The Starlight Country Day School was opened in 1954 to provide education and recreation for children who were not eligible for the state funding. Eight young men gathered at the home of Mrs. Katie Carter “to learn and to have a little fun.” Because there was no government funding for this program, it relied on donations from the community and lot's of ingenuity!
In October of 1957 legislation was passed which allowed the local school districts to assist children with mental retardation. Up until this time public schools were not permitted to provide any funds or services for Starlight students.
Most adults take great pleasure in earning their own living and adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities are no different. Recognizing that need Starlight began LICCO sheltered workshop in 1965. Enrollees made various craft items and sold them to members of the community.
The landmark "169 legislation" was passed on October 25, 1967. This law created the County Boards of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and gave them the authority to acquire public funds to provide programs for county citizens with MR/DD.
Because of an increase in job opportunities and enrollment, the LICCO workshop moved from the Eleanor S. Weiant School to its own home at 675 West Church Street in 1978. At that time LICCO had several contracts, including those with the Newark Air Force Base, Holophane, and Callander Cleaners. By 1981 LICCO had outgrown the Church Street site. Ground was broken for the current LICCO workshop on Industrial Parkway. In early 1982, LICCO moved into the new facility.
In September of 1983, the LCBMR/DD received a grant from the Rehabilitation Services Commission to begin the Community Employment Program. This program provides assistance to individuals in finding and maintaining jobs in the community. On October 6, 2009 Senate Bill 79 took effect and the "MR" is officially eliminated from the name of the Department as well as local Board of Developmental Disabilities.
In 2011, the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD) began discussion and planning around increasing availability of choice of agency day providers as well as elimination of waiting list and sustainability of future services. The LCBDD Board of Directors and the LICCO, Inc. Board Directors worked hand in hand through the planning and transitioning of LICCO, Inc. becoming the provider of services and the provider of record for all individuals supported at 600 Industrial Parkway.
In 2014, the LICCO, Inc. Board of Directors entered into an Alliance of Shared Functions with Hopewell Industries, Inc. based out of neighboring Coshocton County. This was the first alliance of privatized providers in Ohio and the two organizations share leadership and resources. In 2016, Muskingum Starlight Industries, Inc. joined the Alliance with LICCO and Hopewell Industries.