Early in 1954, the Baytown Jaycees began a project to start a school for mentally retarded children at the urging of a group of parents. An article in the Baytown Sun led to an immediate offer of a two-bedroom house for $1 per year. By November, community volunteers had remodeled the house into a school building, a Board of Directors was created, volunteer teachers were recruited, and a dozen students were ready for the opening of the Baytown Opportunity School.
Soon the Baytown United Fund (now United Way of the Baytown Area) began funding for two experienced teachers. A few years later, a nearby house was donated and a Sheltered Workshop program was created. This enabled handicapped adults to earn an income by producing products for sale. By the late 1970's, school districts had taken responsibility for educating all children. This enabled the Opportunity Center to shift its emphasis to vocational services and training for disabled adults. As more clients from surrounding areas were being served, The Houston United Way (now The United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast) eventually agreed to provide additional funding.
In May of 2007, with support of the Center Board of Directors and organizational membership, the Baytown Opportunity Center merged into the Bay Area Rehabilitation Center and is now known as the Baytown Opportunity Center: A Division of Bay Area Rehabilitation Center, or the Opportunity Center. The Opportunity Center provides vocational rehabilitation services.