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Who We Serve

It all starts with people. Established in 1961 as a workshop for individuals with severe disabilities, we now offer community-based employment services open to individuals requiring support in their efforts to obtain and maintain employment. The reasons people need support vary, but include physical disabilities, mental illness, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, socio-economic barriers, and those who are justice system involved. They most often come to OWL through one of our referral sources, such as OVR. Our individualized approach to service delivery allows us to tailor our programming and supports for each participant, maximizing potential effectiveness for all we serve.


What We Offer 

OWL offers a variety of services geared toward helping people obtain and maintain long-term successful employment. Services such as vocational assessments and evaluations, job preparation, and work adjustments allow us to discover our participants’ strengths and work with each individual to develop a plan for them to enter the workforce. We provide independent living and life skills support, workplace essential skills training, work experiences, pre-apprenticeship training certificates in construction trades, and accredited certifications for forklift operation and customer service to help our participants develop their skills preparing them for success. We also provide job search assistance, job placement, job coaching, and supported employment services assuring we help connect our participants to the right jobs and necessary supports to retain them.

Many of our work experiences, along with our forklift certifications, occur in OWL’s for-profit manufacturing company, Lexington Manufacturing Center (LMC). LMC provides paid work experiences and the opportunity for long-term employment in an integrated and competitive work environment for our participants whose goals include the type of work performed in our manufacturing company. LMC does more than creating employment opportunities for the community and those we serve though. Profits made by LMC are shared with OWL to help provide funding for our programs and services.


Why We Serve 

While our Vision and scope of impact changed some over the years, connecting people with opportunities for long-term successful employment and supporting them in obtaining and maintaining that employment remains at the heart of everything we do.

about us

Though our offices are located in Lexington, we offer our services throughout the following counties in Central Kentucky:

Anderson, Bourbon, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Nicholas, Powell, Scott, and Woodford.



Company Org Chart (1600 × 1000 px) (2000



We partner with individuals, businesses, and communities to assist people requiring support in obtaining and maintaining employment by:
  • Discovering strengths
  • Developing skills
  • Connecting people with employers and community resources
  • Supporting their ongoing success
Opportunity for Work and Learning (OWL) impacts lives and strengthens communities by building a supported, inclusive, and sustainable workforce.


Our fundamental beliefs:
  • All people with the desire to work should have the opportunity to do so
  • Treat all people with dignity and respect
  • Conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity
  • Value feedback and dialogue from others
  • Invest in personal and professional development

core values - Our fundamental beliefs

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