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Success Stories


Community Based Employment

January 2024


Congratulations, Charly, for being the first community employment placement under the new SWTCIE project at The Workshop. Charly works Monday thru Thursday, and some Fridays, from 9-2 as a“final inspector” at Signcraft Screenprint, Inc. During November 2023, Charly toured Signcraft, met with the administrative team, completed an online application and spent several weeks in a work experience
to get a feel for the duties of a “final inspector”. In December, Charly was thrilled to hear she was hired, and she started working on January 8th this year. Signcraft was willing to create a work schedule that accommodated Charly’s needs. The team at Signcraft is dedicated to supporting Charly, so she is happy
and successful in her new job. Throughout the day, Charly works closely with several coworkers who are available if she needs assistance. Her coworkers are learning sign language, using phone apps and writing notes to accommodate for Charly’s hearing loss. Many Signcraft employees throughout the building assist Charly as needed, so she can move around the building with ease. Tammy, Charly’s supervisor at Signcraft says, “Charly is very driven. She focuses on the jobs she’s assigned without complaint. Charly completes tasks ahead of the scheduled time.” Charly works on a
variety of jobs at Signcraft. Her favorites are the decal and tag orders. Tammy describes Charly as having a bright, sunny nature…always having a smile on her face. She said Charly creates a positive atmosphere at Signcraft. Charly is making a positive impact on her coworkers as well. Courtney, one of Charly’s teammates shared, “Charly is strong, confident and sweet. She is patient with her coworkers
when they try to communicate. I admire Charly’s contentment with any job that is put in front of her. Charly makes me smile when she is here.” Charly is very happy with her new job at Signcraft, and her Mom, Dawn sees the positive impact carry over at home, as well. “Charly is happy to be part of the world outside – her self-esteem is stronger and she seems happier since she started working at Signcraft.”



Independent Living

November 2022


It is an honor and a privilege to share Bob's success story.  Bob has been with the Workshop since 2003. He has held a variety of jobs within The Workshop and in the community, including working with Culver’s, Casey’s, and Happy Joe’s. During Bob’s adult years, he has primarily lived with his parents. In working with his staff at The Workshop, Bob had pursued getting his own apartment several times throughout the years, but always found a reason to push the move back. It can be difficult to make the jump to live on your own for the first time, especially when it is such an unknown. 2022 was a great turning point for Bob. He was offered an opportunity to work as a custodian at the beginning of the year and was open to trying this exciting venture. Bob has successfully worked in this position all year and he has made great friends and supports within his job. This confidence and success directed his living situation as well, as he continued to consider apartment options. His Case Manager at The Workshop supported Bob with this process, submitting applications, speaking with realtors, and considering all variables. Bob was offered an apartment after being on a waitlist for months, and he was open to trying it. The Workshop worked together to get Bob ready for everything he would need for his new place, as he did not bring much from his last home. The Workshop is so proud of Bob for the great steps toward independence he was able to achieve this past year and for what is to come in his future. 


Working Without Worry  
January 2019


Jerod is a hardworking individual who has been with the Workshop since 2011. Jerod enjoys working in a variety of jobs, including laundry, the kitchen, janitorial tasks, and more. Due to the loss of a parent in Jerod’s family within the past few years, Jerod’s benefits changed. Jerod’s family was given information that led them to believe Jerod had to be extremely cautious about his income, or it may affect his ability to receive his health benefits. This is a common concern and a complex thing to manage when someone is working with both wages and disability benefits. Jerod was on-board with his income restriction, but was very concerned about making too much money and was unable to do all of the jobs he once loved. Jerod’s Case Manager collaborated with another Case Manager at the Workshop to do some investigating. Disability Rights Iowa was contacted to conduct a Benefits Analysis, a service they provide to help individuals with these types of concerns. Both Case Managers, Jerod, and Jerod’s mother met with the representative from Disability Rights Iowa and she reviewed Jerod’s history and what that meant for his income. Fortunately, it was discovered that Jerod’s benefits did not require an exceptional limit to his wages and he would be able to work as much as he would want during his days at The Workshop. Jerod was happy to be able to find out he could work as much as he wanted and his family was relieved to know his benefits would not be at risk. 


Biking Across Illinois  
January 2019


Exercise is important to stay healthy and here at The Workshop we try to make exercise fun. In May of 2018 we decided to track our miles and see how far we can go. As of December 31st, 2018 Derrick is leading the pack biking 126.1 miles and is close to making it to Chicago! Once to Chicago we will head back to the Quad Cities and north to Galena. Way to go Derrick! Keep up the good work!


A Time For Giving  
December 2018


Mary Ann G. headed a campaign to give a family a very special Christmas. For over two months she asked coworkers to donate spare change toward her campaign. At the beginning of December she had collected a total of $610.10. This surpassed her expectations so she decided to help two families instead of just one. Mary Ann and her case manager, Pam, headed to Dubuque to shop for the families she chose to help. All the gifts were wrapped and given out before Christmas. We are proud of Mary Ann and all who gave just a little bit to make this Christmas special for two families.

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