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Carla Strong new director of Howard Training Center
Carla Strong is the new director of Howard Training Center in Ceres. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Carla Strong is the new executive director of Howard Training Center in Ceres, having started Oct. 27.

A number of applicants were interviewed by the HTC board of directors and the Executive Search Committee chaired by Dawna Gauthier.

Strong most recently was a customer service manager for two branches of a local financial institution.

A native of Florida, Strong moved to Tuolumne County in the early 1980s. She and her late husband Jerry moved to Modesto in 1996. While in Riverbank her efforts helped move that city to an award-winning revitalization of the downtown commercial district. The accomplishment led to her being honored as the Riverbank "Citizen of the Year" in 2009. Her desire to help others also led her to volunteer as a founding member of the Senior Resources Group. Strong also founded Riverbank Cares and Adopt a Grandparent Holiday Program.

She has a degree in elementary education and brings experience in administration, financial analysis, risk management and human resources.

Howard Training Center was created in 1950 by a group of eight parents concerned with promoting services for area children with developmental disabilities. In 1953, the company incorporated as a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving all citizens in Stanislaus County with developmental disabilities, regardless of age or severity of disability. Now known as Howard Training Center (HTC), the organization works to achieve full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the community through the development of personal and occupational capabilities, the development and delivery of helpful programs and services and community advocacy.

HTC's services include:

• Residential programs such as Home At Last;

• Day programs;

• Production Unlimited and Community Employment vocational training programs;

• Senior meals programs (Meals on Wheels);

• ARC catering services;

• Inner Eye Gallery.