of Directors, staff, and many volunteers. In these uncertain times, we are especially grateful for the many contributions to Tri-Valley’s mission. We hope you find the data and stories contained in this report useful. 2016 was the 2nd year of TriValley’s 2-year Strategic Planning Cycle and we are proud of the progress made on the goals and priorities contained in that plan. The Board of Directors updated Tri-Valley’s Strategic Plan in early 2017 so you can expect reports on updated goals in future reports.

Chief Executive Officer

Board Chair

Mission & Beliefs Our Mission: To provide opportunities to improve the quality of life for people and communities. We Believe . . . ~ All people have value and potential; ~ In treating all people with dignity and respect; ~ Diversity enriches the quality of life; ~ All people have the right to be informed of choices, opportunities, and responsibilities; ~ Effective communication and teamwork are essential for success; ~ Partnerships are essential in delivering quality services; and, ~ There are opportunities in change 2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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2016 Tri-Valley Board of Directors OFFICERS

Treasurer Don Diedrich Polk County

Vice Chair Person Mark Kroulik Marshall County

Chair Person LeRoy Vonasek Marshall County

Secretary Shawna Peterson Marshall County


Greg Burris Marshall County

John Gerszewski Polk County

Sarah Kjono Norman County

Domita Mack Marshall County

Stephanie Vonesh Polk County

Lana Glover Marshall County

Dr. Linda Neuerburg Polk County

Dr. Jodi Boerger-Wilder Polk County

2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

Marvin Gunderson Norman County

Lee Ann Hall Norman County

Nick Nicholas Polk County

Dale Svaren Norman County

Not pictured: Marsha Melting-Ogard, Norman County

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Tri-Valley Programs and Services Community Services Programs

• Community Assistance Programs - Helps qualified low-tomoderate income families with rent assistance, security deposits, foreclosure prevention, mortgage and budget counseling, home buyer training, housing counseling, and financial assistance for utilities, food, and clothing. • Energy Assistance Programs - This program helps income eligible households with their home energy bills. Assistance may include bill payment assistance, emergency assistance and energy related home repairs. • Child Care Aware - Assists the early childhood community in expanding and improving the quality and availability of child care. Parents looking for child care can receive a list of licensed providers tailored to meet their specific criteria. • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach - For more than 40 years, SNAP has served as the foundation of America’s national nutrition safety net. It is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger and offers a powerful tool to improve nutrition among low-income people. • MNsure Navigator Assistance - A one-stop health insurance marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses will be able to get quality health coverage at a fair price. • Financial Literacy - Offers information and assistance to help clients achieve financial stability by providing the FAIM program and a variety of financial trainings based on the Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy curriculum. The Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota (FAIM) program is a matched savings project to help Minnesota low-wage earners build assets through the purchase of a home, pursuit of higher education, or launching of a small business.

Transportation Programs

• Tri-Valley Heartland Express (T.H.E. Bus) - Provides public transportation in handicapped accessible buses. Curb-to-curb service is available. • Rural Transportation Collaborative (RTC) - Coordinates volunteer drivers to transport individuals for medical appointments, education or work activities, child visitations, or other personal matters.

Housing Programs

• Minnesota Urban and Rural Homesteading Program (MURL)Allows low-income, at-risk families to purchase a home with no down payment and no interest. Monthly payments are based on affordability and are adjusted as income increases. 2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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Tri-Valley Programs and Services Head Start, Child and Family Programs

• Head Start - Provides comprehensive, family-oriented child development services designed to meet the diverse needs of low-income children and their families. Services provided include early childhood education, medical and dental examinations, immunizations, vision and hearing screenings, speech and developmental screenings, disabilities services, referrals, and parent education. - Head Start - Provides services to children ages 3 to compulsory school age in West Polk, West Marshall, and Norman counties. - Early Head Start - Provides services to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers in West Polk, West Marshall, Norman, and Steel counties. - Migrant and Seasonal Head Start/Early Head Start - Provides services to Migrant and Seasonal pregnant women and children ages 6 weeks to compulsory school age throughout the states of Minnesota and northeastern North Dakota. • Migrant Education Program (Health and Nutrition) - Provided over 450 physicals and dental exams to Title 1 children and provided nutritious meals for breakfast and lunch. • Migrant Education Program (Identification and Recruitment) - 2,851 migrant children were identified in MN (ages birth to 21). • Migrant Child Care - Funds are utilized to enhance the services provided at our Migrant Head Start centers and provide direct child care to children who need services longer than centers offer. Over 860 migrant children were served with Migrant Child Care funds.

