|Oct 01, 2011 --
Work Training Center, Inc. of Butte County provides training, vocational, and recreational services that allow people with disabilities to be productive, become more independent, and participate in the community while earning a salary and improving the quality of their life. The nonprofit has three work centers in California including the Feather River Opportunity Center in Oroville.
The Feather River Opportunity Center (FROC) provides a wide variety of services including light industrial assembly, bulk mailings, labeling and packaging. It was originally designed to allow for 60 developmentally disabled trainees, however, it has experienced a higher demand for services, and current enrollment is well over 70 and growing. In addition to their need for more space in their training programs, FROC also wanted to expand their warehouse space and loading dock to accommodate large trucks. Both of these would allow them to increase services to the many agriculture-based businesses in the Sacramento Valley.
Through the Community Facilities program, USDA Rural Development provided a $518,020 loan and $60,000 grant to construct a new warehouse, loading dock, and to help purchase equipment for the building. Work Training Center, Inc. leveraged $61,277 of their own funds into the project.
With the additional space available from the newly expanded warehouse and loading dock, FROC has been able to handle more projects and has obtained new business contracts with local businesses.
These contracts will help create 12 jobs for workers with disabilities working as part of an integrated crew, and six or more jobs for non-disabled workers. The creation of these jobs will directly benefit the community of Oroville which has a current unemployment rate of over 20%, well over the State’s unemployment rate of 12.5%.
Most of the employees with disabilities are highly dependable, motivated and safety conscious, and they enjoy the tasks assigned. Because of this, there is a very low employee turnover rate. Yet, the benefits of this work program extend to the contract companies as well. Local businesses have come to depend on FROC for fast and accurate assembly of many of their value-added agriculture products.
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