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.
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.
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.