April 14, 2021
EP!C, Community Workshop and Training Center (CWTC) and Peoria Production Shop (PPS) are three organizations that have been empowering adults with disabilities in the Central Illinois area to reach their fullest potentials for a combined 210 years- and nearly 100 of those years have been spent helping Caterpillar build a better world.
These partnerships leverage the unique talents of adults with disabilities and the organizations’ large workshop spaces as contract packaging facilities. Each facility is connected to Caterpillar’s systems and these individuals are trained just as we train our Caterpillar employees. Their work then centers around packaging small parts into paper or corrugated boxes, labeling them and allocating them to the corresponding distribution center.
Customer Service Manager Jim McKenzie says, “The partnership is very rewarding on both sides. Not only are we able to get much needed help fulfilling orders, but the individuals packaging the parts gain valuable skills that can be translated into other employment opportunities in the community. We satisfy our customers and they build skills to benefit their lives.”
The contract packagers prepare goods for distribution throughout our global network. The impact of the work they do supports Caterpillar customers in every region where Caterpillar equipment operates. Jim says, “The packaging teams at EP!C, CWTC and PPS package parts that might end up on a mine site in Australia. The customer receiving the right part in good quality is directly attributed to the packagers in our partner facilities.”
Caterpillar employees present a bench made of Caterpillar parts to the team at Peoria Production Shop.
These photos were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Caterpillar employees often visit these facilities to check on their teams, and Jim describes these visits as inspiring. He says, “You walk in and the adults in the facilities are so excited to see you. They want to know when more work is coming in and they love receiving feedback. They want to provide value and they connect with the Caterpillar brand in a very personal way.” The partnership doesn’t end with packaging either. Jim shares that many Caterpillar employees spend time volunteering for these agencies. He says, “They make you feel like family so it’s always hard to leave them at the end of the day. We try to stay as connected to their needs as possible and participate whenever we can.”
A career at Caterpillar offers opportunity to grow your skillset and yourself by doing work that really matters. Extending that opportunity to people of all abilities is a critical way to build up the communities where we live and work. Your contributions matter and Caterpillar is committed to enabling your success through the necessary support. Find your fit today.