Community Workshop & Training Center, Inc.
"Our Central Illinois organization provides programs and services to adults
with disabilities; enriching their quality of life, promoting social change
and optimizing their potential for independence."

NEWSROOM

Contact:  
Rick Stephenson
Communications/PR Coordinator
309-686-3300, Ext. 221
CWTC RECEIVES CARF ACCREDITATION!

CWTC is proud to announce that it has been accredited by CARF International for a period of three years for its programs and services. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. CWTC achieved 100% conformance to CARF International standards, demonstrating to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit in May, its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.

GARDENS GROW!
Spring is here and CWTC continues to "grow" our garden program. Our program provides CWTC consumers the opportunity to become involved at a variety of levels, but we could use some help! Garden or farming experience is not required! Volunteers are greatly appreciated. Get all the details here!
A NIGHT OF INSPIRING ART!
The Inspiring Art Abilities Art Show was held at Mt. Hawley Country Club in Peoria on Friday, March 31st. Our many talented artists produced stunning artwork. We appreciate you coming out to support their gifts with your donations and time. A BIG thank you to Jody Tockes of the Hive along with Jacob Grant of Wheel Art Pottery for your patience, support and inspiration in providing our artists a place to create and explore. Also, thank you to the Community Foundation of Central Illinois for supporting this program through grant dollars. See the pictures HERE!
CWTC ARTIST SHINES!
Congratulations to Jeff, one of CWTC’s consumers taking part in the Inspiring Arts Abilities program. This year Jeff provided the painting that was presented to the United Way Campaign Co-chairs at their annual Community Campaign Celebration, held Tuesday night, January 31st at the Embassy Suites Hotel in East Peoria. Michael Stephan presented the painting to Katie McCord Jenkins and Tom Jenkins with Jeff looking on. The painting was created around the quote, “The brightest stars are those who shine for the benefit of others.” Some of Jeff's artwork will be on display at this years Inspiring Arts Abilities Art Show. More details coming soon!
2017 SUPER TRIVIA CHALLENGE ROCKS!

The CWTC Super Trivia Challenge at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria was another huge success! Forty-three teams battled it out for the top cash prize! Congratulations to the Trivia Tribe for taking home the trophy! Thank you to WMBD/WYZZ's Clay Gordon, Lindsey Mills and Lauren Rainson for being our wonderful hosts for the evening and thank you for coming out to support adults with disabilities! See photos HERE!
COUNTY OFFICIAL TOURS CWTC!
It was nice to have a new guest in to take a tour of CWTC. Mark Little, Chief Information Officer of Peoria County, stopped in to visit with Executive Director Patti Gratton and see first-hand what we do and the accomplishments of our CWTC consumers. You can schedule a tour, simply by calling Rick Stephenson at 309-686-3300.
2016 CWTC CONSUMER THANKSGIVING!
CWTC served its “Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon” to its consumers today, enjoying turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and all the "fixins!" The annual Thanksgiving meal has been a tradition with CWTC Board of Directors, staff and volunteers serving the meal. The Heart of Illinois United Way staff continued its annual tradition to share with the serving. See more pictures here!
CWTC CELEBRATES WITH PATHWAY AWARDS!
Community Workshop Training Center, Inc. presented their annual “CWTC Pathway Awards Dinner & Auction” Wednesday evening, September 14, 2016, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in East Peoria. The evening festivities paid tribute to the many people who have helped CWTC and have contributed in extraordinary ways. It was a great night for everyone and you can catch some of the highlights HERE!
CWTC RECEIVES SWEET TREAT!

The St. Edward's Knights of Columbus from Chillicothe stopped by CWTC to present a check representing the proceeds of their annual Tootsie Roll sale. Pictured presenting the check is Bob Akers to CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton. The money raised will be used by the residents of the Crabel Court facility in Chillicothe! Thank you for your support of adults with disabilities!

CWTC $5,000 GRANT ARRIVES!

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois stopped by CWTC today to present a $5,000 grant. The grant will be used to continue the Inspiring Art Abilities program, helping individuals with disabilities express themselves through increased access to art, build self-esteem and self-discipline, appreciate, and increase their knowledge about art. The grant is made possible by the Fritz and Doris S. Reuling Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.


CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton says, “We are very grateful to the Community Foundation of Central Illinois for this grant. Our adults with disabilities continue to grow and discover new talents as they explore the world of art, through the Inspiring Art Abilities program. We appreciate the support for CWTC and the individuals we serve.” Read more about the program here!
CWTC TOURS CONTINUE!
Thanks to Jennifer Wick from Caterpillar for coming in to take a tour of CWTC. Jennifer hopes to become more involved with CWTC and wanted to see for herself what we were all about. Jennifer was really impressed with our mission and is pictured with Executive Director Patti Gratton on the right. Click on the picture for a larger view.
CWTC INSPIRES WITH CLAY!
The Inspiring Art Abilities program has expanded this year, working with a new medium, thanks to Jacob Grant, owner of the Wheel Art Pottery Studio. CWTC consumers got their first lessons with clay and pottery, producing beautiful pieces and lots of smiles. Wheel Art is a pottery studio and school offering classes to beginning and intermediate adults and children, workshops for all ages, birthday parties, children's summer camp and memberships for experienced potters. They are located in Peoria’s Warehouse District at 1101 SW Washington St. See more pictures HERE!
CWTC RECEIVES $5,000 ART GRANT!
CWTC has received a $5,000 grant from the Fritz and Doris S. Reuling Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois. The grant will be used to continue the Inspiring Art Abilities program to help individuals with disabilities express themselves through increased access to art, build self-esteem and self-discipline, appreciate, and increase their knowledge about art.
 
CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton says, “We are very grateful to the Community Foundation of Central Illinois for this grant. Our adults with disabilities continue to grow and discover new talents as they explore the world of art, through the Inspiring Art Abilities program. We appreciate the support for CWTC and the individuals we serve.” Read more about the program here!
ART ABILITIES SHOW INSPIRES!
The first Inspiring Art Abilities Art Show was held at The Waterhouse in Peoria on Friday, March 11th. Our many talented artists produced stunning artwork. We appreciate you coming out to support their gifts with your donations and time. Thanks to the Metamora High School Jazz Ensemble for providing our wonderful music for the evening. A BIG thank you to Jody Tockes and the Hive for your patience, support and inspiration and providing our artists a true “Happy place” to create and explore. Also, thank you to the Community Foundation of Central Illinois for supporting this program through grant dollars. See more here!
CWTC BOWL-A-THON ROLLS A STRIKE!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the annual CWTC Bowl-A-Thon at Landmark Lanes. It was a huge success and everyone was throwing strikes. (Well, almost!) As you can tell, we all had a great time and can’t wait until next year! Thank you for your supports of adults with disabilities. Check out the pictures HERE!
NO QUESTION: TRIVIA CHALLENGE A SUCCESS!
The CWTC Super Trivia Challenge at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria was another huge success! Forty-four teams battled it out for the top cash prize! Congratulations to the Law Offices of Chris Doscotch for taking home the trophy! Thank you to WMBD/WYZZ's Clay Gordon and Lindsey Mills for being our wonderful hosts for the evening and thank you for coming out to support adults with disabilities! See more pictures HERE!
CONSUMER ART SHOW A SUCCESS!
Picasso, Monet, Dali and Van Gogh would have all been proud! It was a great night with a great turnout for our Inspiring Art Abilities Art Show @ The Hive on Friday, December 4th. CWTC consumers displayed their artwork while visitors took time to view their masterpieces. The attendees enjoyed some snacks while talking with the artists and learning about their techniques and inspirations. We appreciate those who came out and supported our adults with disabilities! See the pictures HERE!
CONSUMERS CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING!
CWTC served its “Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon” to its consumers today, enjoying turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and all the "fixins!" The annual Thanksgiving meal has been a tradition with CWTC Board of Directors, staff and volunteers serving the meal. The Heart of Illinois United Way staff continued its annual tradition to share with the serving. Also participating was Congressman Darin LaHood and his son Lucas. Enjoy the pictures HERE!
CWTC CONSUMER CHOSEN FOR NATIONAL EVENT!

CWTC consumer and Special Olympics Unified Sports athlete, Chad Gatlin, was recently chosen to be one of 8 Special Olympics short track speed skating athletes from around the country to participate in an exhibition relay race and clinic with US Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno. The invitational was held on Friday, Nov 13th in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Among the highlights of the trip was to meet Apolo prior to the event. The evening’s festivities were taped to be showcased on NBC Sports Network November 27th at 8PM.

 

Chad trains with the Tri-County Independents speed skating team under the direction of Barb and Larry Needham. Chad has been preparing for the event with help from Don Rulis, Administrator of Vocational Services at CWTC and speed skating coach. See more here!
INSPIRING ART ABILITIES ON TOUR!

CWTC consumers are getting in touch with their creative side, thanks to the Inspiring Art Abilities program, providing individuals with disabilities the opportunity to engage in the creative development of artwork under the direction of skilled, community based artists. The program was set up to inspire individuals with disabilities to express themselves through increased access to art, build self-esteem and self-discipline, appreciate, and increase their knowledge about art.


CWTC artists have created a portfolio of paintings at the studio and are showing their artwork to the greater Peoria community at various local businesses. See more HERE!

 

Inspiring Art Abilities program has been made possible by a grant from the Community Impact Fund and the Eugene & Harriett Swager Fund for Public Art of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

CITY OF PEORIA ISSUES CWTC PROCLAMATION!
The City of Peoria for acknowledged and observed CWTC's 55 years of service this year. Mayor Ardis issued the proclamation at Tuesday night's City Council meeting while Councilman Chuck Grayeb offered his congratulations. Accepting the proclamation is Don Rulis, Administrator of Vocational Services.
PATHWAY AWARDS A REAL CELEBRATION!
CWTC presented our annual “Pathway Awards Dinner & Auction” Tuesday evening, September 8, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in East Peoria. The evening festivities paid tribute to the many people who have helped CWTC and have contributed in extraordinary ways. This year, CWTC celebrated its 55th anniversary and the Emerald Anniversary provided the theme for the evening. See photos here!
CWTC CELEBRATES 55th WITH RIBBON CUTTING!

CWTC is celebrating its 55th Anniversary in 2015, serving adults with disabilities since 1960. CWTC along with the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce highlighted the event with a ribbon cutting at its main facility. Many dignitaries attended and refreshments were served.


CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton says, “We are so very proud to be celebrating our 55th year of providing services to adults with disabilities. CWTC is still providing quality residential and vocational services to a large population of adults with varying disabilities and assisting them in maximizing their potential and increasing their independence.” Click on photo for larger view.

