Napa Valley PSI was the result of a cooperative effort...
Napa Valley PSI was the result of a cooperative effort by the Napa community to address the needs of adults with developmental disabilities. The Napa Council for Retarded Children secured a planning grant to study the needs of the retarded in Napa County. This study was completed by Elia Katz, Ph.D. in 1967 and recommended that a Community Rehabilitation workshop be developed. With the blessing and staffing from Ken Hotelling at the Napa Welfare department Jeanne Fauquet was assigned to develop curriculum that could be funded by the Community College. At the same time she began negotiations to lease the “Old Dairy Building” on the grounds of Napa State Hospital. Assemblyman John Dunlap introduced a bill to the State Legislature that accomplished this lease. In March 1970, after the approval of the State Department of Education, Napa Valley Community College provided a part-time staff position for a workshop teacher. This position was later expanded into the Workshop Director position. Also in March, Sonoma State Hospital bussed 30 clients to Napa State Hospital to participate in on the job training experiences at Napa State Hospital. In April 1970, Jeanne Fauquet left the Welfare Department and with the help of the local reserve unit of the SEABEES, RMCB-2 worked full time to remodel the “old dairy building” for the business of rehabilitation. The decision was made to focus on prime products instead of sub-contract work. PSI’s first business was making caskets from scratch and finishing them off for sale. Caskets were marketed and delivered from San Francisco to Sacramento. The number of clients grew quickly to 60 and the bustling enterprise received a contract from the federal government to make wooden file boxes, which we are still doing today. As the program grew additional federal contracts were added including credenzas and desks. Over the years Napa Valley PSI has trained many people who have gone on to work competitively and with support in the community. We have added sub-contracts to the work we do to better meet the abilities of people for whom we are currently providing services.