Here at WCDC we work with the best people around, here is a little bit of information on our staff and history of WCDC Inc.
The year was 1971 when Rolling Meadows was established by a group of concerned parents and individuals for the care and services of the Mentally Retarded. The local Association for Retarded Citizens was instrumental in our organizations’ development.
This group researched other services throughout the State of Iowa that could provide training and work opportunities to their children. Their children were entering the age of adulthood and being faced with little or no activity upon graduation from the special education class in the local school district. A work activity center (Rolling Meadows) was established in the basement of the First Christian Church in Washington.
After one year Rolling Meadows moved to a schoolhouse located on the Washington County Fairgrounds. Limited space hampered work opportunities that were similar to those found within the Washington Community.
Therefore another search began for adequate facilities to achieve age appropriate work and social opportunities. Remembering that Rolling Meadows started with volunteerism, causing the lack of funding which hampered its every move. It soon became apparent that the services provided to the mentally handicapped and disabled were beneficial and people became interested in the organization. People provided personal support of expertise, money and leadership. The Work Activity Center was now administered by the Grant Wood Area Education District.
Soon after this development another site became available commonly known in Washington as the “Old Pepsi Plant”. Our name changed as well to Washington County Developmental Center, Inc.
For a number of years the services provided were adult basic education, social skills, recreation and work skills. These services were paid for by the County but a small amount of revenue was realized through the sale of the products the clients produced. The potential and capabilities of clients with disabilities far outreached what the founding fathers had dreamed and clients were performing jobs within the community. Over the course of seven years the company outgrew this facility and the number of clients grew to twenty-seven. A larger facility was needed.
In 1979 the Washington County Developmental Center, Inc. moved to its present location. The building was much larger than it's needs at the time. Many thought the Center had mistakenly purchased too large of a building. The southern half of the building was used as a work activity center and the northern half was rented out to secure extra income.
The debt on the present building was paid entirely through donations by the people of Washington County. A tribute to the enthusiasm and support our mission held. Over the next ten years this building was expanded in many phases. The first being the northern sections which turned into space that would allow training opportunities for our clients. Then expanded office space for increase demand on administration. A woodworking area and shipping area were created next along with classrooms.
In 1980 We were staffed with 5 supervisors and 2 administrative staff. Today we have almost 50 staff in a number of capacities. Twenty-seven clients were working then and over 160 today are served on a daily basis. Our budget in 1980 was $ 80,000 and now we operate closely to $1.5 Million. The organization is licensed or accredited by the Dept. of Labor, The Dept. of Human Services, and CARF a national accreditation organization.
In 1992 our name changed to WCDC and in 1996 we leased a building on the Washington Square and called this operation Advance Employment Service. The population served by WCDC was changing and many clients with disabilities were relating to the community for job opportunities. A grant was secured for operating the Community Employment services from this location. A few years later community living services were initiated to support clients within their homes and the community. Just recently services began to support families and at risk children.
WCDC services continue to expand the opportunities for clients with disabilities to live in the community and be productive members of Washington and its surrounding areas.
History of WCDC
To Promote and Support individual Independence in Life Choices