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CEO's History

The Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO) was formed in 1965 as a private non-profit Community Action Agency. Today there are over 1,100 Community Action Agencies across the country. These agencies were created after Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act in 1964.

CEO’s first program was Head Start, a federal program to support school readiness in children from families in need. From there, CEO opened a food pantry, launched its WIC program, and moved into housing services. In 1976, CEO sponsored the Foster Grandparent program, which today serves nine counties and over 100 seniors annually throughout eastern New York.

CEO has continued to grow, both in the number of people it serves and the range of services it offers.   We work with thousands of people throughout the Capital Region, with over 25 programs to meet the needs of our community. CEO is currently one of the largest non-profits in the Capital Region, with over 250 employees.

For more information on Community Action and its history, please check out the resources below:

The Community Action Partnership

The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964

The Economic Opportunity Act Turns 47

Lyndon B. Johnson’s Speech on Economic Opportunity

Meet the Faces of CEO