Senior Programs

• Foster Grandparent Program - Recruits individuals age 55 and over to volunteer in schools, child care centers, Head Start centers, group homes, and other non-profit facilities to support children with special needs. • Caring Companion Program - Recruits individuals age 50 and over to help others live independently by assisting with grocery shopping and other daily tasks. 2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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The People We Serve In 2016, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. served an unduplicated count of 10,992 individuals and 2,653 families.

People Served by Poverty Level

% of Poverty

Up to 50% 51% to 75% 76% to 100% 101% to 125% 126% to 150% 151% to 175% 176% to 200% 201% and over


924 (36%) 363 (14%) 298 (12%) 294 (12%) 195 (8%) 117 (4%) 81(3%) 274 (11%)

People Served by Education Level Level Total 0-8 Grade 9-12 Grade/Non-Graduate High School Graduate/GED 12+ Some Post Secondary 2 or 4 Year College Graduate 2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

163 (5%) 946 (30%) 1,518 (47%) 338 (10%) 241 (8%) Page 6

The People We Serve People Served by Age Age 0-5 6-11 12-17 18-23 24-44 45-54 55-69 70+


1,541 (15%) 1,349 (14%) 777 (8%) 430 (4%) 1,898 (19%) 394 (4%) 1,879 (19%) 1,716 (17%)

People Served by Family Size Family Size


One 809 (32%) Two 399 (16%) Three 333 (13%) Four 349 (14%) Five 265 (10%) Six 161 (6%) Seven 97 (4%) Eight or more 133 (5%)

2016 - A Year in Review Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. strives to meet six national goals. Here’s a look at our accomplishments in 2016...

Goal 1: Low-Income People Become More Self-Sufficient. • Helped 912 individuals who were unemployed obtain a job. • Helped 912 individuals obtain an increase in employment income and/or benefits. • In order to acquire or maintain employment: - Assisted 1,307 families obtain care for their children. - Assisted 51,017 individuals in obtaining access to reliable transportation. - Helped 279 individuals obtain health care services for themselves or a family member. - Helped 174 individuals and/or families obtain safe and affordable housing. - Assisted 1,676 individuals and/or families obtain food assistance. • Assisted 92 families to receive individualized services for children with disabilities. • Helped 1,005 families enroll in MinnesotaCare or other health insurance program. 2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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2016 - A Year in Review Goal 2: The Conditions in Which Low-Income People Live are Improved. • Created or maintained 4,969 safe and affordable child care or child development placement opportunities for low-income families. • Provided opportunities for 1,461 volunteers to serve 863,057 hours in agency and community activities.

Goal 3: Low-Income People Own a Stake in Their Community. • Provided opportunities for low-income individuals to volunteer 232,449 hours in agency and community activities. • Assisted 41 low-income individuals to participate in formal community organizations, government, boards or councils that provide input to decision-making and policy-setting. • Helped increase the knowledge of 1,498 individuals about Minnesota Voter Registration and participation.

Goal 4: Partnerships Among Supporters and Providers of Services to Low-Income People are Achieved. Established or maintained relationships with the following partners: - 44 Nonprofits - 14 Faith-Based Groups - 34 Local Government Entities - 2 State Governments - 6 Federal Government Agencies - 1,674 For-Profit Businesses or Corporations - 10 Consortiums or Collaborations - 3 Housing Consortiums or Collaborations - 60 School Districts - 3 Institutions of Post Secondary Education - 4 Financial/Banking Institutions - 57 Health Service Institutions - 12 State-Wide Associations or Collaborations

Goal 5: Increase Our Agency Capacity to Achieve Results. • Provided 20,596 hours of training to 546 staff. • Provided 25 hours of training to 17 Board members. • Provided 34 Family Development Certified staff. • Provided 12 Child Development Certified staff.

