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.