In 1947 an idea was conceived by Dause Bibby, General Manager of IBM, to establish a workshop modeled after one in Binghamton which would employ the physically handicapped. With the assistance of Stephen Puff, NYS Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and Ben Van Winkler, Executive Secretary of Mid-Hudson Industrial Association, an effort was begun to “establish, maintain, manage and support through public and individual effort and appeal, a place for the employment of persons who are physically handicapped and to provide means, whereby, such people can enter into gainful employment”.
In early 1948, the Kiwanis Club of Poughkeepsie took over the sponsorship and solicited $3,500 for the initial operating expenses from eight manufacturing concerns and individuals, all of which were repaid.
A Board of Directors was set up and on September 16, 1948, Marion D Coday was hired as Managing Director and the workshop received its Certificate of Incorporation on September 20,1948. On December 13, 1948 The Mid-Hudson Workshop for the Disabled Inc. opened with two physically handicapped employees.
With IBM being the largest customer, the workshop grew, relocated, purchased the building it currently occupy’s and expanded with the final addition added in 1985 bringing the total size of the workshop to 52,000 sf of manufacturing and warehouse space and employing nearly 80 physically and medically handicapped people.
Today the Workshop employs 20-25 people serving the needs of a variety of companies through new contracts with Stephen Gould Corp, Stamford Scientific, IBM and more.