Growth & Opportunity came into existence in 1956 when a group of parents joined together in an effort to provide services to children with developmental disabilities. Academically oriented services were provided to individuals in Lapeer County from a two room schoolhouse known as the Griswold School Day Care Center.

Word about the programs spread quickly as services for persons with handicaps were virtually non-existent or very limited at the time. A consistent service continuum was developed for these children which ultimately became a very important part of their life and which continued to grow and expand.

As time went on, the school incorporated a vocational component into the training curriculum which paved the way for the direction in which the program would lead. In October, 1973, the Lapeer Adult Work Activity Board was incorporated.

Through a grant from the then Vocational Rehabilitation Services, as well as a land and building mortgage, the program was moved to a new location on North Lapeer Road in Mayfield Township. Renovations were made at the new site which would accommodate seventy handicapped adults. The emphasis of training was now shifted to vocational training while still maintaining an academic component through Adult Basic Education (A.B.E.) classes.

In October, 1974, the name of the corporation was changed to Growth & Opportunity, Inc. Increased enrollment required additional renovations to be made in 1977 and 1978 when approximately 5,600 square feet was added to accommodate approximately 120 individuals.

In September, 1979, Growth & Opportunity entered into an agreement with the Lapeer Economic Development Corporation to purchase the properties known as the McCormick Building located in the McCormick Industrial Park. The agency moved the Work Activity Program into its present location while maintaining a Work Adjustment Program at the North Lapeer Road location.

In November, 1983, all services were being delivered from the Court Street location as the North Lapeer Road building was sold. An additional expansion and renovation projected added approximately 15,000 square feet to the building. Today Growth & Opportunity has approximately 40,000 square feet of space.

Currently Growth & Opportunity provides prevocational and vocational training to persons with developmental disabilities or mental illnesses. The services provided are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (C.A.R.F.) which is the nationally recognized organization that establishes standards of quality for services to persons with disabilities.

Additional services that are provided to program participants include Supported Living Skills, Exercise, Job, Retail and Janitorial Training, Skill Building and the opportunity for community inclusion through its Volunteer and Community Service programs.

In addition to the program services provided to persons with disabilities, Growth & Opportunity also serves as a provider of employment opportunities for the local community. The workshop is operated to provide meaningful employment for individuals with disabilities as well as non-disabled individuals. Consisting primarily of small assembly jobs, work is sub-contracted through local and non-local manufacturing businesses. Revenues generated through the sale of assembled product help support the services and programs provided to individuals with disabilities.

Additionally, Growth & Opportunity maintains a fleet of vehicles which is used to provide transportation to and from community-based worksites and activities. Furthermore, transportation vehicles are maintained and operated in the manufacturing department for the purpose of providing products for assembly by the program participants and the shipment of product back to Growth & Opportunity's customers.