Lincoln Training Center’s 45th Anniversary 1964 – 2009

As we celebrate our 45th Anniversary, we reflect back on Lincoln Training Center’s humble beginnings. Lincoln was founded in 1964 by eight mothers who were seeking employment opportunities for their sons and daughters after they had completed their education at Lincoln School in San Gabriel. The founding eight were: Alberdeen Meiste, Mable Frese, Angela Reyna, Marjorie Rodriguez, Pauline Shouse, Nora Smith, Arlene Vanderpool, and Barbara Wells.

After finding that many local companies were unwilling to take a chance on hiring people with disabilities, the mothers convinced the Becker Company in El Monte that their sons and daughters could meet the company’s needs of rolling the newspapers that they used for packing material. The parents then raised $300 from bake sales and garage sales, and Mr. James Hurst, principal of Lincoln School, provided the use of a small building on school property. The first 10 trainees enrolled in 1963 and the mothers and other volunteers provided the training. Thus was born the Lincoln Training Center Rehabilitation Workshop.

Found LTC Mothers breaking ground for the new location in South El Monte.

1982 groundbreaking ceremony at future site of Lincoln Training Center’s new facility on Loma Avenue in South El Monte.

From this modest beginning, LTC has grown to become an accredited, not-for-profit organization that serves approximately 500 clients annually. In addition to its headquarters in South El Monte, Lincoln has regional offices in Roseville and Fresno. The Center is a place where people can learn new skills and gain independence. Each individual is matched with a job and earns a paycheck, vacation pay, bonuses, and workers compensation benefits.

There are countless success stories at Lincoln, such as Elaine, who went through weeks of intensive and specialized training and now has a very responsible job in the mailroom at the Internal Revenue Service office in El Monte. She is a dedicated and conscientious employee with an outstanding attendance record. And there is Michael, who was diagnosed with a developmental disability. He came to Lincoln Training Center and found a place where he could succeed. Michael mastered the use of a variety of janitorial and landscaping equipment and is now on one of Lincoln’s mobile work crews.

Lincoln’s Production Department hard at work.

Clients work hard to provide excellent service to Lincoln’s Production customers.

Lincoln’s Production Services Department provides paid training and employment opportunities for people with developmental and physical disabilities while providing subcontract work for more than 150 national and international customers, including Regent Sports Corporation, Metropolitan Water District, Southern California Gas Company, and Mission Packaging. A combination of quality service, competitive prices, and a commitment to excellence recently helped Lincoln’s Production Services Department achieve its highest monthly revenue ever.

Through its Supported Employment Program, Lincoln contracts with businesses to employ either individuals or groups of workers in community job settings. Since its inception in 1992, with one company employing five clients, the program has grown to encompass approximately 200 clients working at over 50 job sites throughout the state.

Cleaning a Southern California Carmax showroom.

Lincoln clients provide janitorial services at all the CarMax locations in California.

Lincoln was previously selected by the California Department of Rehabilitation as Supported Employment Program of the Year, and thanks to its excellent reputation throughout the state, the program continues to expand. For example, LTC has the distinction of providing custodial services at all CarMax locations in California. Enclos Corporation is one of the largest specialty contractors in the United States. At the company’s Pomona location, Lincoln crews have the important responsibility of assembling exterior glass panels for prominent high-rise buildings, including a current project, “The Hotel & Residence @ LA Live&rcdquo; in downtown Los Angeles.

Thanks to the support of our community partners, over the past 45 years Lincoln Training Center has helped thousands of people with disabilities find meaningful employment and gain independence. We look forward to continuing our mission of creating successful employment partnerships between the business community and adults with disabilities for many more years to come.