In 1974, parents of disabled adults being released from Oregon's State Institution as it was down sizing, formed a group called the Salem Work Activity Center. With a grant from the Oregon Department of Human Resources they hired the first staff and opened the doors in a converted store front on Lancaster Drive. As more and more individuals were moved from State run institutions, the Salem Work Activity Center grew. In the late seventies the name was changed to Rockwest Training Company Inc. Over the years we have grown from serving five adults with disabilities to a roster of 105 with a staff of 33 and annual sales of $1.3 million from Rockwest products. In 1990, Rockwest recognized the challenges students faced when leaving the school system into the work world and began working cooperatively with local school districts in transitioning students to the work environment. Today Rockwest is known State-wide for its growing First Aid Kits and Supplies line, Rockwest Medical, Industrial Sewing, Screen Printing, Embroidery, Packaging and Assembly. With customers throughout the state Rockwest continues to grow and expand to ensure quality work and employment for its employees.
The Employees of Rockwest have a variety of employment opportunities available to them at our main facility. People with disabilities have the opportunity to learn highly technical jobs such as working with industrial sewing equipment in the Sewing Department. They can also learn all aspects of the screen print and embroidery trade.
In addition, there is a wide variety of assembling and packaging, including heat sealing, as well as confidential shredding.
Rockwest also offers employment opportunities for individualized placement in community businesses. We provide job training, long-term support and follow-up. The benefits to a business that places Rockwest Employees are many. A business can save on labor costs, insurance costs, training costs as well as get highly motivated and responsible employee. In addition, Rockwest is a Rehabilitation Services Provider. We provide assessments, on the job training and transitional services for clients of the Vocational Rehabilitation Division.
Rockwest has opportunities for volunteers to do hands-on training and support. There are several ways to support the mission of Rockwest. Building fixtures and workstations, as well as clerical support for staff are just a few of the ways to get involve.
We also offer practicum placement for College Students with an interest in the Mental Health field. Students will learn to design and implement training programs, as well as provide skill training, measurable training objectives, data collection, hands-on training, behavior management and Individual Support Plan training. There are also training opportunities for fundraising, marketing and public information. Practicum students become part of the program staff and learn more about the field in a positive and supportive environment. For questions regarding client services contact Trea.
Rockwest's Activities Program
For those individuals with developmental disabilities that would benefit from social activities and outings, Rockwest offers the Activities Program. The focus is less about work and more about increasing social skills, participation on group activities, community involvement, and expanding experiences. Rockwest provides opportunities that will help clients maintain and increase their skills through craft projects, computer activities, and cooking classes. We also encourage physical health by offering things such as fishing, bowling, nature walks and other outdoor activities.