"The story of Missouri’s sheltered workshops began in the 1960s. Seeking options for their children with disabilities, often desperately, parents and guardians began forming workshops to provide employment opportunities for their children with disabilities.

For most of these parents and their children, the alternatives were sitting at home or in programs that required 100 percent governmental subsidies. With real vision, these parents realized that gainful employment would bring other advantages as well, including pride and skills. Although much has changed, that foundation remains true for workshops today.

Missouri sheltered workshops remain different from shops in many other states. They depend heavily on contracted work and the revenue from that work to maintain operations. They are actually small businesses that hire individuals with disabilities. On average, a workshop’s contract revenue accounts for 70-80 percent of workshop revenue, government assistance 10-24 percent and the rest from additional grants."

- The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers