Category Archive: Company News

Jennie Ozment and Steffenie Maxwell are our Employees of the Month

employee of the monthJennie began working at Peoria Production Shop in early 2020. She works as the Accounting Clerk and Receptionist for PPS.

She is the first person you see when you walk in our office. Although she started at the same time that masks became mandated, she is always smiling!

Jennie manages the company time keeping system and prepares invoices for customers. She is also in charge of maintaining the Treasury receipts, purchasing supplies for equipment maintenance, and keeping the office supplied.

Jennie is a mother of three, and has three grandchildren whom she adores. She enjoys reading and working in her yard. Also, she is very active in her church.

Steffenie has worked at Peoria Production Shop for 11 years. Currently, she works as a trainer. Although she has not quite completed a year as a trainer, she has done an amazing job with our employees.

Steffenie is a well-rounded employee, allowing her to take on different projects throughout the facility. Her favorite job is working in the autobagging department. She describes PPS as a caring company that watches out for their employees, all while hosting fun activities. Her favorite memory at PPS is all of the dancing opportunities!

Steffenie met her husband, Ryan Maxwell at PPS. The two have been married for 3 years. Despite the Peoria company bringing the couple together, Steffenie is not originally from central Illinois. She grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

At Peoria Production Shop, our mission is simple. We provide employment opportunities enabling individuals with disabilities to achieve financial and social independence. Visit our website to fill out an application to join our team.


Careers for The Visually Impaired

In 1941, Peoria Production Shop was founded initially to provide employment for recovery tuberculosis patients. We have since been incorporated as a not-for-profit and have expanded our mission to employ individuals with all types of disabilities.

PPS is dedicated to exceptional customer service and total satisfaction, we also strive to excel in services for our own employees. We continually encourage our employees to achieve personal success, treating each employee with respect and dignity while providing competitive wages and benefits.

Our Goal is Jobs, not Profits

Our main goal is jobs, not profits, which allows us to offer competitive pricing for our customers while simultaneously creating jobs for more employees.  We are proud to be able to make useful contributions to the independence and well-being of many individuals without receiving any outside funding.

Through our mission, we have been able to create a community and a greater sense of belonging. We want our employees to feel connected on and off the shop floor. Oftentimes, people with disabilities feel like they are different, however a lot of our employees have expressed gratitude in knowing they are not alone simply by coming to work everyday.

Jobs for Visually Impaired

Currently, we offer jobs for the visually impaired. For instance, some of our employees work to package spark plugs in which they can easily feel the product. Additionally, other employees have a certified guide dog that aides them in their work. While we work to accommodate these employees on the shop floor, we are fortunate to have employees that help out during lunch or break times.

Our HR department is currently working with Health and Human Services to better our facilities. We want to incorporate braille and other products for the visually impaired onto our shop floor.

We are blessed to be able to do the work we do everyday and we have our employees to thank for that. We give back to our PPS community whenever possible, whether that be helping with taxes, moving employees across town, or even simply giving advice.

High-Quality Work from Trained Professionals

While we provide employment to individuals with disabilities, that does not diminish the work we do at PPS. These employees are highly trained individuals, skilled at operating automated equipment, focused on quality work with attention to detail and know how to get the job done. Our employees add value to customer products with a dedication to providing zero defects and on time delivery.

Partnering with Peoria Production Shop would mean you are helping individuals with disabilities to achieve financial and social independence, all while getting the quality production you desire from one of the most experienced contract assembly house in the industry.  At PPS, we are committed to your products and will work with you along the way to ensure we meet your specific requirements.

If you are interested in learning about vision loss and how to adapt your home and daily living, The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) launched VisionAware which is a free, comprehensive resource with basic information, step-by-step daily living techniques, and additional resources.

Help us, help you. Choose Peoria Production Shop for your contract packaging or other value added opportunities. Help us be the premier employer of individuals with opportunities by allowing us the privilege to work with you. Visit our website to learn more about how you can further our mission and the opportunities we provide to the visually impaired.

Empowering Employees For 80 Years

Our History 

In 1941, Dr. Maxim Pollak of the Peoria Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium founded Peoria Production Shop to provide temporary part-time employment for discharged tuberculosis patients until they were physically able to return to full time jobs. Dr. Pollak noticed that recovering Tuberculosis patients were having difficulty getting employed so he took out a $500 loan and rented a small space in downtown Peoria on Adams Street.

Before long, PPS was employing individuals with all types of disabilities and registered as a not-for-profit organization in 1951. Some of the first jobs taken on by PPS were sewing canvas and leather protective devices for Caterpillar. These capabilities grew to include assembly, kitting, and packaging. As PPS expanded into other types of work, our employment grew as well. Currently, we employ over 200 individuals in our two facilities exceeding 160,000 square feet.

Celebrating 80 Years 

March 23rd marked 80 years of Peoria Production Shop. We put up banners along the road touting our 80th anniversary and that we are hiring. The day was filled with celebrations honoring our PPS employees, past and present. All of our employees received t-shirts commemorating the mile stone and a lunch provided by the company.

A member of our leadership team put together a video looking back on some of our favorite moments at PPS. During our two lunch breaks, employees were able to watch the video and share a few laughs. The video featured messages from board members, past presidents, and more.

One of our employees suggested planting an oak tree to commemorate the anniversary. The leadership team loved the idea and has made plans to do so once the weather clears up.

“Without you, we wouldn’t have been successful all these years. Here’s to 80 more years for Peoria Production Shop and thank you for allowing me to be part of the last 2 years!” – Dan Laturno, CEO

PPS has been empowering employees for 80 years. Visit our website to learn how you can apply and be a part of the next 80 years.



Amy Murk is our Employee of the Month!

Amy joined the Peoria Production Shop (PPS) team 3 years ago. While Amy started as a shy and timid employee, she has since come out of her shell.


Amy currently works at our second facility coring, which is a manufacturing process used for assembly. Previously, she has worked with bottles and probes, packaging the products based on specific customer requirements.

Her proudest moment at PPS is “getting things done that need to be done”. She feels prideful when a project is completed. She describes PPS as a busy, fun place to work, filled with friendly people.

Amy would love to see PPS continue to grow. The company recently celebrated 80 years of service. As for the next 80 years, Amy wishes to see more people join the PPS family.

In regards to Amy’s personal life, she grew up in Galesburg, Illinois. Amy has two siblings, a younger brother and an older half sister. She is a very proud sister, always sharing about her siblings’ successes.

In her free time, she loves to listen to music, shop, and watch the St. Louis Cardinals. As soon as things open back up, Amy would love to go to a Peoria Chiefs or a Peoria Rivermen’s game.

Peoria Production Shop strives to make a difference in our employees’ lives. As we continue to offer services to our customers, we want to continue to empower our employees. Employee of the Month candidates can be nominated by fellow employees. Visit our website to see how you can apply to join our team.

PPS Goes Solar!

Peoria Production Shop is officially off the electrical grid! We are utilizing our large rooftop to support a 400 kilowatt solar array for the next 25 years. The global solar energy industry is expected to record 14% growth in 2020 compared to the total solar capacity installed in 2019.

PPS has always been concerned with our environmental footprint. We have recycling programs for paper and plastic, while we repurpose and reuse wooden skids where we can. This is just the next big thing we have tackled.

CFO Beth Dailey is One of This Year’s 25 Women in Leadership

Beth Dailey is named one of this year’s 25 Women in Leadership. Beth is an outstanding CFO and has superior knowledge of accounting and financial management. She is a lifelong learner who never misses an opportunity to enhance her skills for the company’s success and the lives of our employees. 

Beth is an inspiration and role model for her four children, the community she serves, and the 175 employees of Peoria Production Shop. She is an inspiration as she juggles a demanding job, family commitments, and community volunteer activities. 

She is truly a servant leader in everything she does. She has embraced our mission of serving individuals with disabilities and is always looking for opportunities to improve their lives. 

For the past several years, Beth has partnered with METEC to provide hundreds of onsite free tax returns for our past and present employees and EPIC employees. She also completed tax returns for immediate and extended family members of EPIC and PPS employees. She has coordinated PPS volunteers, as well as other tax professionals to provide onsite tax returns saving thousands of dollars for our employees and others.

In addition to completing over a hundred tax returns every season, while doing her very demanding job at the same time, she also prepares free tax returns on the weekends at METEC and in her hometown of Canton. 

Beth’s way of serving has rubbed off on her employees. They will keep their ears open for employees who may be struggling and problem-solve to help them along the way.

On any given day, Beth may communicate with the IRS for an employee in trouble and another she will make arrangements for weekly deductions so an employee’s rent will get paid on time. Her staff volunteers to help with employee needs and are always willing to help in other departments as needed, just as she does.

Where there are difficult decisions to be made, her first statement will be, “Is this what is best for our employees?” This has been particularly evident as we have tackled the business issues that have come from dealing with the pandemic we are facing. 