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2016 - A Year in Review Goal 6: Low-Income People, Especially Vulnerable Populations, Achieve Their Potential by Strengthening Family, and Other Support Systems. • Provided programs and activities to 3,523 seniors to maintain their independent living. • Provided programs and activities to 3,523 individuals with disabilities to maintain their independent living. • Provided referrals for emergency food assistance to 206 individuals. • Provided emergency payments to vendors for fuel and energy bills for 1,282 individuals. • Provided emergency rent or mortgage assistance to 115 individuals. • Provided emergency car or home repair to 99 households. • Provided referrals for temporary shelter to 2 individuals. • Provided referrals for emergency medical care to 26 individuals. • Assisted 1,195 infants and children obtain age appropriate immunizations, medical, and dental care. • Improved the health and physical development of 1,196 infants and children as a result of providing adequate nutrition. • Provided preschool activities to develop school readiness to 359 children. • Ensured that 359 children from low-income families are ready for school having developed pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills as measured by assessment. • Ensured that 1,089 parents and other adults learned and exhibited improved parenting skills. • Ensured that 1,125 parents and other adults learned and exhibited improved family functioning skills. • Helped 79 obtain care for their child or other dependent. • Helped 21,506 obtain access to reliable transportation. • Assisted 179 obtain health care services for themselves or family member. • Assisted 152 obtain safe and affordable housing. • Helped 1,085 obtain food assistance. • Helped 25 obtain non-emergency LIHEAP energy assistance. • Provided 168,575 rides. • Provided 5,164 information and referral calls.

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Audited Statement of Revenues, Expenses, and Changes in Net Assets Year ending December 31, 2016


Grant Revenue $19,272,796 Program Contributions $2,236,459 Tenant Rents $437,781 Interest Income $9,459 In-Kind Contributions $938,955 Other Income $20,035 TOTAL REVENUE $22,915,485


Child Education $14,396,528 Family and Community Services $1,277,386 Energy Assistance and Weatherization $256,425 Senior Services $544,684 Transportation $3,001,664 Housing and Housing Rehabilitation $68,885 Homeless/Shelter Programs $250,825 Food Programs $1,118,354 Corporate Activities $403,256 TOTAL PROGRAM ACTIVITIES


Management and General Expenses $1,410,669 Fundraising $18,273 TOTAL EXPENSES $ 23,309,459 CHANGES IN NET ASSETS $393,974 Net Assets - End of year $6,550,036 2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News Tri-Valley’s Caring Companion Program Earns Promising Practice Award Eight community initiatives with proven results in moving families toward self-sufficiency received Best Practices Awards last week. Minnesota Community Action Partnership, Minnesota Department of Human Services Office of Economic Opportunity, and the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development have partnered for the past 11 years to evaluate and to recognize initiatives that aim to end poverty across Minnesota. The awards go to local Community Action programs that have achieved outstanding and measurable impacts in helping low-income households achieve greater economic self-sufficiency and building partnerships across social service, government and business sectors to better meet the needs of local communities. Tri-Valley’s Caring Companion Program earned the “Promising Practice” Award. The Caring Companion Program consists of companions who are 50 years or older. They help other seniors by visiting with them, taking them to appointments, helping with errands and groceries, playing cards or games, having coffee with them and being a friend to them. Caring Companions can make a difference in the quality of life for a lonely senior. “You do not need medical or special skills, all you need is the ability to be a friend. Caring Companions serve two hours a week and up, depending on the time they have to give and the needs of the clients,” says Heidi Simmons, Senior Programs Director. “We are having more requests from Veterans who are lonely or need to get out to do errands etc. Please think about making that call today to help out others who may not be as fortunate as yourself, it is a win-win situation for all involved.” Tri-Valley has Caring Companion and Foster Grandparent opportunities throughout Northwest Minnesota. For more information on how to become a Foster Grandparent, Caring Companion or how to receive Caring Companion Services call Heidi Simmons at 1-800-584-7020. (Photo L-R)- Arnie Anderson (Executive Director of Minnesota Community Action Partnership), Tikki Brown (Director for the Office of Economic Opportunity), Jason Carlson (CEO of Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.)

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In The News FTA Recognizes Three Outstanding Rural Transit Agencies

(News Release Courtesy of the Federal Transit Administration)

