NewsPinellas County


Adults with developmental disabilities build air filters, confidence in St. Pete

PARC Robert Boyd.png
Posted at 12:48 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 16:01:43-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Every day the men and women of PARC in St. Pete are building air filters while at the same time gaining the confidence, experience and work ethic to pursue further employment out in the community.

Inside PARC’s offices, they are building 1,500 air filters a day, but they are also building up a resume for future employment across the manufacturing industry.

This just isn’t an assembly line, its an opportunity to prove they have what it takes.

“This is incredibly important to the individuals that we serve, it builds self-confidence, their self-worth increases, their level of independence increases,” said Brian Rothey, Assistant Vice President of Adult Community Programs.

PARC Robert Boyd 2.png

The managers at AAF Flanders International, out of Bartow, saw the demand for air filters drastically increase during the pandemic. They needed help making them and PARC turned out to be the perfect partner.

“They’ve brought us well over $100,000 worth of equipment to our facility here, which has really enabled us to create an atmosphere that mimics or simulates what a true work environment looks like for individuals,” said Rothey.

Each of the participants receives a schedule, a list of responsibilities and a minimum wage paycheck. The ultimate goal is to build enough experience to land employment out in the community, which is exactly what happened for Peter Mondorf.

“I said to myself you can do it Pete, just keep kicking butt,” said Mondorf, who now works with Mercury Medical.

PARC said it’s just like any other place of work, they have fun, they form friendships and most importantly they deliver a solid product.

“The quality, the quantity, everything has been great so we have no complaints about it and we are proud to be partnering with this program,” said Norberto Pena, with AAF Flanders International.

For more information on how to work with PARC contact Brian Rothey at or go to