PPS President One Year Anniversary

Dan LaTurno had big shoes to fill as Dick Peplow retired after 46 years as President of Peoria Production Shop. The new president came from a textile and for-profit background, therefore PPS was a fresh start. Not to mention, Dan was also able to bring new ideas to the company from past experience. 

Dan required all of his management team to participate in a Leadership Management Course to ensure all employees are on the same page. The 11-week course touches on time management, delegation, motivation, problem solving, and maximizing people’s potential. 

In his first year as the CEO, LaTurno made sure to create meaningful relationships with his employees. All throughout the week, each day, employees flood his office with important information and to simply ‘catch up’. Also, several of the employees who work in the plant make sure to stop by and say hello. Dan has made an effort to help out the employees outside of the typical work week by helping individuals move into their own apartments.

LaTurno wants to make a difference at PPS. He encourages open discussions and new ideas. Although this first year has been quite difficult regarding a pandemic, Dan is sure to learn from this experience and create more opportunities for the company.

Cheers to more years! PPS wants to thank you for a great first year.

Peoria Production Shop Earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Certification for Superior Energy Efficiency

Energy StarPeoria Production Shop, located at 2029 W. Townline Road in Peoria, IL is proud to announce that the organization has retained the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that the industrial facility performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. Peoria Production Shop has surpassed the mandatory top 25% threshold for certification and ranks in the top 10% for similar facilities, exceeding the requirement by 60%.

“Peoria Production Shop is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Richard Peplow, PPS President and CEO. Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs. We are always seeking ways to lower our operating expenses, and provide better value to our customers through cost containment and continuous improvement.”

Retaining ENERGY STAR certification highlights Peoria Production’s status within the top 10 percent of Distribution Facilities in the nation with regard to energy performance. Peoria Production Shop improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its facility. The north Peoria facility is the only facility in Peoria to attain this designation and receive certification from the EPA.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment, “ said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “ From the plant floor to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

To earn the ENERGY STAR, Peoria Production Shop took the following actions: Installed high efficient lighting throughout the facility, installed motion detectors in all private offices and warehouse racking aisles, updated the HVAC controls to better monitor temperature and occupancy of the facility, installed timers on Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners, and retrofitted exterior lighting to LED technology.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.

Entec Services in Bartonville provided technical and engineering assistance to support Peoria Production Shop’s application as an Energy Star Facility. As part of the energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA standard, personal comfort, air quality, and safety cannot be compromised in order to reduce energy consumption as was monitored and tested by Entec Services to support the application.

Peoria Production Shop is a 75-year-old organization providing employment to individuals with disabilities. The mission of PPS is to be the premiere employer of individuals with disabilities. The mission is accomplished by providing competitive wages and benefits in a safe, encouraging and respectful environment where employees can achieve persona success. The mission is sustained by operating as a self-sufficient, non-profit organization, providing valuable goods an services for customers by utilizing the unique talents of the employees.

For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification for Industrial Facilities visit

Dan LaTurno
Peoria Production Shop
2029 W. Townline Road
Peoria, IL 61615
Phone: (309) 693-2000
Direct: (309) 683-0701

It’s Time to Stretch!

Time to Stretch In WorkshopPeoria Production Shop focuses on quality and employee mental and physical wellbeing. That is the forefront of our corporate culture.

Stretching is a vital part of a healthy fitness regimen. Before beginning a shift, it is important to stretch and warm up to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries by reducing fatigue, improving muscular balance and posture, and improving muscle coordination.

The employees on the floor begin each day with a departmental quality meeting and stretching to help them prepare for the shift.

Musculoskeletal injuries can be costly to a company. These injuries result in medical bills, lost production time, and a ruined safety culture. Instead, PPS takes the proactive approach to prevent these injuries from occurring.

Likewise, to continue to promote a safe environment for our employees. Employees lead stretching immediately after lunch breaks. The company wants to give employees the opportunity to stretch and refresh before the second half of the work day.

The series of stretches increases blood supply, joint mobility, and decreases tightness that might have built up. By participating in stretching our employees improve muscle coordination, which overall correlates with production for the facility.

In addition, the office staff participates in a stretching series as well. Sitting at an office desk, staring at a computer screen all day takes its toll on the body. That is why the office management team decided to join in on the fun. All PPS staff have a stretching book created by a special education teacher who researched the ergonomics of each job position at the facility.

PPS looked into the ergonomics of the facility. In other words, the company wanted to design or modify the work to fit the worker, not the other way around. It is all about creating a safe and healthy working environment.