ASHEVILLE, NC – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers today announced three Administrator’s Awards for Outstanding Public Transportation Service in Rural Public Transportation. The announcement was made at the 22nd National Rural and Intercity Bus Conference in Asheville, NC. “The Obama Administration is proud to partner with public transportation services that provide a lifeline for many people in America’s rural communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “By enhancing mobility and increasing access to employment, these unsung heroes of transportation have done an exceptional job of connecting rural residents to ladders of opportunity.” Since 1985, FTA has recognized great work in rural transit by presenting Administrator’s Awards for Outstanding Public Transportation Service in Rural Public Transportation. This year’s awards seek to recognize rural transit providers that improved the mobility of Americans in rural areas and enhanced access to employment, healthcare, and community services. These criteria were chosen to support the Secretary of Transportation’s Ladders of Opportunity initiative as well as FTA’s Rides to Wellness initiative. “This year’s awardees have worked to address geographic gaps in services, partnered with other organizations to expand access and made a special effort to serve people with low incomes, seniors, and persons with disabilities,” said FTA Acting Administrator Flowers. “These transit agencies are an excellent example of how public transportation can not only connect people to jobs, medical care and other important services, but also to improve quality of life.” The work done by these and other agencies will only become more important in the near future, as both population and demand for reliable transit are expected to grow significantly. The FAST Act, passed last year, provides steady and predictable funding for five years with an increase of $1 billion over MAP-21 levels for the total FTA transit program. Under the FAST Act, rural transit providers are receiving increased federal formula funding under Section 5311, Formula Grants for Rural Areas, and the Tribal Transit Formula, of up to $35 million per year, from $30 million. Additionally, rural transit providers are eligible for funding through FTA’s Bus and Bus Facilities Program, which has both a formula and competitive element. The top three rural transit providers that were recognized by the FTA are: Durango Transit, (Durango, CO), Barry County Transit, (Hastings, MI), and Tri-Valley Heartland Express (Crookston, MN). Tri-Valley Heartland Express, Crookston, MN (Photo L-R) Cindy Pic (Tri-Valley Transportation Programs Director), Carolyn Flowers (Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration), Elizabeth Hensrud (Tri-Valley Transportation Fleet Maintenance Coordinator)

2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News ‘Saved by the Belt’ given after bus crash

By Caitlyn Mahlum (News Editor, Advocate Tribune)

Thanks to a simple device located in all modern day vehicles, a group of local children were able to walk away from a frightful crash with minimal injuries. On July 13, 2015 a Tri-Valley Opportunity Council school bus was traveling eastbound on Highway 212 when another vehicle struck the bus. Anthony Blue, 33, of Granite Falls, was driving the 2014 Kia westbound on U.S. 212 around 7 a.m. near the scenic lookout wayside stop when he crossed the centerline and struck the eastbound, 2010 IC school bus driven by Michelle Groen, 52, of Danube. The school bus was operated by the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, which operates a Migrant Head Start school in Danube. The occupants survived the crash with almost no injuries, which is accredited due to the fact that the occupants were wearing their seat belts and were properly buckled into child safety seats. Because of this, Yellow Medicine County Sheriff Bill Flaten alongside Lt. Bruce Erickson of the Minnesota patrol presented 13 individuals with the ‘Saved by the Belt Award’ on Wednesday, November 9. The Saved by the Belt Award is given to honor those who utilized the life-saving device. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety describes the award as the following, “The Saved by the Belt program has helped create strong relationships between law enforcement agencies and communities since 1999. Honoring traffic crash survivors who were buckled up is a positive method for agencies to show their communities that seat belt use is important and that officers care that motorists obey the law.” Without seatbelts, the statistics can often be grim and dismal. According to the State Patrol: In 2015, 91 unbelted motorists died on Minnesota roads. In the past five years (2011-2015) 527 unbelted motorists lost their lives and 1,035 people suffered lifechanging injuries. Of the 1,379 motorist who lost their lives in the last five years, only 51 percent of them were known to be belted. In 2015, 77 percent of vehicle occupants who were ejected, or partially ejected, and died were not wearing seat belts. The Southwest Central Safe Communities Coalition, Minnesota State Patrol, Chippewa County Sheriff ’s office, Yellow Medicine County Sheriff ’s Office, Granite Falls Police Department, Granite Falls Hospital and Emergency Medical Services, and the Montevideo Hospital and Emergency Medical services have all partnered together to award ‘Saved by the Belt’ awards.

2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News Tri-Valley Transportation Provides Rides to IIHF Hockey Teams The Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Transportation Program had an opportunity to provide transportation to a unique group of riders in April. Tri-Valley’s T.H.E. Bus was utilized to transport players, coaches, and staff from teams competing in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey World Championship U18. The event was held in Thief River Falls on April 6-12. Transportation was provided to and from practices and games and to their hotels. The international teams included Switzerland, Slovakia, Russia, Latvia, and Finland. A total of 1,775 rides were given and 291.5 miles were covered during the week. “This was a seven day tournament so I think the numbers are impressive,” states Marion Henry (Transportation Program Coordinator). “Our drivers worked well with the schedules that they were given and the teams appreciated the service. I think the drivers did a wonderful job.” The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF; French: Fédération internationale de hockey sur glace) is a worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 74 members. It manages international ice hockey tournaments and maintains the IIHF World Ranking.