CWTC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HONORED!
Congratulations to Executive Director Patti Gratton who has been honored as a recipient of the prestigious 25 Women in Leadership Award, presented by WEEK TV. The award is designed to recognize women who have demonstrated unswerving dedication to the betterment of themselves, their family, their company, and their community at large. Patti and the other recipients were honored at the 15th Annual Women in Leadership Luncheon at the Par-a-dice Hotel & Casino on September 3rd. Click HERE to see Patti's video.
MENOLDS PAYS VISIT TO CWTC!
Thanks to Maggie Donahue from Menold Construction & Restoration for coming by CWTC to take a tour. She is pictured here with Jennifer Shadowens, Manager of Community Integration (L). Maggie also brought a check from Menold's to donate to the Pathway Awards Dinner & Auction. We appreciate their support of adults with disabilities! Click on image for larger view.
ILLINOIS AMERICAN WATER TAPS INTO CWTC!
Two more members of the community stopped by CWTC to take a tour of the facility. Karen Cotton and Roger Goodson from Illinois American Water joined Executive Director Patti Gratton for the visit.  Our thanks to them for taking time out of their busy schedule to see what our staff and consumers do at CWTC and in the community. Click on image for larger view.
MAHALO MAUI JIM!
Mary Schuh, Human Resource Generalist from Maui Jim, was in to take a tour of CWTC. Mary thoroughly enjoyed the tour and meeting many of our consumers and staff members. She is pictured here with Bill Adams, Manager of Employment Services for CWTC. We appreciate Maui Jim's support of adults with disabilities.
CWTC GOES GREEN!
CWTC is a weekly stop on Friday mornings from 8 to 9 AM for the Tri County Fresh Food Van operated by the gitm Foundation.   CWTC collaborates with  the gitm Foundation which provides opportunities for CWTC consumers to develop ‘green’ job skills through volunteering with the van stop and at the Tri County Fresh Food Hub in East Peoria.  See more HERE!
LET'S GO FISHING!
Camp Big Sky has become a popular destination for many CWTC consumers. It is located in Farmington IL, and provides outdoor experiences for children and adults with disabilities. Check out the pictures…and the smiles…of those enjoying a day at Camp Big Sky!
CWTC WELCOMES UNITY!
We always enjoy it when members of the community take an interest in the mission of CWTC and visit our facility to see what our staff and consumers do. Dr. Keith Knepp, Executive V.P. and Chief Operating Officer of Unity Point Methodist|Proctor stopped in to take a tour with Executive Director Patti Gratton. Click on image for larger view.
RUNNING CENTRAL COMES TO CWTC!
CWTC was excited to have Adam and Marie White from Running Central in today to take a tour. They have made it a mission to immerse themselves in the Peoria community and have become big supporters of adults with disabilities! Running Central graciously donated their store for our Super Trivia Challenge in January. Adam and Marie are pictured with Executive Director Patti Gratton. Click on image for larger view.
SPECIAL GUESTS TOUR CWTC!
Katherine Coyle of Bradley University (R) and her husband Pete Coyle, Area Executive Vice President for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, recently stopped in to see what CWTC is all about. They are pictured with Executive Director Patti Gratton. We appreciate their support of adults with disabilities. Click on image for larger view.
TOURS FOR TOURISM!
CWTC was please to welcome Kaci Osborne, the Tourism Manager for the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Kaci visited CWTC to take a tour of the facility and find our more about the programs and services we provide. She is pictured here with Jennifer Shadowens, Manager  of Community Integration. Click on image for larger view.
CAT VOLUNTEERS IN THE GARDEN!
Our thanks to Caterpillar’s East Peoria Supply Chain Planning team for volunteering to help out with CWTC’s garden program. They installed deer fencing as well as compost bins and raised garden beds. We appreciate their support! You can help, too, by contacting Don Rulis at 686-3300.
EXECS TAKE TOUR OF CWTC!
A couple of local executives were in recently to take a tour of CWTC.  They saw, first hand, the great work our staff and consumers perform on a daily basis. Brad Mitchell, General Manager for Adams Outdoor Advertising, is pictured with Executive Director Patti Gratton. Click on image for larger view.

Tom Fliege (R) President of the Hawk Agency along with Commercial Risk Manager Tammy Thomas (C) also took time to tour CWTC with Executive Director Patti Gratton. We appreciate your support of adults with disabilities. Click on image for larger view.

SPRING MEANS GARDEN TIME!
Volunteers are needed in 2015 as we continue to "grow" our garden program. The program provides CWTC consumers the opportunity to become involved at a variety of levels, but we need help! Garden or farming experience is not required! Whatever you can do is greatly appreciated. Get all the details HERE!
CWTC WISH LIST!

Periodically, we get asked if CWTC has a wish list. Yes, we do! There are a list of items we use on a regular basis. Some we use at the main facility, while others may be used at one of our residential facilities throughout Central Illinois. You may be looking to donate a new item, or have a gently used item you would like to pass along. You can see the list by clicking here!

