PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A local nonprofit is on a time crunch and asking for the community’s help in gaining support for federal funding.
EP!C is an organization in Peoria that provides education and employment opportunities to adults with disabilities. For years, the nonprofit has been underfunded, staff said, and now they’re looking for new funding to help keep up.
The state’s human services committee is meeting tomorrow morning to discuss a bill increasing their reimbursement rates, which help pay their staff a professional wage.
Staff are now pleading for all Illinoisans to fill out an online witness slip in favor of the bill.
“Filling out a witness slip is your way of helping give EP!C and people with disabilities a voice to our local legislator,” Ashley Schreck, Director of Marketing said. “With the minimum wage increases coming, we’re really going to need that extra support to stay competitive and to keep good people here.”
- Click on the link above
- Fill out the identification section with our personal information
- Representation type EPIC (no special characters)
- Under position click proponent (in favor of)
- Under testimony click record of appearance only
- Check the terms and conditions box
- Click the create box to submit
Schreck said about 60% of their workforce, the Direct Support Professional (DSP) staff, make about $14 an hour, and the nonprofit needs the extra funding to help keep up with the state’s minimum wage increase.
“For us, we’ve had a crisis even before the pandemic hit. So, we really need these rate increases to convince people that this is a career that they really want to work in and that they’re going to get paid at a professional level,” Schreck said. “It’s not going to be a minimum wage job. You’re going to get your foot in the door and this is a career-this is not a job.”