Tri-Valley Receives $128,000 Otto Bremer Trust Grant for Agassiz Townhomes Project and Two Year Pilot Project Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. has received an Otto Bremer Trust Grant of more than $128,000 for the Agassiz Townhome project and a two year housing pilot project. Agassiz Townhomes will serve Crookston’s lower income workforce, addressing a need of many employers and allowing more workers to live in the community. The Otto Bremer Trust Grant for the project consists of two direct grants and a $35,000 one-to-one match. The goal was to leverage local employer contributions and coordinate with other public funds to enhance the ability to address housing needs in our area. The goal was met with $17,500 provided by local employers and $17,500 provided by the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA). The additional grant dollars will be used to fund a two year pilot project primarily in East Grand Forks that will assist landlords and New Americans in creating successful housing relationships. “We at Bremer Bank are very proud when our major stockholder, Otto Bremer Trust, provides grants in our trade area,” says Jim Snyder, Crookston Bremer Bank President and Market Manager. “The Otto Bremer Trust welcomes opportunities consistent with Tri-Valley’s Mission, and Bremer Bank’s Vision, to improve the quality of life for people and strengthen the communities we serve,” Snyder adds. (Photo L-R): Jim Snyder (Crookston Bremer Bank President and Market Manager) and Jason Carlson (CEO Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.) 2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News “Raising of America” Documentary Event Draws Area Leaders to UMC Campus Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc., along with The City of Crookston, The Chamber & Visitors Bureau and the Crookston Early Childhood Initiative presented a viewing of the “Raising of America” (The Signature Hour) Documentary on Wednesday, March 30 at the University of Minnesota Crookston’s Bede Ballroom. The informational event drew 45 leaders from the area business, government, and early childhood communities. Those in attendance watched the documentary, learned about the U.S. statistics as it relates to poverty, early childhood development, cost and availability of childcare, etc. Following the documentary there was an open discussion based around questions from the video in regards to: We all want what’s best for our children, so why is child well-being in the U.S. so much worse than other rich nations? Why do we allow our most vulnerable children to fall so much further behind the median? How does the squeeze on young families and caregivers—the squeeze for time, money and resources—drip down on infants and young children and alter the wiring of their developing brains with potential long-term consequences? The Raising of America Series is a five-part documentary series that explores the question: Why are so many children in America faring so poorly? What are the consequences for the nation’s future? How might we, as a nation, do better? The film joins Dr. Renee Boynton-Jarrett, a trusted pediatrician and researcher at Boston Medical Center, Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman and former multi-billion dollar hedge fund manager Robert Dugger. Each brings a very different perspective to the importance the early childhood experience and yet each tells us the same thing: for children to do better in school and in life, we can’t wait until they enter kindergarten. Crucial brain development occurs during the very first years of life. (From www.raisingofamerica.org)

Pic Receives Years of Service Recognition from MinnCAP Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. staff attended the Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP) Annual Training Conference held on September 20-22 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minn. Staff took part in a Legislative General Session, listened to speakers on various topics, and took part in several breakout sessions. In conjunction with the annual training conference, 25 Year Honorees were recognized for their dedicated service and commitment to community action. Tri-Valley’s Cindy Pic (Transportation Programs Director) was honored for her 25 years of work with Tri-Valley in Crookston. Cindy is currently the director of the Transportation Division. A major highlight of Cindy’s work is how the Flood of 1997 impacted the child care community throughout the service area. (Photo L-R): Cindy Pic (Transportation Programs Director) and Francie Mathes (Office of Economic Opportunity) 2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. PO Box 607 102 North Broadway Crookston, MN 56716 Phone: 218-281-5832 Toll Free: 800-584-7020 Telecommunication Relay Services: 711 Fax: 218-281-6681 Website: www.tvoc.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/TVOCInc Twitter: @TriValley_TVOC

Tri-Valley is a non-profit community action agency. We believe in the value of all human beings. It is that belief that drives our efforts to identify needs, seek resources and provide opportunities for people to thrive. Our work is also committed to strengthening our communities so that its citizens have better places to live, work, worship and enjoy.

Service Area

Primary Service Area

(West Marshall, West Polk, Norman Counties)

Services in Minnesota Services in North Dakota Note: Tri-Valley has services in 84 counties in Minnesota and North Dakota. This information is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Contact us at 1-800-584-7020 or by calling the Telecommunication Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-627-3529. Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

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Profile for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

2016 tri valley annual report (press quality)  

2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report

2016 tri valley annual report (press quality)  

2016 Tri-Valley Annual Report