Haven Industries’ Frank Stern Employment Training Center

The 7,500 square foot Frank Stern Employment Training Center is being constructed in response to the demands of a sizable waiting list for The Haven’s Adult Day Training programs for adults with disabilities. These programs have been designed to develop confidence and a sense of independence for each participant through practical experience in a variety of different vocations. Haven Industries is a unique opportunity in the Sarasota-Manatee community. Individuals enrolled in the program have the opportunity to earn paychecks for their work. The Haven Industries’ facility is part of The Haven’s master plan for developing its 32-acre property in to a fully functional campus devoted to realizing the highest potential possible in each of the individuals the campus serves.

Fast Facts:

Our donor, Frank Stern, was one of those self-made millionaires who never dressed the part or lived extravagantly. Living a humble and frugal life was a top priority for Frank. He even avoided driving on toll bridges to save a dollar. “Frank was really into investing and making sure his money did a lot of good when he was gone,” says Michael Davis, a financial advisor who met Stern 12 years ago and helped him plan his charitable giving. Stern made his fortune in real estate investment and development during the first wave of seasonal residents to Fort Myers and Cape Coral in the mid-1900s.

Every dollar Stern saved – more than $4 million during a 14-year span – was endowed to a donor-advised fund at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation upon his death at age 95 in February 2014. Through Mr. Davis and Charles Marble, Mr. Stern’s long-time friend and caregiver, both trustees of the Stern fund, the naming gift was provided for Haven Industries’ new building: The Frank Stern Employment Training Center.

In Florida, about 20% of the population is comprised of people with disabilities. Of those individuals who are of working age, (between the ages of 21 – 64) the unemployment rate averages over 60%. At Haven Industries, 89% of the adults with disabilities are employed in jobs they enjoy and take pride in doing. Haven Industries has recently added 5 new companies and 9 new contracts for clients to learn work skills and earn a paycheck (up to 23 companies and 71 contracts). With the new training center, more will be added soon.

The grand opening of the Frank Stern Employment Training Center will be announced July 2017. For more information please contact marketing Director Michelle Williams at 941.355.8808 x213 or mwilliams@communityhaven.org .

Employment: Haven Industries aims to close the employment gap experienced by people with disabilities and establish a career ladder for all persons, regardless of the severity of their disabilities. Community Haven’s goal is to promote self-sufficient community members living out their lives as productive citizens, employed in the careers of their choice.

Housing: A fifth new group home will enable eight individuals to live comfortably in group homes while our service team works with them and their families to develop any other support that they need.

Education and Training: The new Haven Industries facility will provide multi-purpose classrooms with enhanced technology, an expanded upscale resale shop, fitness center, cafeteria and a state-of-the-art warehouse. In addition to providing a setting for informational and educational programs, the classrooms will be an ideal place for training the employees of tomorrow.