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OATS Transit Supports National Disability Employment Awareness Month

(Columbia, Missouri, October 20, 2021) – OATS Transit partners with several sheltered workshops throughout Missouri to provide employment opportunities to those with disabilities. Sheltered workshops provide a controlled, safe, and highly supervised work environment. The work is based on each employee's abilities, and adaptive tools are used to assist in completing tasks. These jobs help employees build their skill set to prepare them if they choose to work for a competitive employer.


Lake Area Industries (LAI) - Camdenton, MO

Lake Area Industries is a sheltered workshop located in Camdenton that receives contract work from local businesses to fill orders. This work includes packaging and/or assembly of things like tackle boxes, sleds, fishing poles and gear, food products for prisoners, etc. They also operate a popular, retail nursery and garden center called Gifted Gardens.

LAI depends on OATS Transit to transport nearly all of its 55 employees to work every day. "Working with OATS Transit takes a load off my shoulders so I can better focus on growing our business," said Natalie Couch, LAI's Executive Director. OATS Transit brings in employees from a 30-mile radius daily. Drivers will drop off a group of workers at 8:30 a.m., go provide service to other riders in the area, and then return to pick up LAI employees by 4 p.m.

Shelley Jackson, a LAI employee, said, "Using OATS Transit is my only means of transportation and without them, I would be homebound."

To learn more about Lake Area Industries, visit their website by clicking here.


Central Missouri Subcontracting Enterprises (CMSE) - Columbia, MO

Central Missouri Subcontracting Enterprises is another sheltered workshop located in Columbia. They opened in 1969 and now employ 130 individuals. CMSE relies on OATS Transit to bring in several of those employees every day. They work with companies like 3M, Group Schneider, and Otscon. CMSE's mission is, "to provide people with severe disabilities in the Central Missouri area the vocational training and employment opportunities that will help them achieve and maintain the most normal and satisfying quality of life that they are capable of during their adult life."

Bruce Young, CMSE's Executive Director, said, "Our employees here at CMSE greatly depend on the reliable transportation provided by OATS Transit in order to get to and from work. Our employees carry a great sense of pride in their jobs and need transportation that allows them to work."

To learn more about Central Missouri Subcontracting Enterprises, visit their website by clicking here.


There are 86 sheltered workshops in Missouri alone. These workshops employ 5,400 adults with disabilities. Since the early 1980's, OATS Transit has provided transportation to several of these workshops, accounting for 50% of their daily service. Together, the sheltered workshops and OATS Transit bring in millions of dollars to Missouri's economy.

We are thankful for the opportunity to take individuals to work at these sheltered workshops every day and proudly support their work choices!

Your donation allows us to continue to provide safe, caring, and reliable transportation to sheltered workshops. These individuals depend on your support! Donate now.


At OATS Transit, we’re a leading specialized transportation agency serving 87 counties in Missouri. We serve thousands of Missourians, including senior citizens, people with disabilities, rural citizens, and more, regardless of their sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin, color, or religion. If you or someone you know needs help with transportation services, contact us today and we’ll help you get where you need to go safely and reliably!

“Enhancing quality of life by providing safe, caring & reliable transportation services.”



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