Who We Are and What We Do

Essex Industries was recently featured in a front-page article in the Sunday, July 21, 2013 Albany Times Union. The article discusses the opportunities available in work centers such as Essex Industries, and how these opportunities are being threatened by a drive to close "sheltered workshops."

Essex Industries is an integrated workplace where people with developmental disabilities work alongside others with no disabilities to make high quality canoe accessories, sold to many top canoe manufacturers and suppliers in the United States and internationally. A work center such as Essex Industries allows people to perform and be paid for work that is valued and contributes to their self-esteem and sense of personal accomplishment, even if they would not be able to meet the productivity standards to be employed in a purely competitive business.

Mountain Lake Services, our parent agency, advocates strongly for integrated and non-discriminatory work opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. We see Essex Industries and other work opportunities like it as a valuable way to come as close as possible to meeting those goals for people who are unlikely to find a similar opportunity in the world of purely competitive businesses.

We seek your support in advocating to keep Essex Industries and other work centers as a viable option for those who need it.

Please read the full Albany Times Union article, Sheltered workshops are in midst of a storm: Advocates for people with disabilities fear closures, which includes photos of our people at work.

Essex Industries is one of the largest manufacturers of quality ash and cane canoe seats and accessories. We have supplied our products to canoe manufacturers and retailers for over thirty-five years. Our customer base spans the U.S., Canada, and abroad.

We are the vocational component of Mountain Lake Services. Our facility includes an extensively-equipped woodworking shop, cutting and sewing machinery, 15,000 square feet of production space in two plants, and additional storage space. Our highly trained staff and employees work with pride in our woodshop, finishing, assembly, and warehousing areas to fulfill orders in a timely fashion.

Our products' construction is guaranteed through normal wear and tear. All our canoe seats, backrests, yokes, thwarts, and accessories incorporate these quality materials and processes:

  • Durable white ash lumber
  • Mortise and tenon joinery
  • Stainless steel (or galvanized steel, where applicable)
  • UV-resistant polyurethane clear varnish

If you are a dealer or manufacturer, please contact us for an in-depth discussion of your needs. Based upon such discussions, we can customize your order items, suggest and implement product modifications, and even create new products upon request.

Essex Industries is a non-profit business developed by Mountain Lake Services to give the people whom we serve real work opportunities and training. Our goal is to enhance people's feelings of accomplishment and contribution through successful work experiences.

We strive for a balanced approach that stresses individual experience as well as each person's role in the community. By offering support and advocacy in all aspects of life, we provide opportunities for individuals to maximize personal achievement.