PathStone Milestones


  • PathStone celebrates 40 years of service to families, individuals and communities.
  • PathStone launches its new Web site, designed to make it easier for people to find assistance and information about the work we do.


  • ROI rebrands to better reflect its work, with the Board of Directors voting to adopt the organization’s new name: PathStone Corporation. A tagline also is adopted: “Connecting You to Opportunities.”
  • Pennsylvania celebrates 30 years of service.
  • Following extensive discussion with the Board of Directors, ROI creates a 28-member board, of whom 51 percent is eligible for services.
  • The Committee for Farmworker Justice is renamed the Committee for Social Justice.


  • New Jersey celebrates 25 years of service.
  • ROI launches an effort to rebrand the agency, which now has nine lines of business, and a growing Board of Directors, which has 40-plus members.


  • ROI begins a new senior employment program through a progressive agreement with the National Council on Aging, working to provide job training and placement services for seniors 55 or older in need of employment.


  • Ohio celebrates 20 years of service.
  • ROI incorporates with Housing Opportunities, Inc. of Rochester.


  • ROI expands its U.S. Department of Labor programs to provide outreach to migrant and seasonal farmworker youth in Vermont and Puerto Rico.
  • New York initiates its Farmworker Access to Vocational Rehabilitation program.
  • ROI launches Seeds of Success Web-based curriculum, offering bilingual entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills.


  • ROI receives an HIV Education Grant.
  • Ohio implements Farmworker Access to Vocational Rehabilitation program.
  • Newburg Community Reinvestment Corp. rehabilitates dilapidated homes for very low-income first-time homebuyers.


  • ROI begins new rehabilitation programs in Ohio and New York for migrant farmworkers.
  • ROI forms incentives for Farmworker Youth Coalition and initiates SAVE Project for migrant farmworker youth.
  • Newburgh Community Improvement Corp. incorporated.


  • The board adopts three-year strategic business plan.
  • Housing development projects are established in Puerto Rico.
  • ROI leads Eastern Stream Youth Coalition in implementing U.S. DOL Program for migrant and seasonal farmworker youth.
  • Lander I & II were constructed, revitalizing 33 buildings and 64units into affordable housing in Newburgh.


  • ROI purchases historic Hiram Sibley Mansion (circa 1867) at 400 East Avenue in Rochester, N.Y., for its corporate headquarters.
  • Rural Opportunities Enterprise Center, Inc. is certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution, greatly expanding its small-business lending capacity.
  • ROI’s operation in Ohio establishes as an affiliate to attract local and state resources.


  • The Enterprise Center establishes as an affiliate, dedicated to managing a small-business loan program.
  • Milestone and graduation initiatives are established to recognize participants’ success.


  • ROI is chartered by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks), a Congressionally mandated affordable housing development corporation.


  • Rural Opportunities Housing Corp. of Michigan, Inc. and of Indiana, Inc. established as affiliates, to create affordable housing for low-income families.


  • Board adopts the ROI Strategic Action Plan, “Up to 2000.”
  • ROI celebrates 25 years of service.


  • Board adopts revised mission statement.
  • Board adopts Action Pledge, which emphasizes commitment to celebrate the diversity of participants, programs, staff and board.
  • President Bill Clinton honors ROI in the Rose Garden for its Rural Venture Fund.
  • Board reviews bylaws to streamline and clarify board membership structure.
  • Board expands ROI employee benefit services to a full cafeteria-style plan.


  • Ohio begins a Head Start for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker program.
  • New Jersey celebrates 10 years of service.


  • Pennsylvania begins a Head Start for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker program.
  • Finance Office initiated in-house General Ledger Accounts Payable and Payroll System.


  • Board adopts principles to guide ROI’s economic development strategy.
  • Board establishes the Rural Venture Fund and appoints a Loan Review Committee.
  • New York receives the Job Training Partnership Act Presidential Award.


  • The Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce awards Stuart J. Mitchell the prestigious 1989 Civic Award from for outstanding work in the area of human services.
  • Governor Mario Cuomo designates ROI as the New York State Affiliate to the National Rural Development & Finance Corporation (a rural business lending program).
  • ROI celebrates 20 years of services and renews its Corporate Decision Making Principles.
  • Pennsylvania celebrates 10 years of service.


  • Ohio responds to extraordinary problems faced by farmworkers because of a statewide drought.
  • ROI creates in-house computerized data collections system.
  • The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs elects Stuart J. Mitchell its president.


  • CPA audit firm conducts first unified/single audit covering all of ROI’s operations.
  • Pennsylvania receives funding to operate statewide primary health care program for farmworkers.


