1948-1950's: Initial Focus

In 1947, an idea was conceived by Dause Bibby, General Manager of IBM Corporation, 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 for the workshop and solicited $3,500 for the initial operating expenses from eight manufacturing companies and individuals, all of which were repaid. The relationship with the Kiwanis Club is one that has continued throughout the workshop's history. A Board of Directors was set up and on September 16, 1948, Marion D Coday was hired as the Managing Director. 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.

1960's-1970's: Expansion of Services

By partnering with Mid Hudson Workshop for the Disabled, Inc., IBM contributed to creating dignified livelihood opportunities for veterans and disabled individuals in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Over the years, Mid-Hudson Workshop expanded its services to include light manufacturing, ecommerce fulfillment, storage and shipping, mailings, labeling, and kitting work. IBM actively engaged with Mid Hudson Works, recognizing the value of its mission.

1980's: Facility Expansion and Veteran Impact

With IBM being the workshop's largest customer, the workshop continued to grow and expanded with the final addition added in 1985. The workshop’s purpose was to hire and train individuals with physical and/or medical disabilities, assisting them in finding gainful employment. This collaboration helped the workshop grow, bringing the total size of the workshop to 52,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space. At this time, the workshop employed and provided workforce development opportunities to nearly 80 physically and medically handicapped people. The mission during this time was still heavily focused on the hiring and training Veterans, ensuring access to stable and rewarding job opportunities.

1990's: Community Integration

The Workshop became a member of the Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce and New York State Industries for Disabled (NYSID), indicating active involvement in the local business community. Small businesses became a focus for many of the work opportunities offered in the workshop, and as the workshop helped small businesses scale in size, those same businesses were providing training and skills opportunities to those being served by the workshop's programming.

2017: Name Change - Mid Hudson Works

In November 2017, we changed our assumed name to “Mid-Hudson Works” by adding a dba with the New York Department of State. The team-oriented culture emphasized acceptance and understanding, supporting those who are potentially re-integrating back into the workforce after life-changing events. The new name reflects our continued commitment to providing training opportunities for Mid-Hudson Valley disabled veterans and others who meet the mission.

2022: North River Roasters - An Entrepreneurial Twist

In December 2022, North River Roasters Roastery was donated to Mid-Hudson Workshop for the Disabled, Inc. by the previous owners Feza and Diane Oktay. They had a dream to eventually pass their business on to a non-profit organization upon their retirement. North River Roasters was established with people, community, and the environment in mind. Green coffee beans are all sourced as organic, with fair-trade and bird-friendly bean sourcing part of the commitment to support coffee farmers and environmental sustainability. Coffee with a Cause was established. What is our coffee with a cause program? Our coffee with a cause program provides Veterans and individuals with disabilities with work and entrepreneurial opportunities, all while providing our customers with deliciously roasted coffees and blends. The Patriot Blend was created to raise Veteran awareness and provide an avenue for MHW to engage in community collaborations by sharing proceeds with local like-minded organizations.

2023: North River Roasters - Building Wing Dedication Ceremony

In December 2023, on the one-year acquisition anniversary for North River Roasters, a roastery wing dedication honored the donors, Feza and Diane Oktay, for their amazing and generous contribution. This donation allowed MHW to create an entrepreneurial business program that teaches the team a variety of business skills and allows MHW to truly continue a "coffee for community" mission.

2023: Celebrating a Milestone - 75 Years of Services

For over 75 years, we have assisted in the growth of many small businesses, utilizing our facility in the City of Poughkeepsie, and have continued our commitment to providing training opportunities for Mid-Hudson Valley disabled veterans and others who meet our mission. Currently, Mid-Hudson Works employs 10-20 people serving the needs of a variety of companies through contracts with Stephen Gould Corp, Wear Kinetics, Selux Corporation, Tickle Me Plant Company, and more.