CWTC BOWLS A STRIKE!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the annual CWTC Bowl-A-Thon at Landmark Lanes. It was a huge success and everyone was throwing strikes. (Well, almost!) As you can tell, we all had a great time and can’t wait until next year! Thank you for your supports of adults with disabilities.
CWTC RECEIVES ANOTHER SWEET TREAT!
The St. Edward's Knights of Columbus stopped by CWTC to present a check representing the proceeds of their annual Tootsie Roll sale. Pictured presenting the check is (L-R) KOC's Bob Akers, Steve, Brad and CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton. Click on picture for larger image!
TOURS CONTINUE AT CWTC!
CWTC is continuing  to invite business and civic leaders in the community to visit CWTC and meet staff and consumers to see and hear about all of the programs and opportunities we offer. Our thanks to Don Shafer of Heartland Bank for coming in to take a tour of CWTC and seeing what we're all about. Don is pictured with Executive Director Patti Gratton. (Click pic for larger image)
UNITED WAY CHAIRS TOUR CWTC!
Tana and Kent Utley, the new Campaign Chairs for the upcoming Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign, were in to take a tour of CWTC and learn more about the programs and services we have to offer. Joining in the tour were members of the Heart of Illinois United Way staff including President Michael Stephan. Pictured are (L-R): COO Jim Coke, Kent and Tana Utley, Executive Director Patti Gratton and HOIUW President Michael Stephan. (Click pic for larger image)
CITY COUNCILWOMAN VISITS CWTC!
CWTC was proud to welcome At-Large City Councilwoman Beth Jensen to CWTC, taking time out of her busy schedule to learn more about what CWTC does and our commitment to the community. Beth is pictured with CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton! (Click on image for larger view)
2015 TRIVIA CHALLENGE IS SUPER!
Thank you all for coming out to the CWTC Super Trivia Challenge last night at Running Central in Peoria. It was an exciting 3-way tie for first place! After the tie-breaker, congratulations to Cari Gordon-Sandberg's team from Howard & Howard for taking home the trophy! Also, thank you to WMBD 31's Clay Gordon and Lindsey Mills for being our wonderful hosts for the evening.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS DONATE TO CWTC!
The Spalding Council of the Knights of Columbus stopped by CWTC to present a check representing the proceeds of their annual Tootsie Roll sale. It's an annual endeavor for the Knights of Columbus and we are so grateful for their support of adults with disabilities. (Pictured are Jacque, Sam Joseph, Brent, Executive Director Patti Gratton, Tom and Ron Hahn) Click for larger view.
CWTC WELCOMES THE HIVE!
Jody Tockes, along with her husband Rick, came in today to take a tour of CWTC. Jody is the owner of the HIVE Studio located at 305 Water Street in Downtown Peoria. Jody graciously donates an hour of her time twice a month to teach our consumers about the environment through various art projects in a natural setting. The consumers have used a variety of different media, such as acrylics, watercolor, pastels, pop bottle caps, paper mache, and empty toilet paper rolls. Many consumers call the HIVE their “happy place.” They are pictured with Don Rulis, Administrator of Vocational Services and Jennifer Shadowens, Manager of Community Integration.
WMBD 31 ANCHORS JOIN IN FOR TRIVIA!

CWTC is happy to announce Clay Gordon and Lindsey Mills of WMBD 31 TV will join us for the CWTC Super Trivia Challenge as hosts.  Clay and Lindsey co-anchor "WMBD This Morning" every weekday morning from 5 to 7AM. Clay came to WMBD 31 in June of 2014, while Lindsay joined the team in October 2014. They love sharing stories and telling people what’s going on in Central Illinois the first thing every morning.

Outside of work, Clay is a part-time nationally certified firefighter and an Emergency Medical Technician and enjoys playing hockey and softball. Lindsey is an avid supporter of several non-profit and charitable organizations.  When not at work you’ll find Lindsey training for her next road race, cooking up some family Italian recipes, or watching NHL hockey.

We are thrilled to have them joining us for the evening and appreciate their support of CWTC and adults with disabilities.
2014 CONSUMER THANKSGIVING!
CWTC served it's “Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon” to its consumers today, enjoying turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and all the "fixins!" The annual Thanksgiving meal has been a tradition with CWTC Board of Directors, staff and volunteers serving the meal. The Heart of Illinois United Way staff continued its annual tradition to share with the serving. Enjoy the pictures here.
CWTC ROCKS & ROLLS!
CWTC consumers and staff rocked the house Friday night, October 3rd at our annual dance! We had a great time and the West MacQueen Street Band was awesome! There were lots of smiles and surprises including Daryl (Pictured above) serenading the packed house with a lively number. Enjoy the rest of the pictures here!
CWTC PATHWAY PHOTOS TELL ALL!
If the photos are any indication, everyone had a great time at the “CWTC Pathway Awards Dinner & Auction” Tuesday evening, September 9, 2014, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in East Peoria. The evening festivities paid tribute to the many people who have helped CWTC and have contributed in extraordinary ways. The theme for the evening was "Selfie!" See the pictures here!
CWTC'S GREAT PUMPKIN HARVESTERS!
CWTC's Garden programs continues to reap big rewards! Recently, CWTC consumers headed into the gardens to harvest pumpkins to add to the great fall bounty. The garden program provides CWTC consumers the opportunity to become involved at a variety of levels from therapeutic recreation outlets to developing job skills leading to employment opportunities. Fostering healthy lifestyles for participants and the community is a part of the program. Gardens are located at our Dorchester Apartments site in Peoria as well as next to Rome Industries in north Peoria and at the CWTC Twin Oaks residential facility in Pekin. See more pictures here.
WMBD TV MORNING CREW VISITS CWTC!
The WMBD Morning and Noon show stopped by to take a tour of CWTC. Pictured with Executive Director Patti Gratton is Clay Gordon (Anchor), Jaymee Toler (Producer), Lauren Rainson (Meteorologist) and Mark MacGregor (Director). Thanks for stopping by!
CATERPILLAR PARTNERS WITH CWTC TO ACHIEVE NATIONAL RECOGNITION!

CWTC is pleased to announce that Caterpillar, Inc. is the recipient of the Commercial Business Partnership Award from SourceAmerica. The award recognizes a commercial business that has partnered with an AbilityOne-producing nonprofit agency to increase the employability of people with significant disabilities. CWTC nominated Caterpillar earlier this year.

