The new purpose built Carrington Street property was opened on 5 November 1970. It initially included sections for printing, cardboard box making, woodwork and sewing and was later extended to include bookbinding. The woodwork section struggled to pay its way but undertook a lot of internal building work which saved outgoing expenditure. Silk screening was later initiated but ultimately suspended due to rapidly rising costs, poor returns and lack of suitable rehabilitees for training.
The Women’s Auxiliary initially operated the workshop canteen providing sandwich lunches, hot pies and drinks. They also provided equipment for the canteen and sheltered workshop operations as well as office curtains and furnishings. The Women’s Auxiliary later handed over the canteen operation to the sheltered workshop but remained very active in fund raising.
The profile of sheltered workshops in the community was increasing during this era, and in conjunction with other sheltered workshops in WA, FCB Industries again exhibited their work at the “Perth Fair” (formerly the Home and Industries Fair), showing printing, boxes, trellises, garden gates, tables and hospital gowns and caps. This was followed up the next year with an exhibition at the International Fair, supported by the Australian Council for Rehabilitation of Disabled.
The move to the new Carrington Street premises enabled a larger number of rehabilitees to be employed. Numbers were slow to increase due largely to lack of transport and lack of accommodation close to the work site but reached capacity of around 100 by the middle of the decade. The provision of two Toyota commuter buses for transporting the more severely disabled passengers, funded by grants from the Ladies Auxiliary of Morley Lions Club and the Federal Government, was to assist in this regard. These proved invaluable in retaining the employment of some members, particularly those with respiratory problems during heavy wet weather. Welfare services were also extended to cover problems in the home environment such as providing help with finding accommodation.
By 1977, at the FCB Factory, the woodwork division required more room and was transferred to adjacent new leased premises at 35 Carrington Street with updated machinery and an additional 600 m2 of floor space. The woodwork department was registered as FCB Woodcraft and its workforce increased rapidly to 6 tradesmen and 25 disabled employees.
By the end of the decade rehabilitees numbered around 120 and consideration was being given to expansion to a second factory. By now only a very small number of rehabilitees were suffering from tuberculosis. Most services were applied to the rehabilitation of long term patients with epilepsy, back injuries (including due to industrial accidents), social and psychological problems and various other long-term medical conditions. The turnover of employees continued with significant numbers of new employees arriving and others leaving during each year either to take up outside employment, or for personal reasons or due to deteriorating health.
FCB Industries ran an “open house” policy to the public and a constant stream of visitors would be shown over the premises, including businessmen, clients, medical and paramedical officers and government and council representatives. Students from schools, colleges and universities would attend to undertake study assignments on social welfare in the community. It was noted at the time that this was a big change compared to 20 years ago when only a dedicated minority group foresaw the needs of the sick, disabled and aged.
A major step forward occurred in the 1970s with the development of the hostel accommodation for employees. The WA Government granted two acres of land in Lemnos Street in Shenton Park for this purpose. Sufficient funds were also granted to cover the costs of initially constructing a 20 bed hostel which was officially opened by Premier Sir Charles Court in March 1979 and named the Florence Hummerston Hostel (now Florence Hummerston Village).