Northwest Return to Work opened in Lynnwood, Washington in June 2007. The company was founded by Josh Cobbley, an occupational therapist. As the product of a poor, blue-collar family, Josh developed a profound appreciation for the sacrifices and hardships faced by working people. This appreciation was deepened during his occupational therapy training. From this training he gained understanding of what occurs when an occupation is interrupted.
The interruption in an occupation, especially a work role occupation, has profound impact on individuals and families. The impacts range from financial loss to the psychosocial burdens that can accompany learning new life roles.