Rumored to have been established in her garage, TVW, Inc.is a non-profit, established in 1967 by Hildah Highbe, a former special needs teacher who realized that upon graduation from high school, adults with disabilities needed a program to be able to achieve their maximum potential and contribution to society. Located at the Old Nut Loft in Aloha, TVW quickly grew and moved to a site on River Road in 1969. Further expansion of clients and services dictated a move to a larger facility in Aloha. In 1983, private funding along with a block grant from Washington County Development allowed TVW to acquire its own building in Aloha. On 1/24/91 TVW moved to its present location on Alexander Street.
In 2004, Vanguard merged with TVW. Services are provided to over 40 people with disabilities, and, the focus at Vanguard is on being in the community, learning new things, and making individual choices to lead a fulfilling and self-sufficient life.
Another program at TVW is Sustainable Cleaning Systems, which was formerly TVW Janitorial. In 2008, Josh Bearman was hired to help close TVW Janitorial. They had a skeleton crew of 15 and were losing money. Josh and his team turned the program around and today Sustainable Cleaning Systems, currently under Allen
Bethel's supervision, employs over 165 people, most with disabilities.
TVW’s clients received developmental guidance in practical, social, vocational, and academic skills while earning a wage and developing pride and self-sufficiency. TVW’s clients performed shrink wrap, packaging, light assembly, and fulfillment to businesses such as Intel, Leupold Stevens, Bay Valley Foods, Beaver Foods, and many more. In the 2012, a class action lawsuit was filed in Oregon by a group of adults with disabilities who felt it was unfair to be paid piece wages and wanted to be able to work in the community.
TVW began to prepare by starting to send staff to training in career development classes in 2013, and hiring a career development manager in early 2014. Early in February, 2015, Kitzhaber issued an executive order intended to guide people with severe disabilities into jobs in the general workforce and gradually reduce funding to sheltered workshops with the deadline of March 2019 for closure and cease of funding for sheltered workshops. TVW received a grant in November 2014 to assist in building capacity in the career development program. The grant came with goals and TVW met and exceeded expectations. (TVW is one of a few agencies in Oregon, who met the goal). In 2016, TVW was awarded a second grant to further expand services.
As TVW began its next phase of starting a Career Development Services program and the numbers in the workshop began to decline as more and more people with disabilities became employed in the community. Today, CDS employs about 7 people, and serves the remaining clients in the workshop, as well as referrals from Vocational Rehabilitation, the County, brokerages, and high school transition students.
TVW also began a work-place readiness training program in the workshop, which includes vocational training, communication skills in the workplace, as well as interviewing, attire, appropriate language, and much more.
Career Development services offered include discovery, vocational assessments, job development, and job coaching. Another service is community path outings, which serve to introduce people with disabilities to a variety of occupations.
Over the years, as TVW has evolved, the mission remains the same. “We support the Employment Choices of People with Disabilities”, and 50 years later, it still describes the heart of the work that TVW excels at and is committed to.