Fontana Resources at Work was founded in 1964 to meet the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. Primarily the workshop was established to provide continued program and activities for the growing number of “trainable mentally retarded,” graduating from Slover Special School in Fontana, and special education classes through the Fontana Unified School District.
In 1965, the workshop separated from the school district. The organization received a grant from the Department of Mental Health, allowing it to hire a Director and relocate to the “old post office building” on Wheeler Avenue in Fontana. A staff of volunteer workers assisted adults with disabilities in the first activities of making pot scrubbers out of nylon net, wrapping dates in aluminum foil, packaging hobby stamps, and other simple assembly-type jobs. In 1974, The FRW filed a fictitious business statement, adopting the name Industrial Support Systems.
With the expansion of services and population, the organization outgrew the facility on Wheeler Avenue and some of its programs had to be relocated to other sites in the San Bernardino and Rialto areas. In 1993, with the assistance of community block grant money from the County of San Bernardino, the site on Almeria Avenue was purchased.
The organization presently serves more than 125 individuals with disabilities on a daily basis. Subcontracted work has become a more sophisticated training tool for Participants, and includes contracts with the federal government to package and assemble military badges. In addition, the company provides other product fulfillment jobs.
In April 2000, the organization purchased a franchise for an Aim Mail Center. Located in Rancho Cucamonga, the mail center provides training and employment opportunities for Participants, as well as providing postal services to the public. The local economic downturn resulted in the store closure in April 2011.
Participants are also trained in grounds, janitorial and site maintenance. They perform these tasks on both residential and commercial accounts. Industrial Support Systems has a contract with CalTrans to perform site maintenance at a traveler rest stop on Interstate #10 in Yucaipa. FRW also contracts with other State and County agencies to provide janitorial and grounds maintenance.
In May, 2014 FRW sold their facility on 8333 Almeria due economic and state/federal program changes. Major repairs were needed to ensure the health and safety of our Participants and staff. The repairs were not manageable Major changes are in store for programs which place emphasis on community rather than center based employment thus reducing the need for the large facility on Almeria. With these impending changes, long term reduction in program rates and stakeholders looking for a more updated modern facility, we felt this was our best recourse. Groundbreaking on the new facility was held on May 16, 2014 and we opened for business at our new location on September 29, 2014.
With the closing of center-based programming and the move to community-based programming, there was no longer a need to maintain a large facility with a warehouse. FRW sold the facility at 8608 Live Oak and leased space from Fontana Foundation of Hope, located at 9460 Sierra Avenue, Fontana. This move placed all programming in the center of the City of Fontana.