Strengthening the Workforce


Businesses looking for reliable, committed and hardworking employees in McHenry County have turned to Pioneer Center for years. First hand, these businesses have experienced the positive benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities that studies have shown. An important partnership between Pioneer and area businesses has resulted in numerous successful hires and a stronger community.

In McHenry County, Pioneer Center for Human Services offers a Community Employment Services (CES) program, which prepares individuals with unique challenges for a wide variety of jobs and matches them with local companies that have open positions to fill.

“We’ve built relationships with businesses in our community over many years,” said Sara Maxwell, Vocational Manager for Pioneer Center.  “We have many success stories regarding individuals that may need extra preparation and training but can certainly perform well in a variety of job positions that local businesses need to fill.  We work with the prospective employee at no-cost to the business.”

Maxwell is proud of how receptive area businesses have been regarding Pioneer Center’s CES program.  “We coach and prepare the individual to enter the workforce,” she explained.  “Our placement specialist can accompany the individual to his or her job orientation, assist with training modules, and even help with on-the-job training if the company allows.  We follow them through every on-boarding procedure the company requires for the entire 90-day probationary work period.”

Pioneer Center’s placement specialist helps the individual develop relationships with other employees, so that after the individual is working more autonomously, they know who they can reach out to if they need additional support.

“Another consideration area businesses may not be aware of is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program,” added Maxwell.  “Many businesses who hire employees through our program qualify for this tax credit, which benefits their bottom line.  I encourage all companies in McHenry County to reach out to me and my team to learn more about how they can fill open staff positions, help area individuals seeking employment, and potentially earn a tax credit at the same time.”  For more information, please contact:


Sara Maxwell, Vocational Manager