JCI was established in 1975 as a 501(c)(3) community rehabilitation facility. It was the vision of Mr. Nolan Hinson, who wanted a place of coordinated services dedicated to people with disabilities seeking employment. After securing a $12,000 grant, hiring three staff members, and leasing a 2,000-square-foot building on Truck Lane in Smithfield the journey began. In just one short year, JCI needed a bigger space and relocated to Short Journey School on 1010 Highway.
In 1980, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), an international accrediting organization, surveyed JCI’s facilities and awarded our programs the highest accreditation bestowed on community rehabilitation programs. This accreditation demonstrates our best practices and continual improvement in rehabilitation service delivery. Additionally, in 1980, JCI purchased and later added 1,800 square feet to the former Coca Cola plant on Bright Leaf Boulevard in Smithfield. In 1987 a 3,500-square-foot wood shop building was added to this site.
Shortly after, in 2000, JCI decided to become more diverse and serve other populations who had disadvantages/barriers. We reached out to the younger generation, who also had barriers to employment, and developed the “Yes I Can Program” for ages 16 to 21 years. Additionally, we began operating the Occupational Course of Study (OCS) diploma program, which is offered in collaboration with local high schools, to provide community-based, vocational training and assistance with job search for these students.
In 2003, both our programs and manufacturing endeavors were growing, and we soon built a 10,000-square-foot building in Smithfield to keep up with the demand.
In 2004, we added a 30,000-square-foot program and production facility in Lillington, serving Harnett and Sampson counties, and became ISO registered. In 2007, we began operating the Unity House, a psychosocial rehabilitation program located in Selma. We continued to grow, and by 2008 we purchased the 90,000-square-foot facility in Selma.
In 2011, we earned AS9100C Registration and opened the JCI Thrift Store and Donation Center on Bright Leaf Boulevard in Smithfield. By the summer of 2011, we received a two-year food and beverage grant and opened the Cyber Café in Smithfield. In 2013, we established the JCI Pre-Owned Office Furniture and Electronics Store due to a generous donation from Grifols.
In 2015 we decided to expand both the Behavioral Health Unit and Youth Services. Behavioral Health expanded Supported Employment Services to include an evidence-based, individual placement and supportive employment model for persons with mental health and substance abuse barriers. Youth Services are now available in Johnston, Lee and Sampson counties and plans are to expand further in the near future.
Fast forward to 2016, where we currently have nine locations serving Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Wayne, and Sampson residents, with over 130,000 square feet of climate-controlled manufacturing space and approximately 198 staff members (full and part-time).
As we continue on our journey, we pledge to be dedicated and strive to meet and exceed client and customer needs and expectations. We pledge to foster a culture of continuous improvement, both at the technical and managerial level, by cultivating cooperation and mutual respect among staff members, clients, and customers.