ore than 30 years ago The Progress Center first started under the auspices of the Southern Oxford County Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc. (SOCARC). Funding for the program at that time was a combination of local fund raising and grant in aid money from the Maine Bureau of Mental Retardation. Over the years the program continued to expand until SOCARC decided that the Progress Center should become its own corporation.

In 1980 The Progress Center Incorporated and today serves over 400 children, families and adults who experience disabilities in 49 communities in four counties in Maine. The work of the early families has been honored by dedicated staff and professionally delivered services. We fund our services through contracts with the state of Maine Department of Health and Human Services, annual fundraising events and grant writing. We are grateful to the generosity of our donors and supporters who help us to maintain high quality services for each person served.

Sarah P


Our mission is to promote independence and freedom of choice for the individuals we serve.  Our core beliefs include that each person with a disability has a desire for a rich and varied life, including a physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual dimension. We also believe each person grows through their life experience and has the right to make his/her own life choices, including those that may involve risk. We support each person to discover their own dream for a meaningful life.

The mission of our Community Kitchen, Food Distribution and Feel Better Food Program is to provide nutritious meals that promote health, wellness, and healing for members of our community who are most in need.

Pictured (L to R): Lynne Wheeler, Manager;  Nancy Francis, Case Manager; Karen St. Peter, Case Manager; Jennifer Putnam, Executive Director; Ashleigh Barker, Director.The Progress Center, Inc., a non-profit, expanded in May 2017 and officially opened a second office in Cumberland County. The new location, at 6 Main Street, Gray, will provide both adult and children’s case management as well as children’s services.

The Gray location joins The Progress Center’s two existing offices: one in Bridgton and the main office in Norway. Future plans include possible expansion of community support programming in the Gray area as a continuation of quality care and services for rural Maine communities.

The Progress Center has a 37 year history of providing supports and services to adults, children and families experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities. To learn more or make a referral please visit progresscentermaine.org or call 207-743-8049.

The Progress Center, Inc., a non-profit, expanded in 2016 and officially opened a satellite office in Bridgton in June. The new location has brought with it a 36 year history in providing supports and services to adults, children and families experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Originating in Oxford Hills in the 1970’s, The Progress Center began in Norway with a goal of providing disabled adults with a variety of summer programming and a place to participate in social events.

The Progress Center is dedicated to providing high quality services to the Bridgton and the Lakes Region. The new location, at 300 Portland Road, will provide both adult and children’s case management as well as children’s in home support services.

 Meet Our Board of Directors

Our board is dedicated to supporting our participants’ independence and freedom of choice. They are compassionate and committed leaders vested in supporting our organization as we navigate our employees and consumers toward a better, brighter future.

Richard Clough (Secretary), Kathy Perkins (Vice-Chair), Tom White (Retired), Melissa Burgess, Brian Paradis, Bonnie Paradis (Treasurer), Ronald Raymond (Chairman), Dorothy Coffin, Pat Cook (Not Pictured).


Tom White at the Open House on July 14, 2016

Tom and Jennifer at Lee Auto 2016

Tom White and Executive Director, Jennifer Putnam

Tom White, Retired Board Member

The Progress Center would like to thank our supporter and past board member, Tom White, for dedication and support. Tom most recently served as our Treasurer and for many years has been an advocate for our agency and our participants.

Our Executive Director, Jennifer Putnam, met with Tom, who works for LeeCars Auburn, and was pleased to present him with a plaque thanking him for all that he has done. This plaque, shaped like the State of Maine, was handcrafted on site in our Tree Works woodshop.


Oxford Hills Observer, December 7, 2017: Norway’s Progress Center receives grant for Community Kitchen program

Lewiston Sun Journal, Wednesday, October, 11, 2017: Progress Center in Norway to Hold Third Annual Run

Oxford Hills Observer, October 13, 2017: Progress Center to hold Trick or Treat Trot Oct. 28 in Norway

Oxford Hills Observer, September 15, 2017: Stephens Memorial Hospital offers Make it Mediterranean class Sept. 20

Oxford Hills Observer, July 31, 2017: Those needing food in the Oxford Hills have options

Oxford Hills Observer, April 9, 2017: Lewiston, Norway organizations awarded Androscoggin Bank MainStreet Foundation grants

Lewiston Sun Journal, Friday, January 5, 2017: Two Progress Center Employees Earn Licenses

Advertiser Democrat, March, 24, 2016: Oxford Hills Thief Would Have Been Given Food if Needed

Lewiston Sun Journal, Friday, April 25, 2014: Putnam Joins The Progress Center

Lewiston Sun Journal, Saturday, November 9, 2013: Record Park Memorial Trail

Lewiston Sun Journal, Monday, March 25, 2013: Norway Progress Center Receives Donation

Lewiston Sun Journal, Monday, December 13,2012: Sandra Shorey Joins Progress Center Team

Lewiston Sun Journal, Friday, September 20, 2011: Community Kitchen Opens in Norway

The Progress Center circa April 14, 1988

 35 Cottage Street, Norway, Maine 04268  –   207.743.8049  –  fax: 739-7349 or 739-6110

 “The Progress Center is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer”