Orion History


Orion was founded in 1957 by a group of parents whose vision was to provide vocational training to their children as they transitioned out of high school special education classes.

The original program was named ORI (Occupational Rehabilitation Inc.) and began as a non-profit woodshop and training program in the basement of a church in Renton, WA.


The goal was to create an organization capable of sustaining itself on production revenues rather than on government grants, while preparing people with disabilities for community employment.

The organization transitioned into metal fabrication and developed a machine shop in the South Seattle neighborhood of Georgetown. In 1959, Orion began a relationship with the Boeing Company as part of Boeing's Community Manufacturing Partnership.

Boeing remains a very important manufacturing partner, and Orion maintains high Quality and Delivery ratings with them, earning the Boeing Performance Excellence Award year-after-year, and the 2011 Boeing Supplier of the Year award.

Orion is headquartered in Federal Way, WA, where we have developed a state-of-the-art aerospace manufacturing enterprise supplying precision machined parts and sub-assemblies to aerospace customers throughout the world. Orion has achieved the international aerospace manufacturing quality standards ISO 9001 and AS 9100.

Orion is recognized in communities throughout the Puget Sound region for the work we do in preparing people with disabilities for competitive employment. Orion is certified by CARF – the international quality standard for rehabilitation services. Orion now provides a variety of vocational services to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment including vocational assessment, vocational training and job placement services. Orion works with several community partners including Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Washington State Department of Services for the Blind, Department of Labor and Industries, Veterans Administration, City of Federal Way, local school districts, regional Workforce Development Councils and the federal Projects with Industry program.

In 2007, Orion expanded our services to include clerical and customer service training. Our Clerical Customer Service Program utilizes self-directed and group instruction to teach Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, keyboarding, customer service, filing, office machines and office etiquette, and prepares participants for a variety of positions that require clerical and customer service skills.

Orion's Contact Center Services Division is housed in our Customer Relations Training and Support Center, also based in Federal Way, WA. This operation features an outsource contact center that prepares program participants for careers in the customer contact industry. Our foundational operations program was co-developed by NISH and the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) to create a contact center employing people with disabilities that operated using recognized industry best practices. Our center has provided both short-term and ongoing services for a number of businesses in a variety of industries, and is gaining the reputation for flexible, high quality services.

Orion's center has won multiple national and international awards—from the First Place Gold Medal in the American Teleservices Association/SOCAP "Call Center Olympics" for Best Employee Motivation and Recognition Program, to the Contact Center World "Best Contact Center" for the Americas.

57 years after our founding, Orion continues to find new and innovative ways to provide career opportunities for our program participants and to fulfill the vision of our founders.

See Orion Case Study Door to Door Storage PDF