MILLBURY, Mass. — Horace Mann Educational Associates held an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony Friday at its new Millbury location.
HMEA provides services that support individuals with developmental disabilities, autism and behavioral challenges, as well as jobs for residents and those with disabilities.
The 16,000 square-foot, $3.3 million facility at 6 Latti Farm Road will also feature a community bottle and can redemption center that will be fully open to the public by January. The center will offer recycling and refund services, as well as job training and employment for individuals participating in HMEA’s Employment Program.
The open house and ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by state and local government officials, including State Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury), State Rep. Paul Frost (R-Auburn), Millbury Selectmen Sandra Cristo and Brian Ashmankas and Millbury Town Manager Bob Spain.
Moore read a proclamation from the Massachusetts Senate, while Frost read one from House of Representatives commending HMEA for opening the facility in Millbury.
Spain crowd got the crowd laughing by saying, “Normally I have one of them (Cristo and Ashmankas) speak, they are the politicians, I’m just the guy who gets the work done.”
Spain added, “but this is no joke, we are so happy to have a facility like this in Millbury. It shows the forward thinking of the policies of the Board of Selectmen. We are a gateway to the Blackstone Valley and welcome your organization and the jobs it will bring to the town.”
“It’s not just governments that do this kind of work. It is the private sector working together and for the Town and people of Millbury. We welcome HMEA to Millbury and look forward to a long, long working relationship.
After some moving, personal remarks from John Abraham and CEO Mike Moloney, guests were led on a tour of the facility and given light refreshments. They also met many of the adults who use the facility's rehabilitation and job training programs.
The plan, according to Doug MacPherson, HMEA vice president of corporate development, is to slowly build up the staff and residents in the facility until it will be running at full capacity and include the redemption center.