The Resource Center

A worker at a sewing machine at The Resource Center.

The Resource Center (TRC) of Chautauqua County, NY, has served individuals with disabilities for more than 50 years, both as a service provider and employer. Those same individuals comprise the majority of TRC’s production workforce at the agency’s three manufacturing work centers. The employment of these individuals is largely made possible with U.S. military contracts awarded through the “AbilityOne” Program, which requires maintaining a certain percentage of workers with disabilities. When TRC discovered it was falling short, it reached out to the University at Buffalo to assure program compliance and avoid jeopardizing future contracts. In the effort to maintain an able workforce at the appropriate staffing level, a byproduct has resulted: the growth of TRC’s competitive assets as it pursues a wider customer base amid whittling government opportunities.