1314 West Walnut,

Jacksonville, Illinois 62650

Off: 217-245-9504

Fax: 217-245-2350  

Email: ecc@elmcity.org

Web page: www.elmcity.org

Work and Independence for people with disabilities.






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Welcome to Elm City Center!

Providing services to people with disabilities since 1959

A Community Based Agency Providing Work, Vocational, Residential and Social Services

  • We help people with disabilities be independent and live in the community.
  • We serve over 200 people a day.
  • We have over 100,000 square feet of production space with 9 docks and over $500,000 of shrink-wrap packaging equipment. Our customers are in retail stores through out North America. We can provide specialized packaging in almost any volume.
  • We have offer certified confidential shredding for documents.
  • We have residential programs throughout Jacksonville.
  • We have been nationally accredited by  CARF since 1972.



On January 11, 2016 we took part in a news conference at the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living to discuss the impact of the the lack of a state budget. The event was attended by Senator Sam McCann and Rep CD Davidsmeyer. JACIL, Prairie Council On Aging, West Central Mass Transit, and Elm City Center there. There were about 25 other people representing a wide range of people affected by the uncertainty of the budget situation. Several groups have not been paid for months. JACIL explained how their Federal dollars are being held up because the state has not supplied it's portion of matching state dollars. funding cuts. JACIL, Prairie Council and Mass Trans talked how they have cut hours, staff, and services. Elm City talked about how low pay and a lack of rate increases have made it hard to find good staff. Elm City has gone through over 500 applications to find 20 good employees who meet the requirement of the jobs. Stories on the event can be viewed at the Springfield State Journal Register, WLDS, and Jacksonville Journal Courier


As we head into winter, it is time to remind everyone how we handle potential closures due to weather conditions. Normally, if Jacksonville School district 117 closes due to weather (severe cold, heavy snow, bad storms) Elm City will also close our Walnut campus. This year, 117 may use a delayed start of 1-2 hours. We may do the same. There is no way to perfectly predict what the weather will be this season. In any case listen to local radio for the latest news: WLDS 1180 am/WEAI 107.1 fm  and WJVO 105.0 fm/WJIL 1550 am


One of the non-budgetary items we need to focus on is long-term planning. Long-term being 2-3 years at best. There are many recent articles debating the actual worth of strategic planning. The previous ideas were have long term plans of 5-10 years and short term versions of under 5 years. Consensus seems to come back to broad overarching 5 year plan with some detailed short term concepts that that remain very flexible on an annual basis. Major 5 years may be ok in a stable financial environment, but we are not there. Illinois’ finances are not going to stabilize for quite some time. We still need to decide how we will prepare our business just as any other company does.


In any case we need to step into this direction. The first step we are taking is the traditional SWOT analysis which looks at Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. No matter how we do this CARF and state regs all expect some type of planning process. Simply responding to whatever comes our way is not a good option. We really need to spend some serious time looking at options and picking what works.  

Click here to go to Survey Monkey SWOT form -->

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-PEoOOUcdKFo/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/3rn8CE2mm8I/s0-c-k-no-ns/photo.jpg Click here to go to the ECC website SWOT form -->


As of December 1, 2015, Illinois still does not have a finalized state budget. Governor Rauner and the Legislative leaders are supposed to meet over the next days. Right now it does not look like there will be much real action until sometime in January 2016. Both the House and the Senate have very few days scheduled in December. A new statewide United Way study showed a greatly increased number of organizations are exceeding their financial capacity. Many groups have closed programs and laid off staff. The State's bond ratings were recently downgraded by Moody's and other firms.

IARF Press Release and Information Materials

1.    IARF FY16 Budget Impasse Impact Statements - details the number of consumers and staff in community-based agencies who will be impacted by a budget impasse. Furthermore, it provides a timeline for the dismantling of community-based ID/DD and mental health services and supports – layoffs, closure notifications, termination of services, etc. IARF staff have shared this information with key legislators and staff, administration officials, and various other stakeholder groups.

2.    IARF Press Release – FY16 Budget Impasse – similar to the impact statement document above, this press release highlights the consequences of entering FY16 without a budget deal in place. At least 25,000 developmentally disabled and mentally ill children and adults stand to lose services, while nearly 5,000 of their support staff in community-based agencies will lose their jobs. Both of these figures are based on IARF responses only and are an understatement compared to the system as a whole.

3.    IARF Budget Impasse Survey Q&A – during a survey follow-up call several questions were asked by IARF member agencies. Attached are those questions with answers from staff. These are for your reference.


The remodeling of our two most recent homes is done.  One HOME IS100% accessible by people in wheel chairs. The other will simply be a regular home. Both homes:

  • Are large, converted duplexes with four bedrooms. 

  • Have laundry facilities with washer and dryer

  • Each home will have 24 hour staff to assist with whatever needs to be done.

  • Are in nice, well maintained residential neighborhoods.

We are on the market for two more homes that meet the CILA requirements. By the time this is all done we will have 6 group homes and over 20 apartments throughout Jacksonville. We have been talking with DDD Transitions about people we know who moved from JDC and want to return to Jacksonville. We are also open to people on Puns, part of Ligas. or simply looking to transition from home to independence.


This home is 100% wheelchair accessible with very large bathroom, roll in showers, an extra large kitchen, a covered outdoor deck, and large living areas. SEE SHILOH DETAILS


This home has an extra large kitchen, enclosed breezeway, two living rooms, a three car garage, and many closets. SEE WESTFAIR DETAILS

If you know someone with a disability who is looking for a residential setting or you simply want more information contact Julie Pikert or Cyndy Claussen at 217-245-9504.


Buildings often have a past that is very different from current operations. Believe it or not, our Admin building used to be the home for WJJY-TV in 1969-1971 which served Jacksonville, Springfield, and Quincy. WJJY-TV was the most powerful TV station in the nation and one of the tallest structures in the hemisphere.  On Columbus Day, 2014 we were visited by J. Mitch Hopper who was one of the first employees and worked with Chief Engineer, Harold Eskew in mounting equipment, running wires under the control room floor, installing many of the thousands of connectors. He also installed the basic telephone system we still use today. He stayed with the station as a staff engineer/technician and ran many of the on-air shifts as well as being the primary film editor. He has a website: http://www.brainmist.com/wjjy_tv/wjjy_tv.htm that talks about the station’s history and how they went out of business. Their studio was located where our lunch room currently exists.  The real floor is 3 feet below the current floor which we raised when we built the lunch room several years ago. The engineering room is now a large meeting room. The base of the relay tower that sent the pictures to the transmittal tower in Bluffs still exists on our property. Years later, the Bluffs transmission tower crashed down during an extremely heavy ice storm. Elm City bought the TV property and moved in after it had been empty for several years. Will Elm City still be here 45 years from now? What do you think people will say about us then?

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Elm City Center

An equal opportunity employer.

Revised - 2/8/2016