Our History

TCI Through the Years

For more than 50 years Tri County Industries has improved the lives of people with disabilities while providing added value to local businesses.  Humble beginnings have led to amazing growth and impact.  We look forward to an exciting future.



  • Rocky Mount Sheltered Workshop incorporated; first location was South Franklin Street, with staff of two.


  • Changed name to Tri-County Industries to reflect expansion of services which included Wilson County.


  • Started a branch facility in Wilson.
  • Moved into new Rocky Mount facility, 20, 000 square foot building; staff of fifteen served one hundred ten clients.


  • Awarded three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF; subsequently renewed every three years).
  • Wilson branch became autonomous.


  • Matched a $75,000 grant from Z Smith Reynolds Foundation to eliminate debt on facility.


  • Celebrated 15th Anniversary.


  • Constructed 7500 square foot woodshop funded by HUD grant.
  • Transferred ADAP Daily Living Group from Edgecombe-Nash Mental Health Center to TCI.


  • Began Respite Care Program.


  • Expanded woodshop by 12,500 square feet.
  • Celebrated 20th Anniversary.
  • Received national JM Foundation “Search for Excellence” award.


  • Began rehabilitation program for homeless population.
  • Began Supported Employment Program.


  • Obtained grant through Developmental Disabilities Council for computer training class in cooperation with Edgecombe Community College.
  • Awarded United Way funding for ADAP transportation from Rocky Mount and Edgecombe County.
  • Received Governor’s Award in Job Training for “Outstanding Program Serving Individuals with Multiple Barriers” (JTPA).


  • Celebrated 25th Anniversary.
  • Obtained Projects with Industries (PWI) grant from US Department of Education.
  • Began Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training for employers.


  • Constructed additional 3500 square feet of office space to include  classrooms and an evaluation lab.


  • Became eastern North Carolina training facilitator for Duke University Non-Profit Management Certificate.


  • Received $50,000 state grant to provide two year Worker’s Compensation/ADA Awareness Training for Businesses.
  • Received contract with NCDOT to maintain I-95 Rest Areas in Nash County.


  • Began $500,000 Endowment Campaign (Lou Rawls Concert).
  • Celebrated 30th Anniversary.


  • Purchased A & E Electric Assembly in Apex, NC.


  • Cheston V Mottershead, Jr retired after 21 years as President.
  • Steven T Stone became President.
  • Began VR Outcomes Based Funding.


  • Began Welfare-to-Work Project.
  • Began On-the-Job Training Program through JTPA.
  • Hurricane Floyd caused flooding through Rocky Mount, including our facility (five feet of water destroyed building contents).


  • Steve Stone resigned as President.
  • Brenda Cogdell became President.


  • Celebrated 35th Anniversary with Community Open House.
  • Began Occupational Course of Study Program with Nash-Rocky Mount Schools and Edgecombe County Schools.
  • Received funding for Options Access program.
  • Board began extensive strategic planning process.


  • Moved the electronic assembly division from Apex to facility.
  • Received $15,000 donation from Friends with Heart.
  • Became ISO 9000 compliant


  • Received $20,000 donation from Friends with Heart.
  • Held first yard sale fundraiser.


  • Began Organizational Change Process through NC Network of of Organizational Change.
  • Received $19,000 donation from Friends with Heart.


  • Received $15,000 grant for ISO 9001 training.
  • Began Supported Employment Program for Services for the Blind.


  • Received $21,000 grant for LEAN manufacturing training.
  • Received grant to provide foodservice training.
  • Celebrated 40th Anniversary.


  • Received ISO 9001 registration.
  • Began contracts for Vocational Assessments with Nash County and Edgecombe County Departments of Social Services.


  • Began Disability Navigator Project for NC Department of Commerce.
  • Received Draka Supplier of the Year Award.
  • Began operating Johnston County I-95 Rest Areas through NC DOT contract.
  • Received “$1 Billion for North Carolina” award from NC State University.


  • Began Project Re-Entry through grant from Governor’s Crime Commission.
  • Began partnership with Johnston County Industries and Diversified Opportunities: Easten Area Rehabilitation Network (EARN).
  • Received funding to establish ADVP Senior Room and to begin a Community Volunteer Program.
  • Participated in first FunRun for Charities event.


  • Received $25,000 grant for AS9100 training.
  • Received $100,000 grant from NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to purchase equipment.
  • Held first TCI golf tournament as a fundraiser.
  • Began partnership with Lowe’s Distribution Center


  • Began operating Johnston County I-40 Rest Area through contract with NCDOT.
  • Obtained AS9100C Registration.



  • Held AS9100C Celebration with banner presentation from NC State University.




  • Brenda Cogdell retired after 40 years of service.
  • Margaret Sharpe became the new President.