The first facility to aid and train adults with developmental disabilities in the Aberdeen area was formed in December, 1960. The physical facility was donated by the city of Aberdeen and was located at the corner of 12th Avenue and Washington Street near the Northern State University campus.
The name of the facility was the Aberdeen Sheltered Workshop. It was modeled after the Sheltered Workshop already in operation in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At that time, South Dakota had only two such facilities, with the other one was located in Rapid City. Aberdeen’s workshop was funded originally through the Association for Retarded Citizens(ARC). In 1965, the name of the workshop was changed to the Adjustment Training Center, Inc.
The first people supported were three young men between the ages of 18 and 21.
The first contract received by the Aberdeen Sheltered Workshop was from the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company in Aberdeen. The Pepsi Company furnished pop cases that were in need of repair. A year after the Aberdeen Sheltered Workshop began, other projects became available. Besides the Pepsi contract, the workshop procured contracts from Coca-Cola, KO Lee, Safeguard, Dakota Sash and Door, Jewett Drug, Kesslers and a plastics factory in Mobridge. Other projects included services to the community, such as: laundry for beauty shops in the area and baked goods sold by order at the workshop.
In November, 1972, the Adjustment Training Center, Inc. relocated to 612 10th Avenue Southeast. The new facility offered more area for job skill training, more classroom space and more sophisticated equipment for the services rendered by the Center.
During the early to mid 1970’s, approximately 40 people were enrolled in the Center. By 1978, our enrollment had grown to about 65 individuals.
Harmony Homes, Inc. was established in 1970 and began with one house located on North 2nd Avenue. In 1979, Harmony Homes, Inc. merged to become part of the Adjustment Training Center, Inc. ATC owned four homes and one supervised apartment building. ATC also provided supports to people in their own homes as needed.
On February 26, 1992, the Adjustment Training Center, Inc. relocated to our current location, 607 N. 4th Street. The new building provided approximately 40,000 square feet of space which more than doubled the space at our former building.
2010 marked the 50th anniversary for the Adjustment Training Center, at which time the agency was renamed Aspire, Inc.
Today Aspire serves around 160 people. Aspire still owns four group homes, and people supported by Aspire lease 3 homes, where staff are provided 24hrs/day. Aspire has one supervised apartment building, and numerous apartments are leased in another building, to provide supervision of about 30. Aspire provides support to over 60 people that live in their own apartments that get limited residential services. 15 people we support live with their own families.
Today Aspire supports around 30 people with jobs in the community.Over 20 are employed by Aspire's custodial contracts. Around 60 people recieve support through a job training program. Nearly 40 participate in some type of day services program; Creative Expression or Residential day services.
Today Aspire employs around 140 full and part time employee's.