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Center For Educational Advancement: Enhanced Food Prep Area

First Nonprofit awarded $7,500 to the Center for Educational Advancement (CEA), a disability services provider based in Flemington, New Jersey, to fund plumbing and electrical work for an enhanced food preparation area in the organization’s Culinary Arts Training center. CEA has been upgrading its facilities to improve efficiencies and to better prepare clients for community employment in a professional food service environment. The renovations will allow CEA to accommodate more participants.



Mission Statement

CEA’s mission is to educate, empower and employ individuals with special needs. CEA provides training, employment and other support to people with various disabilities, helping them achieve financial independence through a paycheck. We believe that no person should be denied the right to work and become an independent member of the community.

Organization History

Founded in 1970 by family members of adults with a disability, CEA serves the special needs community through an Employment Services Group that evaluates, trains and places people with disabilities into competitive employment. In 1975, CEA became the first Community Rehabilitation Program in New Jersey to receive accreditation by the National Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facility (CARF). CEA provides CARF-accredited training in four program areas: food service, packaging, building maintenance and office technologies. CEA’s packaging group runs an inclusive packaging and assembly facility where approximately 50 program participants with physical, emotional, and developmental disabilities work alongside typically-abled workers.

In 1984, CEA opened Spring Run School (SRS), a full New Jersey certified private secondary school serving the needs of students aged 14 to 21 who have autism and other disabilities. In 2004, CEA added transition services to its offerings to help SRS students transition from school to work/adult life.


We were very excited to learn that we had been selected as a grant recipient from the First Nonprofit Foundation. As a small, local nonprofit organization we know how much competition we face. We really appreciated Joe Geiger’s assistance in the process. Our needs changed after we submitted our LOI and Joe was very understanding of our situation and provided helpful and supportive feedback.