Gompers member Kyle reads using assistive technology

Gompers member Kyle reads using assistive technology tools.

For nearly 70 years, Gompers has served people with disabilities in the Phoenix metro area with a holistic focus on the needs of the individual. As a core value, Gompers recognizes and celebrates that each person brings a unique set of abilities, skill sets and potential to our organization. The result is that Gompers’ daily environment is rich with insight, humor, humility, compassion and genuine caring about the needs of others.

Organizational beginnings

Gompers first opened its doors in 1947 as the Maricopa County Crippled Children’s Society, serving 79 children. In 1951, our name was changed to the Arizona Easter Seals Society for Crippled Children, which led to the desire to stop renting space and finally put down roots in a home of our own. In 1953, 10,000 members of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) each donated one hour of pay to construct a facility on 7th Street in Phoenix. The facility and operations were turned over to a nonprofit Board of Directors. In return, the AFL asked the legacy of Samuel Gompers be honored and so it was that we became Gompers.

Respected Valley nonprofit

Today, Gompers remains a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by an all-volunteer Board of Directors and Executive Director Mark Jacoby. Our programs have expanded to include two campuses, one in Phoenix on 27th Avenue which houses our school and Day Training for Adults program, and a second campus in Glendale on Bethany Home Road, out of which we run our employment training and placement program. Of the $7M annual budget, approximately 80% is reimbursed through government funding with the remainder raised primarily through contracts and charitable donations. Gompers serves students and adults ranging in age from five to 85 through GPS, our K-12 special education school, a Day Training for Adults program and our Employment Services job training and employment placement program.