 

CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton says, “We are grateful for our partnership of over 54 years with Caterpillar. Our relationship has provided financial stability for the agency, ensuring the continuation of vital programs and services to help CWTC fulfill our mission of maximizing the independence of adults with disabilities.”

 

Presentation of the award took place Wednesday by Chris K. Stream, Executive Director, North Central Region of SourceAmerica. Caterpillar's Darin Suarez, a CWTC board member, and his team were on hand to accept the award. See more pictures here!
CWTC WELCOMES DONATION!
CWTC’s residential properties have grown to include a new home! A two-bedroom brick ranch style home was donated to CWTC by Jerry Janovetz, a Peoria resident and friend of CWTC. Jerry’s generosity is making it possible to assists individuals in learning life skills while living in a home setting. CWTC support services are provided to all residents on an individual basis dependent on their needs and preferences. Some of the areas of support may include: financial management, meal preparation, benefits and access to the community.
CWTC BENEFITS FROM DAY OF CARING 2014!
The 2014 Heart of Illinois United Way Day of Caring took place throughout Central Illinois on Friday, September 5th. One of this year’s projects took place at CWTC’s Twin Oaks CLF and SLA. Thirteen members of local unions volunteered to construct 8 raised garden beds and two compost bins. The raised beds will be utilized and managed collaboratively between TCRC and CWTC and the residents of the Twin Oaks facilities.  The raised beds are a start of what could be a larger garden project at the site.Get more details HERE!
CONGRESSWOMAN VISITS CWTC!
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos stopped by CWTC recently to meet with Executive Director Patti Gratton and take a tour of our facility. The Congresswoman had the opportunity to talk with several of our consumers and see first-hand the work they do.
CWTC WELCOMES CAT EMPLOYEES!
Mike DeWalt, Caterpillar Vice President for Strategic Services, brought along 15 co-workers to tour and learn more about CWTC services and programs. Executive Director Patti Gratton and COO Jim Croke were on hand to take them through the facility and answer questions.We appreciate your support of CWTC!
CWTC WELCOMES WILDLIFE PRAIRIE PARK!
CWTC welcomed Kate Durham, Volunteer Coordinator for Wildlife Prairie Park, who took a tour of our facilities. She is pictured here with Don Rulis, Administrator of Training Services. Kate helps with scheduling CWTC consumers for volunteer opportunities at the park and wanted to see first-hand our program and consumers. Thanks to Kate and Wildlife Prairie Park for their support.
CWTC GIVES BACK WITH ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE!
Executive Director Patti Gratton, Leslie Buhl, and Samantha Dollar gladly accepted the #icebucketchallenge ! It is the benefit that is all the rage on social media for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Those they challenged are now on the clock! You have 24 hours to accept the challenge. Get more at alsa.org. You can see the ice flow below!
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS CHECK CWTC!
The St. Edward's Knights of Columbus stopped by CWTC to present a check representing the proceeds of their annual Tootsie Roll sale. It's an annual endeavor for the Knights of Columbus and we are so grateful for their support of adults with disabilities. Click on photo for larger view.
CWTC AWARDED 3 YEAR CARF ACCREDITATION!

Community Workshop Training Center, Inc. is proud to announce that it has been accredited by CARF International for a period of three years for its programs and services.

 

According to CARF, this accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.
CWTC RECEIVES AWARD FROM HOI UNITED WAY!
The Heart of Illinois United Way has announced that CWTC is this year's recipient of the Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award. Each year, the award is presented to a United Way partner agency in recognition of their outstanding leadership, collaboration and involvement with the Heart of Illinois United Way. Pictured (L-R) CWTC Board President Wayne Tessier, CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton and Heart of Illinois United Way Board President Bill Springer.
CWTC VETERANS HONORED WITH SPRINT CAR!
CWTC and Morton Collision Repair's race teamed up to honor Veterans in our parking lot, Wednesday, July 2nd! Ryan Bunton, driver of the Morton Collision Repair #6R sporting its new patriotic paint scheme, had his car on display at CWTC, as U.S. Armed Forces Veterans employed by CWTC were among the first to sign the sprint car. The team was putting the spotlight on their winged sprint car for the Independence Day weekend race at Knoxville Raceway. See pictures here!
COUNTY BOARD CANDIDATE TOURS CWTC!
Zach Oyler, a candidate for the Peoria County Board, 6th District was in for a tour of CWTC. Zach, pictured with Executive Director Patti Gratton, is also a Requirements Manager at Caterpillar in East Peoria and teaches part time at Robert Morris University.
MORE GUESTS VISIT CWTC!
CWTC Administrator of Program Services Karen McMenamin (L) welcomed Jeff Cottingham and Louise Warren from Cottingham Property Management Company to our main facility to take a tour. Thanks for coming out to see the great work our consumers accomplish on a daily basis!
CWTC GREETS PEORIA CHAMBER!
Suzy Watkins, Director of Sales for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, recently took time from her busy schedule to take a tour of CWTC. Suzy, who joined the chamber a little over a year ago, is pictured here with CWTC Communications/PR Coordinator Rick Stephenson.
CEO COUNCIL VISITS CWTC!
Jim Lynch, Executive Director of the CEO Council, was in to tour CWTC this morning. The CEO Council is a partner organization to the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and a part of the Greater Peoria Business Alliance. Jim is pictured with CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton.
CWTC WELCOMES SOUTHSIDE BANK!
CWTC was proud to have Southside Bank President & CEO Mark Joseph (L) and Vice President Jeff Ward (R) in today to take a tour and see our consumers in action. They are pictured with Executive Director Patti Gratton. Click on the picture for a larger view.
PEORIA CHAMBER PRESIDENT VISITS CWTC!
We were pleased to have Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Griffin in to take a tour of CWTC. Jeff recently moved to Peoria from Ohio to lead the Chamber and continues his efforts to become knowledgeable about area businesses and services. Jeff is pictured here with Executive Director Patti Gratton (L) and Chief Operating Officer Jim Croke (R). Click on the picture for a larger view.
CWTC THANKS "REBUILDING TOGETHER PEORIA!"
Thanks to the CEFCU group from Rebuilding Together Peoria for their tireless help on National Rebuilding Day in making improvements to one of CWTC’s Independent Living homes. Rebuilding Together is one of the nation's largest volunteer home rehabilitation not-for-profit organizations and we are fortunate to have an affiliate right here in Central Illinois. See more here!
CWTC ANNOUNCES BOARD CHANGES!

