Our Mission

Our core mission is to provide people with disabilities with quality services that satisfy their needs and expectations.

We do this in a way that:

To achieve our mission, we have had the same guiding principles since our inception:

Utilizing our employment services and the services provide through The Elcam Community Center, we strive to provide individuals with disabilities every opportunity to thrive in the community. To fulfill this mission, our other endeavors including our industrial services and A Step Ahead Child Center secure our financial independence and future, as well as contribute needed services to the community.

 

Our History

Our story begins in 1972, when we first incorporated as the St. Marys Work Activities Center. Utilizing a house donated by the Stackpole Carbon Company as our first location, we provided arts and crafts activities as a sheltered workshop. Changing laws and philosophies regarding people with disabilities saw a need in our area for such services, and we grew rapidly.

 

By 1973, we had outgrown the house of Stackpole Street, and moved to the Lewis Building on the Million Dollar Highway in St. Marys, PA. George von Hacht was our first Executive Director, Peter Largey was hired to develop services and programs, and Michael Keller was hired to manage production and marketing. It was here where progressive ideas of how vocational services could be provided began to take shape. We were the first company in the region to offer 100% inspection services to local powdered-metal parts manufacturers (previously, this was always done internally). The inspection work provided a service to local manufacturers, while also providing meaningful work through which vocational services could be provided. The addition of vocational services prompted our name to change to the Elcam Vocational Rehabilitation Center.

 

In 1974, an expansion of all services required us to move to the vacant Spruce St. Elementary School. In addition to 100% inspection services, we began to offer secondary machining services to powdered-metal manufacturers. We also began our packaging services with Ledvance (then known as GTE Sylvania). In 1975, Peter Largey was promoted to Executive Director and Michael Keller became Operations Director, positions they would hold for the rest of their careers.

 

We developed unique philosophies compared to other facilities at that time. One of our goals has always been to place individuals into competitive employment. We began a machinist training program for local industries to serve economically disadvantaged individuals. The program served 24 people a year with a near 100% placement rate from 1975 to 1983. We also began a range of industrial services such as industrial safety, hearing conservation, industrial hygene, etc. In fact, the machining program, along with these additional services, led us to build our own appropriate facility.

 

Board members J. Hamlin Johnson and Henry Jessberger were instrumental in the building project, both in terms of fund-raising and personal effort. It was a monumental challenge for us, taking more than 4 years to complete. Our St. Marys facility on West Creek Road was finally opened in May 1980. Also at this time, as a reflection of all the varied services we offered both to individuals and industrial customers, our name was changed to Elcam, Inc.

 

Elcam continued to expand and grow. Our St. Marys facility had grown from its original 16,000 square feet to 67,500 sqaure feet. By 1989, 85% of our funding was derived from non-governmental sources. Financial independence was and is key to Elcam's success, providing us the freedom to be self-directed and allowing us to respond rapidly to changing community and customer needs.

 

We established an industrial rehabilitation program in 1987, headed by Anne Pistner, a certified Occupational Therapist. This program helped rehabilitate injured workers throughout the region. Functional evaulations and work hardening training were some of the services offered, along with training programs to both employers and employees on proper ergonomics and movement techniques. In 1993, our industrial rehabilitation program evolved into the Light Duty Program. The difference was that in a light-duty program, the employer paid full wages to the employee while they received services here, instead of receiving Worker's Compensation. Since its inception, the Light Duty Program has served over 2,000 injured employees from over 40 different employers in the region. Anne Pistner is currently a member of our Board of Directors.

 

In 1991, we were approached by the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to expand our services in other counties. In 1993, we opened a facility in Clearfied, PA that was different from our St. Marys facility in that it was a affirmative industry. Kim Cashmer was in charge of client services in Clearfield. In 1995, we opened another affirmative industry facility in DuBois, PA, which specializes in component assembly. Kim was promoted to Plant Manager of the DuBois facility. In 2008, the Clearfield facility was combined with the DuBois facility. Learn more about our current locations.

 

As a result of changing philosophies by the State of Pennsylvania, we renovated 8,000 square feet of our St. Marys facility to create the The Elcam Community Center in 2003. We met with individuals to determine what types of activities interested them and would enhance their independence and involvement in the community. We then incorporated their suggestions into the design. The availability of the The Elcam Community Center has allowed us to initiate many new community-based activities, and is instrumental in the services we provide today.

 

Expanding our vision of how we can best serve the community, A Step Ahead Child Center was built at our St. Marys facility in 2012. Originally designed and directed by Naomi Tucker, this state-of-the-art child care facility currently has over 70 children enrolled.

 

Kim Cashmer was promoted to Executive Director in 2014 following Peter Largey's retirement. Michael Keller retired in 2017, and is currently a member of our Board of Directors. Kim will lead us into the future, facing and meeting new challenges and community needs.

 

Michael Keller
Michael Keller
Operations Director
1975 - 2017

 

Peter Largey
Peter Largey
Executive Director
1975 - 2014

 

Our long history demonstrates our commitment to the individuals, customers and the community we serve. We have constantly evolved to meet new needs, overcome obstacles, and to create an environment of success. The future of Elcam, Inc. will still be guided by the ideas and philosophies of our founders. We will continue to offer our many vocational services to individuals, as well as our industrial services to industrial customers, all the while contributing to the community.