Over 32 years ago, a small program division of the Foundation for Education Achievement (FEA) embarked on a path toward creating universal social equality. This vision began with eight individuals with severe disabilities being taught vocational and independent living skills at Midway Adult Education Center. In July 2007, the FEA board granted Community Options the authority to become its own separate stand alone 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization now known as E&CO. Today, this movement has progressed into a successful organization, essential to the welfare of communities throughout four counties in California (San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz ). Since it’s formation in 1985, E&CO’s programs and services have effectively assisted in providing vocational opportunities, life skills training and affordable housing to individuals with developmental disabilities.
- July 1985 services begin at Midway Adult Education Center. The first programs were community-based programs with a vocational emphasis for individuals with the most severe developmental disabilities. Services were funded by both the San Diego Community College District and San Diego Regional Center.
Community-based programs start in the Southern California’s El Cajon and Chula Vista counties.
- Southern California expands community-based programs to the Santee, Mira Mesa areas.
- Northern California begins a community-based program in the Gilroy area.
- In Northern California, a third community-based program is started in Santa Cruz.
- Through growth and expansion in Southern California, a full-time Job Developer was hired in September. Within 6 months we were able to increase the number of participants employed by 30%.
Community Options provides services to 1,000 participants annually.
- Employment Services (Fee-for Service) start in San Bernardino.
- Community Options became “Employment & Community Options.”
- Employment & Community Options opens Jitter Bean Coffee Cart, a Micro-Enterprise, in the San Diego region.
- Supported Employment services approved in Austin, TX.
- E&CO opens the MadeIt Film & Media Academies in the San Diego and San Bernardino regions.