CWTC, Community Workshop and Training Center, Inc., is pleased to announce election of officers for their Board of Directors. Additionally, four new directors have joined the board.

 

CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton says Wayne Tessier (Pictured) has been elected to President, while Lindsey Birkel will serve as Vice-President of the board. In addition, Tony Lees will continue as Treasurer and Alice Downing will take over duties of the Secretary.

 

Four new members have been recently appointed to the board of directors. They are Clint Nagle, South Side Bank; Darin Suarez, Caterpillar; Tim Gronewold, Howard & Howard Attorneys; and Larry Resutko, retired teacher.

 

Gratton added, “The backgrounds and expertise of our new board members will assist CWTC fulfill its mission of maximizing the independence of adults with disabilities.”
EAST PEORIA MAYOR VISITS CWTC!
East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus took some time out of his busy schedule to take a tour of CWTC. The Mayor is pictured with Associate Executive Director Jim Simkins and Executive Director Patti Gratton. Mayor Mingus had some great things to say about his visit and also met with Don Rulis, Administrator of Training Services.
CWTC BOWLS A STRIKE!
We extend our appreciation to everyone who came out to the annual CWTC Bowl-A-Thon at Landmark Lanes. It was a huge success and everyone was throwing strikes. (Well, almost!) As you can tell, we all had a great time and can’t wait until next year! Thank you for your supports of adults with disabilities.
YOUTH UNITED FOR CWTC!
The HOI United Way and the "Youth United for Central Illinois" were at CWTC for a meeting and tour of our facility. We certainly enjoyed having all of you and hope you enjoyed your visit and will be one our ambassadors to help spread the word about CWTC! (Click on the picture for a larger view!)
CITY COUNCILMAN VISITS CWTC!
Thanks to City Councilman Chuck Grayeb for coming out to CWTC, taking time out of his busy schedule to learn more about what CWTC does and our commitment to the community. Chuck is pictured with CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton!
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS TOUR CWTC!
The Young Professionals Organization of Greater Peoria made a visit to CWTC to take a tour. Executive Director Patti Gratton is flanked by David Wiest (L) and Trip James (R). The YPOGP was the group responsible for Peoria receiving its designation as All-American City. Click on the picture for a larger view.
CWTC RECEIVES SWEET TREAT!
The St. Edward's Knights of Columbus stopped by CWTC to present a check representing the proceeds of their annual Tootsie Roll sale. Pictured presenting the check is (L-R) KOC's Jim Moroz and Bob Akers, Tom and CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton. Click on picture for larger image!
CWTC, CAT VOLUNTEERS CLEAN UP!
Caterpillar's Global Purchasing Ferrous Castings Division recently teamed up with CWTC to clean up the Rock Island Trail and Luthy Botanical Gardens. CWTC has adopted a portion of the Rock Island Trail and our Community Integration Department is always vigilant in maintaining its appearance. CI also volunteers at Luthy Bontical Gardens every week, helping to keep it the beautiful destination it is. CAT is always looking for ways to volunteer in Central Illinois and CWTC appreciates their support! See more pictures HERE!
CWTC, OLIVE GARDEN COMBINE FOR MESSAGE!
CWTC, Community Workshop and Training Center, Inc. and Olive Garden in Peoria are teaming up for National Disability Employment Awareness month, an annual awareness campaign to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

Today, the Olive Garden and CWTC engaged in several activities to educate their employees on disability employment issues, including the role they play in fostering a disability-friendly work culture and making a concerted effort to find the best qualified talent for their company. See more pictures HERE!

