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Occupational Services, Incorporated (OSI) was conceived in 1956 when Mrs. W. R. Brown, President of the Franklin County Chapter of the ARC, appointed a committee to establish a sheltered workshop in Chambersburg, PA. The committee was formed in May 1956 that included among its members representatives from the Chambersburg Civitan Club, Franklin Fulton ARC, and the Franklin/Adams Easter Seal Society. A Board of Directors was selected with Mr. Stanley L. Whitehill serving as President. The name Occupational Services, Inc. was selected and the organization was chartered under Pennsylvania law as a non-profit corporation to operate as a "sheltered workshop" in Chambersburg, PA for individuals with disabilities such as mental health, mental retardation, and the physically handicapped. In May of 1957, Mr. Richard Nye was chosen to serve as the first Executive Director.
On September 19, 1957, OSI began activities in a small room of an unused school building in Chambersburg, PA. Total assets of $5,000 donated by the local ARC provided the financial support for OSI to begin MH/MR Job Support Services. Five individuals started their program on opening day. Under the direction of two staff persons, these individuals performed jobs such as packaging screws for Hess Manufacturing and septic tank conditioners for Max West.
The present location of OSI is 17 Redwood Street in Chambersburg, PA. This began as a 3,400 square foot building on 1.9 acres donated to OSI by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare in January 1958 with the only stipulation was that OSI was to provide supported employment to at least four people every year. Additions to the building were made in 1962, 1971, and 1981 bringing the facility to its current size of 37,000 square feet. These additions were primarily funded through State and Federal grants, and funds received through the Edwin B. Huber Estate.
Today, Occupational Services Inc. serves about two hundred individuals a year, including more than 130 workers daily in the work activities program. OSI provides subcontracting services in the local area with work being performed for a broad range of companies including Beck Manufacturing, T B Woods, Carlisle Companies, On Campus Marketing, and Quality Wholesale (see subcontracting services testimonials). OSI also manufactures grade stakes and hubs for surveyors, excavators, contractors, and utilities, among other services.
OSI’s programs have also expanded to meet the diverse and changing needs of individuals with disabilities. Through these programs, OSI has seen many individuals develop adaptive skills to meet and exceed their personal and vocational goals and become productive and valued citizens in the community. Occupational Services was conceived for this purpose and will continue to develop innovative and effective vocational rehabilitation programs to meet these objectives.