  • New York State Department of Labor funds the Migrant Occupational Safety Training Program, a pesticide education program.
  • New Jersey initiates ROI’s first Head Start for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers program.
  • ROI experiences about 20 percent reduction in funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training grants.
  • New York State initiates first empowerment/diversity awareness training for staff.
  • Board votes to fund first company funded pension program for employees.


  • Board votes to change the name of organization to Rural Opportunities, Inc.
  • Board approves resolution to compete for U.S. Department of Labor Farmworker Training & Employment grant for Ohio. ROI awarded grant and began operations.
  • the Farmers Home Administration contracts with ROI to develop farmworker housing. This is ROI’s first technical assistance grant.


  • Board adopts a new employee benefit program that increases individual employee options.


  • Board revises bylaws to establish farmworker representation on the board in proportion to the numbers of farmworkers served in employment and training programs.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training funding for farmworkers is incorporated into the new Job Training Partnership Act.


  • Board approves expansion of programs into New Jersey. The U.S. Department of Labor awards New Jersey a Farmworker Training & Employment Program.
  • New York adopts legislation that includes RNYFO in the Community Services Block Grant legislation.
  • RNYFO computerizes its agencywide data collection system for employment and training programs.


  • The board approves the establishment of the Committee for Farmworker Justice, a voluntary advocacy and lobby committee supported by volunteer donations from staff, board and friends.


  • RNYFO develops a New York legislative action plan to improve living and working conditions for farmworkers.
  • RNYFO translates the Annual Report into Spanish.
  • RNYFO develops a participant handbook for employment and training participants.


  • The board establishes of a Pennsylvania statewide advisory committee and appoints three representatives to the corporate board of directors.
  • The board develops a long-range strategic planning document.
  • The board establishes its first Housing Affiliate, Rural Housing Action Corporation.


  • PFI’s name changes to Rural New York Farmworker Opportunities, Inc. (RNYFO).
  • RNYFO is awarded the USDOL Employment & Training contract for Pennsylvania.


  • Karen Noble Hanson (Karen N. Tobin) resigns position as Executive Director to become State Director of the Farmers Home Administration in New York, with appointment by President Jimmy Carter.
  • Stuart J. Mitchell III is appointed by the board to become Executive Director.
  • The board adopts rural economic development as a strategic planning initiative.


  • The organization provides technical assistance to the New York State Department of Agricultural and Markets to upgrade migrant child care program.
  • The organization sees the advent of its organization-sponsored HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.


  • The organization establishes a statewide relocation loan fund to assist farmworkers.
  • The organization publishes the first statewide farmworker rights handbook.
  • The organization manages a nine-state farmworker emergency food distribution program.


  • The board votes to expand direct program services to all of the major fruit, vegetable and horticulture agricultural areas in New York.
  • The organization hired its first full-time housing development staff person.
  • The organization contracted with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to provide vocational training skills to workers in Upstate New York food processing plants.
  • The board revise the bylaws to require 51 percent farmworker participation on the board.


  • President Richard Nixon begins to dismantle the Office of Economic Opportunity. The farmworker program transfers to U.S. Department of Labor and became funded under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Administration.
  • The Annual Farmworker Caucus identifies housing problems as its first priority.


  • Program Funding, Inc. participates in the formation of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs and National Association of Farmworker Organizations.
  • The board votes to initiate direct programs operations and reduce contracts with delegate agencies.
  • The board establishes institutional advocacy for the improvement of living and working conditions for farmworkers as its primary mission.
  • PFI holds its first Annual Conference.
  • The first farmworker caucus develops 15 demands and presents the list to the board. The board adopts these demands as its 1973 work plan.


  • The board expands to include representation from various state and private state agencies, as well as private not-for-profit organizations.
  • The board votes to incorporate the Bureau of Program Funding as a separate entity from the Center for Migrant Studies and also changes the name of the organization to Program Funding, Inc. (PFI).
  • PFI moves its Central Offices to Rochester, N.Y.


  • Delegate agencies form an advisory committee to provide input into decisions made by the board.


  • The federal Office of Economic Opportunity enters into a $350,000 contract with the New York State Center for Migrant Studies to operate migrant and seasonal farmworker housing and educational, training, job development, placement, medical and welfare services.
  • The Center, housed at the State University of New York at Geneseo, forms a grant management committee and titled it The Bureau of Program Funding. This committee serves as the policy/planning board for the grant. Positions for farmworkers were included on this committee.
  • The Bureau of Program Funding funds several local, not-for-profit farmworker service agencies to operate a full range of programs, operated primarily in Western New York.

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