CWTC is proud to be partnering with the Olive Garden this year, spreading the important message that a strong workforce is one inclusive of the skills and talents of all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. For more information, contact CWTC’s Community Employment Services division at 686-3300.
PEORIA COUNCILWOMAN VISITS CWTC!
Peoria 1st District Councilwoman Denise Moore stopped by CWTC to witness first-hand all the great work done at CWTC. Pictured with Denise is Executive Director Patti Gratton and Associate Executive Director Jim Simkins. Click on the picture for a larger view.
JIM REMEMBERED
Jim “Jimbo” was involved with CWTC residential and vocational services for over 25 years.  He participated in Special Olympics track and field for many years, once winning a bronze medal at the Illinois State Olympics. When Jim lived at Stuttle CLF he was a regular at the Hardees nearby, where he enjoyed coffee and visiting with the help every evening.  In his later years, after he had moved to Rochelle CLF, Jim could usually be found outside enjoying the weather, smoking his pipe with cherry tobacco, and visiting with other residents and staff.  He enjoyed spending time gambling on the boat and generally came away a winner. Despite his communication barriers Jim made friends easily and got along with everyone.  Jim’s favorite holiday was Christmas.  He had a small tree in his room that he kept up all year long. Jim passed on July 13, 2012 but he is remembered today with the Jim’s Memorial Garden, highlighted by his “Christmas Tree.” (Click on the picture for a larger view)
TOOTSIE ROLL SALE BENEFITS CWTC!
Thanks to the St. Edward's Knights of Columbus for stopping by CWTC to present a check for almost $600! The check represents the proceeds of their annual Tootsie Roll sale for CWTC. Pictured is KOC's Tazio Grivetti and CWTC Communications/PR Coordinator Rick Stephenson.
CITY COUNCILMAN VISITS CWTC!
CWTC's Executive Director Patti Gratton welcomed Councilman Casey Johnson, 5th District, to our facility for a tour. Councilman Johnson is also the mayor's liaison for the Mayor's Council for Disabled Citizens. If you'd like to schedule a tour of CWTC, contact Rick Stephenson, CWTC Communications/PR Coordinator, at 309-686-3300.
CWTC IS GETTING THE WORD OUT!
Meghan Lundeen from Caterpillar was in to take a tour of CWTC. Meghan is shown with Executive Director Patti Gratton. Our thanks to Meghan for taking time out of her busy schedule to see first-hand what we do at CWTC! If you would like to take a tour of CWTC, contact Rick Stephenson at 309-686-3300!
CWTC TOURS CATERPILLAR VISITORS CENTER!
CWTC was invited to "Envision the Future" with a tour of the new Caterpillar Visitors Center on the Riverfront. Thanks to our friends at Caterpillar, CWTC got an inside look at the interactive displays and exhibits as well as the opportunity to jump into the seat of a simulator to see first-hand what it's like to operate the equipment. Judging from the smile in the picture, everyone had a great time!
CWTC RECEIVES NISH CITATION FOR 2012!

CWTC, Community Workshop and Training Center, Inc., has received the NISH Certificate of Achievement for 2012. The certificate is presented in recognition of the high standards of performance CWTC has maintained throughout the past year in providing a product/service for the Federal government under the AbilityOne® Program.


CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton says, “We are extremely honored by this acknowledgement from NISH. Their recognition endorses CWTC’s mission of maximizing the independence of adults with disabilities.”

 

NISH is a national non-profit agency that creates employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities through a national network of more than 550 non-profit agency partners to fulfill contracting needs for the Federal Government, commercial businesses and government contractors.

CWTC NAMES DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT!

CWTC, Community Workshop and Training Center, Inc., is proud to announce that Carla Jockisch has been named Director of Development. The appointment becomes effective immediately.

 

In making the announcement, CWTC Executive Director Patti Gratton added, “We are excited to have Carla join our team. We know that her commitment to our community will be an asset for advocating for adults with disabilities.”

 

Jockisch is a graduate of the University of Illinois and has worked at Peoria Catholic Charities and MultiAd Services where she served as a Project Manager. Jockisch says, “As part of the Development team at CWTC, I am excited to be able to help CWTC lead Central Illinois in successful integration of people with disabilities. I am so inspired by the generosity and compassion the of Peoria area community. I feel blessed I am able to stay connected to our community and engage my own children in the valuable lesson of giving back.” Carla also attended Peoria Notre Dame High School where she met her husband Jack. They have four children.

TOURS CONTINUE AT CWTC
Our thanks to Dr. Blair Hunt from Midwest Multicare in Peoria for coming in to tour CWTC and see the amazing work our consumers perform. Dr. Hunt is shown with Executive Director Patti Gratton. If you would like to take a tour of CWTC, contact Rick Stephenson at 309-686-3300!
CWTC PLANT SALE GROWS GREEN!
CWTC’s fundraiser at the Metro Center Farmer’s Market this past weekend was a great success!  A sincere thank you goes out to all that supported the event.  The consumers really enjoyed nurturing these plants which started as tiny seeds back in the blustery month of February.  The bird houses and feeders turned out great, too!  The wood used for the bird houses were previously being discarded and it was nice to see the material find new life in the back yards of our supporting community.  The repurposed pallet gardens also generated a lot of interest.  All of these projects taught many valuable skills to consumers and this is just the beginning.  We will be back out and about in the near future – bringing the community together. See more pictures by clicking HERE!
BIRDHOUSES FOR SALE!

Community Integration consumers are gaining first-hand knowledge of the term “reduce, reuse,recycle.” Wood from shipping crates that CWTC previously paid to dispose of are being re-purposed into birdhouses. The consumers are helping to sand and decorate the houses with paint and stencils. Many, many thanks go to John Freimuth (Freimuth & Son Architectural Woodworking), John Boyd (Embry Remodeling), and Dale Mackiewicz for their assistance in making the cuts for the houses. Birdhouses will be for sale throughout the year or you can contact Jason Riney at 686-3300, ext. 225. Thank you for supporting adults with disabilities!

IPMR VISITS CWTC!
Executive Director, Patti Gratton welcomes Rick Zehr, President of IPMR to CWTC. Rick was in to take a tour of our facilties and enjoyed meeting many of our consumers. IPMR is a non-profit comprehensive medical rehabilitation center dedicated to improving patient physical function and quality of life.
JUNIOR LEAGUE OF PEORIA MAKES TASTY VISIT!

