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Life’sWork of Western PA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the quality of life of persons with disabilities and others with barriers to employment through productive employment opportunities.
Life’sWork has been providing employment opportunities for the past 89 years. It was started in 1927 by the National Council of Jewish Women as an "experiment" to find out if women who were "handicapped by housework and children and could not leave their homes" could contribute to the family budget. Women were trained to be seamstresses, and their finished garments were featured and sold at fashion shows hosted by the region’s socialites. By the late 1930s, the organization responded to the effects of the Great Depression and began serving immigrants and disabled war veterans. Called the United Vocational and Employment Service, the agency’s mission was "to value the self-respect that comes to the handicapped person as a result of being self-supporting."