1819 West 'J' Street
Yakima, WA 98902
509.453.0386

Mission

Yakima Specialties empowers people with barriers to employment to achieve their highest potential in life and in the workplace.

History

Y
akima Specialties Inc. was founded in June, 1964 in a small building at South 13th Street and East Viola in Yakima, Washington. It was originally supported and developed through the efforts and finances of parents of disabled adults. The local chapter of the Washington Association for Retarded Citizens and representatives of the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation also assisted in its formation and obtained the necessary equipment.

In 1968, the Yakima Rotary Club aided in the purchase of a lot at 1913 McNair Avenue to relocate the facility. On November 14th, 1971, a fire destroyed the entire plant and equipment. The Board of Directors organized a fund drive to rebuild the plant. By March 1972 approximately $90,000 was raised in cash donations, donated equipment, and state grants. The McNair Avenue center served 100 individuals a year through the efforts of 17 staff members. A Janitorial program was initiated in 1982 in order to train disabled adults in commercial janitorial skills.

During 1986, the Board of Directors of Yakima Specialties planned and created the Yakima Medical Laundry. This modern commercial laundry provides a larger variety of jobs for disabled adults as well as contract laundry services to hospitals and medical offices and medical facilities in Yakima County.

After much consideration, the Board decided to buy a building and property on West J Street in 1995. The plans were drawn, the financing acquired, and the construction began. One of the Board's mandates was that no state or federal funds be used in this venture. With the help of Providence Medical Center, local individuals, local companies, and U.S. Bank, no tax dollars were used to construct the new facility. The new facility can truly be called a "Community Achievement." On September 23, 1996, Yakima Specialties held the ground-breaking ceremony for the new 30,000 square-foot facility on West J Street.

The current facility is now the home of Yakima Medical Laundry, Yakima Specialties Janitorial, and Yakima Specialties Woodshop, serving up to 100 individuals a year through the efforts of 30 staff members. It also houses the office of the Yakima Specialties Foundation, a separate non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, founded in 2003 to help improve the lives of the disabled members of our community. Yakima Specialties will continue to seek new employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Yakima County.

Community Partners

The work of Yakima Specialties is supported by these community partners:

Yakima Community FoundationWe'd like to thank the Yakima Valley Community Foundation for the grant which helped toward the purchase of new washers for the Medical Laundry. The machines were quickly put to use to wash coats for the Salvation Army's Coats for Kids project.

Atrium Windows - provides ongoing work to YSI job candidates - affixing washers on screws used in their window assembly.

Thank you to Peninsula Packaging as they have donated space for us to do some off-site work.

Yakima Valley School - Yakima Specialties Inc has a contract with the state to provide community access for the residents of the Yakima Valley School. Residents are taken into the community to see and experience thing outside the school. Learn more

United Way of Central Washington United Way provides funding for select programs within Yakima Specialties Inc.

Thank you to the Union Gospel Mission for helping put some of our disabled clients to work at their facility.

Yakima School District - We work closely with YSD to assist youth that are transitioning out of the special resource programs at YSD schools by helping them to learn job skills and prepare for the world of work.

We would like to thank Pacific Power for awarding YSI a generous grant in 2015 for our work for "Coats for Kids". Since 2011, Coats for Kids has been a collaboration between YSI’s Medical Laundry and KNDO, the Salvation Army, and many other local organizations. The "Coats for Kids" drive assists with preparing donated outerwear by sorting, cleaning and preparing the coats, gloves, and hats for distribution to underserved children.

Yakima Area Arboretum - Provides work and skills training through projects around the Arboretum.

Ideal Lumber & Hardware in Toppenish - provides employment for YSI candidates and serves as an assessment site.

Several local organizations serve as Job Skill Assessment sites to help YSI Job developers to determine the eligibility of persons for community employment. These include:

Burlington Code Marina
Habitat Restoration
Northwest Center
Yakima Valley Museum

Chamber of Commerce - the Chamber has supported YSI for many years with a wide range of projects

Downtown Yakima Rotary - support of specific projects over the years.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about becoming a valued Community Partner of Yakima Specialties Inc.

About Yakima Specialties Inc. Video

Annual Reports

2011-12 Annual Report