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History

1963
  • Founding of WORK Inc. 

1966
  • The Occupational Training Center (OTC), formerly affiliated with the South Shore Association for Retarded Children, becomes a separate program under the aegis of the South Shore Mental Health Association and the South Shore Mental Health Center, Psychologist Dr. William P. Wolk of the Center is assigned to develop the OTC program.

  • Working out of a 7,000 square foot abandoned missile site, OTC operates job training programs for 35 persons with mental retardation and/or mental illness, with a staff of six and a budget of $65,000.

1967
  • The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) provides OTC professional recognition when it funds the agency's first HRC client. Dr. Wolk becomes OTC's full-time director.
  • OTC is one of the first agencies in the country to collaborate in the development of an in-school vocational training program for special needs students. This breakthrough program using paid work will develop into today's Cooperative Career Education Program.

1968-1969
  • OTC expands to serve persons who are blind, deaf and physically disabled. Approximately 50 graduates of the three-year-old center are placed in competitive employment.
 
  • Henry Cheney, WORK. Inc.’s Executive Vice President. is hired in recognition to the importance of professional expertise in the areas of financial management and sales.

1970-1972
  •  The agency develops into a multi-faceted rehabilitation facility and changes its name from OTC to South Shore Rehabilitation Center (SSRC). SSRC has 60 clients and a budget of $200,000 earned largely from state agencies through fees for service.
 
  • CREWS. one of the first programs in the country to provide supported-employment (community based work) to persons with severe disabilities, assigns its first 14 clients to Howard Johnson's National Headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts.

1973-1975
  • Massachusetts de institutionalizes mentally retarded citizens. SSRC is approached by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and asked to establish one of the first residences' for persons with mental retardation. The Greenleaf Street residence is the second such facility opened in the state.
 
  • SSRC maintains its strong business orientation. supplying industrial subcontract work to over 20 workshops in addition to its own.

1976-1977
  • SSRC and 110 clients relocate to the current 40,000 square foot facility in North Quincy. The move is funded by a grant from the Permanent Charities Foundation (now the Boston Foundation).

1978
  • WORK. Inc. a separate not-for-profit corporation previously established by SSRC, becomes the legal sponsor of SSRC and its programs. The 13-year sponsorship by the South Shore Mental Health Association is ended and SSRC, now WORK Inc. becomes a fully independent agency.

1979-1980
  • WORK. Inc. is one of the first vocational rehabilitation agencies in New England to receive national accreditation when it undergoes an extensive on-site examination and is recognized by: Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Janitorial CREWS service begins with WORK. Inc.’s first federal contract. The contract which the agency still retains is set aside by the Committee for Purchase from the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped (CPBOSH) and received through the National Industries for the Severely Handicapped (NISH). It provides employment in army reserve centers for five workers with severe disabilities.
 
  • Braintree Work Center is established to train and employ people who are in the process of being discharged from mental health institutions.

1981-1982
  • The Friends of WORK. Inc. is established as a separate not-for-profit corporation to raise funds and increase public awareness of the agency's programs.
 
  • WORK. Inc. serves over 400 adults in its own programs and 600 students in public schools daily with a budget of $2,500,000 The Electronics Training Program is established at Braintree Work Center to train clients in challenging technical work for the electronics industry.
 
  • Aided by a grant from the Boston Foundation. Consolidated Products & Services (CP&S) is incorporated as a not-for-profit medical products manufacturing company separate from WORK Inc. CP&S is one of the few self-supporting industries in the world which manufactures products from start to finish employing workers with severe disabilities. Its first contacts come from the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration through CPBOSH and NISH.

1983-1985
  • The CREWS program wins federal janitorial contracts worth $820,000.00 for the McCormack courthouse and the Custom House tower in Boston, providing employment for over 40 workers and staff.

1994
  •  25th Anniversary of WORK Inc.

1995
  •  $500,000 Contract from US Department of Defense Personnel Support Center

2000
  •  Fitchburg Employment Center opens

2001
  • Hank Cheney WORK Inc. CEO passes away
  • Jim Cassetta hired as CEO

2003
  •  Awarded JFK Library Total Facility Management Contract

2009
  • WORK Inc opens its new headquarters at 25 Beach Street in Dorchester MA

2012
  • WORK Inc. opens a new Employment Center in New Bedford

2013
  • Awarded multi-state contract for facility services at naval facilities across the Northeast Region and New York City
  • Opens a new HUD 811 Residential home in Milton
  •  Announces that a Business Development Office will be established in the New York City / Washington DC regional area along with two other offices in the New England Regional area by 12/31/13
  • Announces the expansion of its Day Hab Program opening up 25 new slots for consumers beginning 12/1/13

2014
  • The WORK Inc. Culinary Arts Institute is established and graduates its first student into a competitive Food Service position
  • WORK Inc. was awarded the total facilty management for the Edward Kennedy Institute for The United States Senate
  • Work Inc. was awarded a contract United States District Court in Springfield, MA  
  • On July 1, 2014 the  Solidaridad Family Support Center formerly under the of the Latino Health Institute become part of WORK Inc.’s Family Support Center expanding critical services to families in the Boston Area.
2017
  • WORK Inc. expands employment services to Rhode Island