Challenge Industries, Inc. (Ithaca, NY)


  • Name:Martine Gold
  • Title:Director of Program Development and Quality Assurance

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Challenge Industries, Inc.
  • Address:950 Danby Rd. Suite 179
    Ithaca, NY 14850
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:607-272-8900
  • Main fax:607-277-7865

Organization Web

User Phone

  • Mobile phone:607-351-8765

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Challenge's mission is to assist individuals with disabilities and other barriers to develop their skills, interests and talents to meet the needs of today's workplace and to be productive and contributing members of their community.

  • Overview:
  • Challenge provides a range of training, work experience, job placement and support services that assist youth and adults with developmental, mental health, physical and other disabilities and others with barriers to employment to work in the community or in one of Challenge’s integrated businesses. Job Club provides job seekers the training to conduct their own job search, with support from Challenge employment staff, and learn strategies and connect with community supports to maintain employment. Challenge offers a variety of employment services that provide career exploration, job try-outs, and placement at competitive wages with over 125 different businesses in and around Tompkins County. A range of support services include on-site job training, travel training and transportation, employer advocacy, assistance with job accommodations and benefits advisement. For individuals who need or benefit from daily support, Challenge employs over 200 workers with disabilities or other barriers in our social enterprises that include a food packaging center, contract dish room and commercial cleaning, hydroponics greenhouse and digital imaging business. Challenge also provides service coordination, case management, and a supplemental day program services for part-time workers that provides opportunities for volunteer service, independent living skills training, and making social and community connections with the support of program staff. Each year, Challenge serves over 750 individuals, placing over 120 job seekers into integrated community employment and assisting over 400 workers to maintain employment. In the past few years, Challenge has been recognized by State Vocational Rehabilitation and Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce as Employer of the year as well as receiving national recognition by entrepreneur Robert Egger for our innovative social enterprises that create jobs and revenue to support Challenge programs. This fall, we are expanding our work with Cornell University to include providing contract work at their largest dining hall and next summer will be opening a food processing and packaging center in the Village of Groton that will provide food packaging, processing and sales/marketing for local farmers as well as our own Finger Lakes Fresh produce. These business expansions will create afternoon, week-end and summer jobs that will be targeted for providing on-the-job training and first time employment for high school students with disabilities and other employment barriers.

  • History:
  • Challenge, Inc. is a not for profit agency in Ithaca, New York that provides training, job placement and support services to individuals with disabilities and other employment barriers. Over the past 44 years, Challenge expanded from a small manufacturing center to providing a range of training, placement and support services to youth and adults. On a yearly basis, Challenge works with over 750 individuals and over 125 businesses in and around Tompkins County. Challenge also operates a number of social enterprises that employ workers with and without disabilities including a commercial cleaning service, digital imaging business, packaging and light manufacturing center, a hydroponic greenhouse, and dish room facilities at Ithaca College and Cornell University. All together, these businesses employ a diverse workforce that includes over 200 workers with developmental, mental health and physical disabilities; public assistance recipients; high school students with special needs; and recent immigrants. These businesses serve as both as a transitional work experience and more permanent employment that offers ongoing professional and peer supports. Earned income from Challenge businesses are re-invested in Challenge, supporting an array of program services that benefit individuals with disabilities and their families in Tompkins and surrounding counties. Challenge’s experience in working with youth and adults with developmental, mental health and physical disabilities, public assistance recipients, immigrant populations, ex-offenders, and individuals with substance abuse enables us to offer these program services to youth who may not be able to be successful in more independent employment programs. This experience includes being a partner in the Model Transition Program at Ithaca High School for the past four years, including having student workers with disabilities employed in the dish rooms and in internships in other Challenge businesses. In the past two years, we have had about a dozen students work in the Dishrooms and six of those students have become permanent workers after graduating, earning competitive salaries and benefits. Larry Workman will serve as director for this program. He has worked for Challenge for nine and a half years as an Employment Specialist and for the past eight years as Manager of the dish room operations at Cornell University and Ithaca College. Prior to working at Challenge, he had ten years of work experience with troubled youth at two local residential programs.

  • Year established:1968
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:13
  • Advisory board size:8
  • Staff size:86


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:Operating
  • Tax ID:16-0956917

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:160956917
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:950 DANBY RD STE 179
  • Organization City:ITHACA
  • Organization State:NY
  • Organization Zip:14850-5793
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1, 2
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization, Educational Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:June, 1968
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):059, 160
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Other school related activities, Aid to the handicapped (see also 031)
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:J33Z
  • Asset Amount:$2,911,219
  • Asset Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$6,654,808
  • Income Code:7 ($5,000,000 - $9,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$6,302,117
  • Last Updated:2/22/2018 2:14:11 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.