Services for Businesses, Individuals, and the Community
Established in 1960, Skills provides a wide variety of services, primarily focused on supporting individuals with disabilities so they can live self-determined lives. Whether seeking residential options, vocational, rehabilitative or social opportunities, Skills services are integrated within the communities we serve.
Services for Businesses and Industry
Skills assists individuals with disabilities in acquiring gainful employment in local business and industry. Skills focuses on ABILITIES rather than disabilities.
By matching employers’ needs, as they exist now, to the individual abilities of the people Skills serves, Skills Employment Services Division strives to place the right person in the right job. This “match” leads to increased employee retention and reduces costs associated with frequent employee turnover for businesses. Employers may be eligible for WOTC tax credits. For more information about worker placement opportunities, visit the Employment Services page.
Skills Industrial Centers provide high-quality, timely, cost-effective business and industry solutions through subcontracting services with our skilled workforce. With over 300 employees available at our State College, Altoona, Lewistown, Huntingdon locations, Skills Industrial Services Division offers a flexible, skilled workforce at facilities that meet OSHA and state regulations. Project quotes are free. For more information about subcontracting services, see the Industrial Services page.
Skills Mobile Work Force provides commercial and industrial cleaning services. For more information about Skills Mobile Workforce, visit the Janitorial Services page.
Services for Individuals and Families
The essence of Skills’ mission is to ensure that the people we serve become the authors of their own lives. We are committed to helping individuals plan for their needs, choose the supports they want and need, take control of their own lives, freely express their opinions about the quality of services they receive, and to continually revise their goals to meet their own changing needs.
—David M. (Mike) Rice, Ph.D., President and CEO (retired)
Skills of Central Pennsylvania, Inc.
Residential and Housing Services
Skills Residential Services provides a wide range of quality housing choices to encourage self-determination for people with developmental disabilities through Skills community homes, home and community habilitation services, and Lifesharing Through Family Living program. The Skills team helps individuals find homes that offer security, comfort, and the benefit of around-the-clock care and support to meet complex medical needs, if necessary.
Skills Housing Support Services also maintains two unique residences for people with disabilities and very low income. For more information about these housing options, visit the Housing Support page.
Adult Autism Services
Skills provides behavior support services, in-home and in-community services, and vocational and employment support services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder diagnosis through Pennsylvania’s Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP). For more information about eligibility and enrollment in this statewide program, visit the Adult Autism Services page.
Adult Training Services
Skills person centered Adult Training Services provide support for individuals with developmental needs, functional impairments related to post-stroke dementia, Parkinsons, Alzheimer’s, or other organic brain syndromes who require (re)training to perform basic activities of daily living to (re)gain the highest level of independence possible. Visit the Adult Training Services page for a full description of this program.
Beacon Hub Drop-In Center
The Beacon Hub Drop-In Center in Williamsport is a community support network for people with mental health concerns. Beacon Hub programs are member directed and include a range of informal and formal social activities from playing Wii and trying Karaoke to crafts days and discussion groups. Visit the Beacon Hub page for more information.
Behavior Support Services
People who present challenging behaviors are referred to Skills Behavior Support Services by their Supports Coordinator. For more information about this program, visit the Behavior Support Services page.
Children & Adolescent Services
Skills operates a community home for adolescents ages 13 through 21 who are in protective custody. The program’s goal is to reunite the adolescent with his family, when appropriate. Skills also provides a broad range of services to individuals within the MH/MR system. For more information about this placement program, visit the Children & Adolescent Services page.
Companion services can be used to provide supervision for people during non-habilitative social, home, or recreational activities in order to ensure health and safety. Companion services may also provide supervision and minimal assistance with daily activities, such as household care, meal preparation and health care. For more information, visit the Companion Services page.
Job Placement through Employment Services
Since 1987, Skills has helped hundreds of people with disabilities find employment in their communities. Skills strives to understand what kind of work individuals with disabilities want and the skills that they have to offer. Skills works with local companies to get individuals employed in the field of their choice. For more information, visit the Job Placement Services page.
Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Skills works closely with local providers and community resources to identify opportunities for participants to become more active in the local community. Unlike site-based programs, this mobile service focuses on individuals whose goals are in-community, work-based or home-based and on individuals who may not be ready to benefit from site-based supports. For more information, visit the Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation page
Older Adult Day Services
Skills Older Adult Day Program offers training, support, and activities for adults ages 60 and older with developmental disabilities that focus on individual interests and needs. Group activities include community outings, hobby exploration, health and fitness programs, active games, gardening, dining out and more. Visit the Older Adult Day Services page for more information.
Opportunity Centre Clubhouse
Skills Opportunity Centre Clubhouse in State College supports individuals living with the effects of mental illness who are pursuing their individualized paths to recovery. The Clubhouse provides a relaxed, restorative, supportive atmosphere that allows members to develop lasting friendships, be active in their community, gain work experience, pursue further education, and find a career that works for them. Visit The Clubhouse page for more information.
Outpatient Therapy Services
Skills outpatient therapy offers a counseling and psychotherapy option that addresses the entire person — mind, body, emotions, behaviors, creativity and spirit. For more information about Skills confidential, skilled and compassionate counseling and psychotherapy services, visit the Outpatient Therapy Services page.
Site-Based Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
Skills Site-Based Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service in Philipsburg offers member-directed services based on the identified needs and desires of each individual with a focus on skills building and resource acquisition in the domains of living, learning, working, and social environments. This program includes a daily meeting where everyone can get together to discuss current events, organize schedules and outings, and celebrate each other’s success stories. Visit the Psychiatric Rehabilitation page for more information.
Vines of Hope
(formerly called the Northern Cambria Drop-In Center)
Vines of Hope in Ebensburg is a community support network for people with mental health concerns that live and work in northern Cambria County. Vines of Hope programs are developed by a participant advisory committee and include movie days, relaxation days, and social game days as well as weekly classes for a variety of interests, such as art, computers, and education. Visit the Vines of Hope page for more information.
Skills Community Services help individuals with disabilities develop positive job skills. For more information about vocational assessment, training and competitive, supportive and sheltered employment opportunities, visit the Vocational Training page.
* * * * *
The Skills Family Handbook offers a convenient, quick reference about Skills history, philosophy, values, policies, and how to contribute to Skills programs both monetarily or as a volunteer.
Individuals are typically referred to Skills through several agencies including the Department of Public Welfare; the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation; the Office of Children, Youth & Families; School Districts; Blindness and Visual Services; and others.
For more information about receiving services through Skills, please contact our Corporate Office at 814-238-3245.
Services for Our Communities
Many of the people Skills supports give back to the community in personal, self-directed ways. One of the more notable services that individuals provide for the community is helping to maintain the award-winning Discovery Garden in Hollidaysburg (a public-private partnership). Many individuals volunteer at-large for nonprofits, such as Meals-on-Wheels, nursing homes, and animal shelters.
Skills Mobile Work Force provides residential cleaning services, giving individuals an opportunity to experience real-life job opportunities with the support of a supervisor who provides on-the-job assistance. For more information about our Mobile Workforce, visit the Cleaning Services page.
The Award-Winning Discovery Garden
The Discovery Garden at the American Legion Memorial Park (Hollidaysburg Borough) is one of the only wheelchair-accessible public gardens in Blair County. Individuals we serve grow annuals and vegetables for the garden and help maintain this public-private partnership effort. Visit the Discovery Garden page for details.
Community organizations and programs benefit from the self-directed volunteer efforts of the people we serve. Visit the Volunteers page to learn more about how the people Skills serves contribute to the community.