Founded in 1976, Lafayette Industries is non-profit organization employing over 400 adults with developmental disabilities. In fact, Lafayette Industries is Missouri’s single largest full-time employer. Our mission is to hire more individuals with developmental disabilities from our waiting list; to add to and improve upon our many employee self-help programs; and to maintain and improve upon our excellent employee working conditions.


Support from the John Daly-Major Ed Foundation will provide specialized training, instruction and supplies for persons with developmental disabilities to participate in work and social activities including golf, music therapy, and fitness exercise program. It will also help to provide healthy and wholesome lunches.
Links for Lafayette is an annual event raising funds to directly support programs benefitting over 400 persons with disabilities which include children of more than 50 veterans.

With the help of Heart of a Lion, this year’s event raised over $39,000. Heart of the Lion sponsorship played a critical role in attracting both participants and other sponsors for the tournament!

Lafayette Industries provides meaningful, productive and long-lasting careers in the packaging industry to persons with developmental disabilities. Lafayette’s flagship goals are:

  • Instill a sense of pride through workmanship in each employee by discovering their unique individual abilities and applying those abilities to our packaging operation
  • Continue to nurture and expand upon each employee’s abilities through daily guidance and supervision
  • Provide new challenges to keep each employee working at their full potential
  • Provide fair wages and good benefits
  • Provide a safe, healthy and comfortable working environment
  • Provide a support system for employees and their families
  • Provide opportunities for each employee to interact socially in the workplace as well as outside of the workplace, through organized parties, sports outings, picnics, etc.
  • Provide high-quality products & services to our packaging clients
  • Ensure the safety of all of our employees while performing their jobs
  • Be fiscally responsible in our packaging operation to ensure employment for future generations of individuals with developmental disabilities

Most Lafayette employees would not be able to find full-time employment on a long term basis anywhere else. An unemployed adult with a disability cost taxpayers $100 per day. In addition, for every $1 Lafayette receives through public funding, we generate $3.50 in economic activity in our community.  At Lafayette, 46% of our employees have been with us for 15-30 years. In addition to steady wages, they can take pride in having a career, enjoy belonging to a special community, and they and their families know that Lafayette will provide job stability far into the future.

We are turning our energy towards ongoing training and support needed to keep our employees successfully employed on a long term basis. In fact, 37% of our employees have worked at Lafayette more than 15 years— and want to continue to work where their talents and abilities are appreciated.  We continuously chart an employee’s progress to determine the ideal approach to keep an employee working at their personal best.

We have launched a program, unique to any workplace, much less a workplace for people with developmental disabilities, which focuses on individual needs through the use of Positive Behavior Supports. The Association for Positive Behavior Support (PBS) defines them as, “a set of research-based strategies used to increase quality of life and decrease problem behavior by teaching new skills and making changes in a person’s environment”. 

Awareness of your emotional state and sensory needs is key in promoting positive behavioral changes. Individuals with Developmental Disabilities often have difficulties managing their emotional responses and/or experience differences in how they modulate sensory input from their environment. As an employer of this population, it became clear that continued success is contingent upon equipping our environment and staff with the necessary tools to address these needs. The Positive Behavior Center (PBC) at Lafayette Industries provides employees with innovative programming opportunities geared towards enhancing their ability to manage needs related to self-regulation and sensory differences within the work setting. This allows the employee an opportunity to enhance their ability of maintaining employment of choice.

Lafayette Industries remained open, without the threat of any job loss, during this entire unprecedented time as we are an essential business.  Lafayette is not only essential for our health care and retail clients, but for our 400+ employees and their families. Lafayette implemented new safety measures for those who are able to come to the Workshops. We instituted specialized training and work from home projects for those who are at home.

Lafayette employees have proven resilient in these times as they adapt to their new working environment. Your support ensures that employment opportunities unique to Lafayette employees will continue.