Assets, Inc. has been serving the city of Anchorage for more than 20 years. The organization was founded by determined parents and friends of individuals with disabilities, and for many years, was known as Alaska Specialized Employment and Training Services.
In 1980, a print shop, bindery and other labor contracts provided employment opportunities for the initial 80 adults served by Assets. Today, the print shop is still in operation, still providing high quality work. However, there is now a reduced workforce of eight individuals with disabilities in the print shop, the remaining employees have found employment in the community!
Assets has embraced change and incorporated cutting edge thinking into its service delivery system. New understandings about how individuals with disabilities are best supported have been the foundation of the service provided. People are no longer fit into programs, but now individually designed supports are created that are provided in community settings based on each person’s needs.
Assets, Inc. is the 78th largest employer in the State of Alaska, with a workforce of more than 350 employees, 65% of whom are individuals with disabilities. Each member contributes to the local economy and plays a valued role in the community.
Four years after Assets opened its doors, a contract was signed providing janitorial services at the Anchorage Airport. This was a pivotal moment in the history of the organization as it was the first of many contractual agreements established between Assets and various entities. These contracts today provide a variety of employment options to more than 200 employees, both disabled and non-disabled, in such environment as the Anchorage Area Commissary, Providence Hospital, and the Alaska State Court House System. Employees of Assets wash every dish at Providence, stock every shelf at the commissary and clean every square inch of the Courthouse!
Supported Living Service began in 1984, followed by Employment Services in 1986. In Supported Living, a combination of skill building, coaching, and resource coordination take place, assisting individuals to live in their own homes. Supported Employment assists individuals to live in their own homes. Supported Employment assists individuals to obtain and retain employment within local businesses. Assets assists each employer in hiring the right person, helping with training and working to ensure job satisfaction for both employer and employee.
Supported Living Services for Children was the last to be added in 1988. These services support children who experience severe emotional disturbances. Assets provides skill training, service coordination, and crisis response services, always striving to bring out the best in each child. The main goal is to keep children and families together, and to keep them in the State of Alaska.