Thanks to the Junior League of Peoria for coming in to CWTC to present Kids in the Kitchen. Members of the Junior League of Peoria talked about making healthy lifestyle choices. Topics focused on healthy snacking, cleanliness and food choices. Thanks ladies for supporting CWTC! The Junior League of Peoria is an organization of approximately 400 active and sustaining members, committed to promoting volunteerism and improving the Peoria community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

"GEN U" UNITED WITH CWTC!
United Way’s GENeration United (GEN U) was in to take a tour of CWTC. GEN U is a group of emerging leaders within the Heart of Illinois United Way who engage in meaningful activities that address the needs of our community. Thank you for your support of adults with disabilities!
PEORIA COUNTY OFFICIAL TOURS CWTC
Mark Rothert, Assistant County Administrator for Economic Development of Peoria County, stopped by CWTC today to take a tour of the facility. Mark is pictured with Associate Executive Director Jim Simkins (L) and Executive Director Patti Gratton (R).
CWTC TOURS CONTINUE
CWTC welcomed Brandon Plattner of Plattner Asset Management of Peoria for a tour of our facility. Brandon got a chance to meet many of the clients and saw how CWTC helps adults with disabilities work to achieve independence. Pictured with Brandon is Patti Gratton, CWTC Executive Director (L) and Rick Stephenson, (C) Communications/PR Coordinator. If you would like a tour, contact Rick at 686-3300.
CWTC GETS "FIRED UP!"
Community Integration took consumers to Fired Up: Paint Your Own Pottery & Art Studio in Peoria Heights to enjoy their artistic side! Consumers picked out a piece of pottery to paint and the staff at Fired Up put it in the kiln and the final results confirmed it was a great time for everyone! Look for more surprises coming soon from the creative and expressive consumers in Community Integration! Thanks to Fired Up for the opportunity and support of adults with disabilities. See more photos by clicking HERE!
BUSTOS CONSTITUENT ADVOCATE VISITS CWTC!
Executive Director Patti Gratton and Associate Executive Director Jim Simkins welcomed Andy Colgan, the Constituent Advocate for Representative Cheri Bustos to CWTC. Andy was in to take a tour and learn about our mission in Central Illinois. He joins the list of those wanting to know more about the staff and consumers at Community Workshop and Training Center, Inc. You can see some of the visitors we've had here!
CWTC INVITED TO CAREER DAY AT DELAVAN H.S.
CWTC took to the classroom to explore career opportunities with the students at Delavan High School. Bill Michael and Rick Stephenson were invited to speak about their respective careers at CWTC and answer questions of students pondering their future and vocations. It was a full day of reflection, questions and insight.
CWTC CELEBRATES MARCH MADNESS!
CWTC shared in the March Madness experience by being part of the 7th Annual Special Needs Information Fair at the Peoria Civic Center Tuesday night, March 12th. The fair featured organizations in the state of Illinois and many from Central Illinois, providing information on their services to caregivers, families and educators of individuals with special needs. The Special Needs Information Fair was presented by the Dunlap & Central Illinois Special Needs Parent Group in conjunction with the IHSA March Madness Access The Experience Family Fun Night. (Pictured L-R: Seated: Karen McMenamin and Rod Joos; Standing: CWTC Board Member Kendra Moses and son Daniel along with Don Rulis)
CWTC LIVES UNITED!
Congratulations to the Heart of Illinois United Way who raised a record $10,546,193 in 2012! It was the first time the agency topped the $10 million mark in their annual campaign. CWTC’s employees were a force in the fundraising efforts as their contributions increased 148% over the previous year. CWTC’s efforts were recognized during Wednesday night’s wrap-up celebration held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in East Peoria. CWTC’s United Way campaign chairwoman Leslie Buhl had the honor of displaying the “$” sign in the picture!
RESEARCH SHOWS VOLUNTEERING GOOD FOR HEART!
Giving back through volunteering is good for the human heart, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia. UBC researchers from the Faculty of Education and Department of Psychology wanted to find out how volunteering might impact physical health among young adults. Not only did they see an improvement in heart healthiness, but volunteers who reported the greatest increases in empathy, selfless behavior and mental health also saw the greatest improvements in their cardiovascular health. So live and learn! CWTC is looking for volunteers to assist our consumers in enhancing their computer skills or learning new art or music skills. If you have a talent you would like to share with our consumers, please contact Jim Simkins at (309) 686-3300.
TOURS CONTINUE AT CWTC!
Embassy Suites of East Peoria Sales Manager Lisa Kappes (With Executive Director Patti Gratton) visited CWTC to tour the facility and learn more about our programs and services. We have been giving tours to local civic leaders, business owners, city, county and state officials over the last year and you can see some of the visitors we've had here! If you would like to tour CWTC, contact Rick Stephenson at 309-686-3300.
2013 SUPER TRIVIA CHALLENGE A SUCCESS!
Thank you to everyone who came out to the CWTC Super Trivia Challenge on January 25th! It was our biggest crowd ever! Thank you for your support of adults with disabilities. Now...we begin the plan for next year. Start spreading the word!! See more pictures here!
METHODIST HOSPITAL COO TOURS CWTC!
Methodist Hospital VP/COO Steve Brewer (With Executive Director Patti Gratton) visited CWTC to tour the facility and learn more about our programs and what services CWTC provides. See who has visited here!
NEW ADDITION TO CWTC FAMILY!
Crabel Court welcomed a new addition to the facility! Baby, the Boston Terrier, was adopted from the Quincy Humane Society on  December 8, 2012. She turned 5 years old on December 27th and weighs 14 pounds. She loves sitting on the residents’ laps, giving them kisses and going for rides in the van. She will bark when someone comes to the door, only to shower them with kisses and love. Baby has made herself right at home and looks forward to seeing everyone come home from work. Baby especially likes the week-ends, when all her friends are here to play with her all day. Baby is the perfect addition to the Crabel Court family.