In the past 75 years, The Charles Lea Center has grown from an idea to a successful $29 million operation. The Center has expanded its services to offer supports to people of all ages in all aspects of life. As the Center continues to grow and develop, it stays true to its mission of supporting people where they live, work and play.

  • 1940s: Spartanburg begins to develop programs for the disabled

  • 1960s: Partnership between the Speech and Hearing Clinic, The School for the handicapped and The Charles Lea Center forms

  • 1971: A large facility housing the Speech and Hearing Clinic, The School for the Handicapped and The Charles Lea Center opens

  • 1986: The Charles Lea Center Vocational Program Opens - CLIC

  • 1986: The Charles Lea Center Foundation forms

  • 1990: CLIC moves to a new, larger campus off of Business 85

  • 2004: The McCarthy-Teszler School moves into its own building

  • 2008: The Center purchases a new building for CLIC on Highway 176. CLIC is renamed Workability.

  • 2009

    The development of a computer lab to provide access to technology for the individuals who are supported through the Charles Lea Center.

  • 2010

    Conducted an 18 month intensive training and organizational change strategy that would lead to a full implementation of person centered thinking throughout the Charles Lea Center.

  • 2011: The Center opens a state-of-the art computer lab for use by the individuals it serves.

  • 2012: The Life Skills Center, 1,200 square-foot on-site facility is constructed to serve as a hands-on training facility that helps to prepare adults with special needs for living independently and as a part of the community. The development and full implementation of Customized Career Network a program designed to assist individuals to obtain gainful employment in the community

  • 2013

    The development of an exercise trail, onsite gym and a nurse practitioner for Charles Lea Center Employees. Developed an agency wide five year Strategic Plan.

  • 2014

    Fully implemented a CLOUD program that uses technology, intensive training & education that facilitates movement from traditional residential model to highly individualized supported housing programs. Developed a transition program that would assist individuals make the transition from traditional group home settings to technology supported SMART homes.

  • 2015

    Successfully completed three year National Accreditation through CARF. Successfully implemented the "Seniors Without Walls" program which is a not facility based day program specifically designed for seniors with developmental disabilities. Implemented the TEACCH program to provide more meaningful educational programs for individuals with autism and similar needs.