BAWAC began in 1973 serving 15 clients in an abandoned school basement. We rapidly expanded and soon moved to a new 10,000 square foot building. Three building additions later, today we serve nearly 500 clients in 4 programs in 8 counties.
Subcontracted work for business was a novel concept at our start. We did pallet repair and small parts assembly; manufactured ceramic items, and assembled skate wheel conveyors. Today we run 35 different jobs and label, package, and assemble items for a wide variety of manufacturers.
We led the way in Supported Employment - starting the first such program in Kentucky - placing persons with disabilities into competitive jobs with job coaching. Similarly, we collaborate with special education programs in the school-to-work transition.
Our transportation staff, almost overnight, ramped up capacity to accommodate 105 clients who were stranded at the closure of a van service in 2015. After starting out with only 3 old vans in 2006, our fleet has grown to over 40 vehicles that transport over 200 clients in 6 counties to and from various agencies on a daily basis.
Although work is our focus, service is our heart. Over the years, we have provided a myriad of work-related programs for vulnerable populations. In 2016 we expanded our services with the addition of the Helen R. Ziegler Life Transitions Center for those at the other end of the work spectrum - when work is no longer feasible due to age, illness, disability, or injury - to provide them with daily mental stimulation, physical activity and socialization.
BAWAC’s journey has taken remarkable twists and turns but we have remained steadfast, with our founder still at the helm. Our exceptional and dedicated staff, our Board of Directors, our volunteers, our business customers and our many supporters continue to take our mission seriously. It is because of this, and despite changes in policies, laws, regulations, and funding we have survived and thrived.
For more information on our programs and services please visit our website at www.bawac.org.