Easter Seals SE Wisconsin to expand training, employment opportunities by creating accessible commercial kitchen

Dec. 5, 2013

Easter Seals of Southeast Wisconsin has announced plans for a state-of-the-art, accessible commercial catering kitchen and technology lab at its Workforce Training Center in Waukesha

The kitchen, which will be the only one of its kind in Waukesha County, will be used for specialized training in food handling, food preparation and customer service. The project also will provide income for Work Training Program participants and allow Easter Seals to expand its LilyWorks catering division, generating additional income to support the organization’s mission and making it less reliant on government funds.

“This project will result in jobs for people with disabilities and create additional economic opportunities in southeast Wisconsin,” said Bob Glowacki, CEO of Easter Seals. “We are designing the kitchen not only to train workers, but as a space that can generate rental income during downtime and provide a gathering place for the community.”

The kitchen and tech center were announced during Easter Seals’ kickoff of its 80th Jubilee Campaign, which aims to raise $1.5 million - $1 million for the kitchen/technology center and $500,000 for the Centennial Fund at the Waukesha County Community Foundation for future program expansion and creation.

“This is an incredibly important effort for people with disabilities and for the community,” said Judie Taylor, president of Waukesha-based Dueco, Inc., and co-chair of the Jubilee Campaign. “In 2012, Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin paid $1.1 million in wages to Waukesha staff and participants, and new publicly and privately generated revenue from this expansion will enhance economic development throughout Waukesha County.”

Co-chair Chris Goller, Regional President of PNC Financial Services, added: “The Easter Seals Capital Campaign for the expansion of the new kitchen and technology center represents a significant enhancement in the lives of those with disabilities. The result is the creation of truly meaningful opportunities for these hardworking individuals, and this project brings hope to many families. Both PNC and I are pleased to have the opportunity to support the project.”
Plans for the commercial kitchen at include:

• Two “clean rooms” for specialized food product processing and handling. These spaces will be available for lease to outside parties during down time to create additional revenue for Easter Seals programs.

• A video-equipped chef demonstration area that will be used as a teaching area for meal prep during daily living skills classes. This area also will be available for lease by local restaurants and guest chefs for private cooking demonstrations or community events.

• A state-of-the-art adaptive technology lab to prepare participants for employment via resume writing, using email, learning computerized payroll systems, conducting online job searches and learning to map transportation to interviews. Current computer systems are unable to support adaptive technology for visual, hearing or other impairments.

• To add to the excitement of this effort, Easter Seals has secured a challenge match for the Jubilee Campaign. Gifts made to the campaign will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000

About Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin
Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin is a not for profit values-based agency that supports children and adults with autism and other disabilities, their families and caregivers through a range of services touching the lives of over 10,000 individuals in Southeast Wisconsin. Offering a full array of services for children and adults throughout their life, Easter Seals programs and services include early intervention, after school and summer respite programs, day programs, work training, case management and guardianship. Learn more at www.eastersealswise.com or follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.

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