by Aaron Martin
It’s funny how time sneaks up on you. In the case of Job One, we’re talking about five decades. The organization was originally formed as the Jackson County Sheltered Workshop on August 7, 1967. This month marks the beginning of our 50th year of serving the community by providing employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities.
Job One was originally founded as the Jackson County Sheltered Workshop in 1967 by a group of community members and parents. They were seeking to provide jobs for adults with disabilities in a time where employment opportunities for this population were few to nonexistent. The workshop started out serving a small group of 15 individuals.
The organization has experienced a great deal of change over the course of the past 50 years. This includes name changes and reorganizations from the Jackson County Sheltered Workshop to IBS Industries to what is now known as Job One. We now have multiple Job One facilities and contract work sites across the Kansas City metropolitan area. Job One serves over 300 individuals with disabilities, and this number is on the rise.
The heart of our mission to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities remains the same, but the approach has evolved significantly over the years. We have successfully expanded operations to go beyond providing facility-based (workshop) jobs. We’ve cultivated more choices for employment by creating internal business service operations and building relationships with numerous community partners for job placement through our Job One Careers program.
Many know Job One as an employment services agency, but may be surprised to learn all the services we offer for businesses in our community. Commercial businesses and government contractors who utilize Job One business services, such as our Secure Document Solutions (SDS) division, for highly secure materials and document shredding, not only enjoy a top-quality and competitively priced service, but they are also supporting the population we serve. Job One also offers production support services, like packaging and assembly, as well as staffing for maintenance and administrative positions.
As we enter our 50th year we have many exciting new developments on the horizon. I invite you to take a closer look at Job One. You can learn more at Job1One.org and by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can show your support for Job One by using our services, donating, and helping us spread the word to advocate for adults with disabilities as we celebrate 50 years of service and look ahead to the future.