Rae Waters, CEO started her career with Career Development Center in 1992. Rae has a bachelors degree in Special Education from Eastern Illinois University. Rae has vast experience with all positions at CDC from working as a DSP to a member of Management and for the last 24 years, CEO.
Rae leads a team of 5 managers that implement and manage the ground level Mission and Vision.
"My Passion for individuals with special needs is something that has always been within me. I have an older sister that was born with special needs and she has shaped and influenced my life. There is nothing I enjoy more than working with, leading, and advocating for individuals rights, dignity, choice and respect. They are able to teach us so much more than we could ever teach them." Rae Waters, CEO
A Bit About Us
Working for a Better Tomorrow
Here at Career Development Center, we’re committed to investing our expertise and resources in order to further achieve our cause. Since 1965, we’ve been supporting our Individuals with developmental disabilities in a variety of ways and measuring our success not by monetary size, but by more qualitative measurements such as the scale and effectiveness of our efforts. Just imagine what we can achieve together!
Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, our skilled team of professionals is the backbone of Career Development Center. Their ideas help shape the direction and mission of our organization as it continues to develop.
Shelly Goodman, Operations Manager began employment with Career Development Center in 1994. Shelly has established an accomplishments- driven career which has led to progressive responsibilities and achievements. Shelly started her employment as a DSP where she enjoyed several years working directly with the individuals we serve. In 1997 Shelly accepted the position of Payroll Clerk and in 2009 she advanced to Director of Manufacturing and became a member of the management team. As Director of Manufacturing Shelly secured job contracts, Managed Wayne County Recycling, Production, and the Pallet Shop. In 2016 Shelly was promoted to Operations Manager and works with the team to oversee the daily operations of the agency with he direction of the CEO.
“Every single day that I work with individuals with special needs, I am in awe of their strengths, abilities, and continued smiles. I am amazed at how they see the world. My brother with special needs and my job at CDC have truly made me a better person personally and professionally. "
KaRissa Miller, QIDP/ Quality Services Director began working at Career Development Center in 2001. KaRissa has an Associates degree in Arts from Rend Lake College and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University. KaRissa started in 2001 as a QSP and worked her way to a management position in 2003. In 2017 KaRissa was promoted into an administration oversight role by becoming the Quality Services Director.
Because of her work at CDC, she was awarded "2003 Outstanding Staff of the year". She also became a certified Crisis Prevention institute instructor in 2003 and has move to the Master level Instructor, in 2012. She is also certified in the Applied Physical Training and Autism Spectrum Disorder training's with NVCPI. KaRissa has a caseload of 19 consumers. She currently supervises 11 staff in the Developmental Training Building, as well as assisting one day a week at our Mt. Vernon location.
“After obtaining my degree, I worked in another area of social services and found that I did not enjoy the negative aspects of every day. My first impression with CDC was that everyone is working toward the positive. This was so uplifting. The staff and the consumers are working to improve and find the good in every situation. I was so excited to join the team and assist people in growing their skills. From that day, I knew I hadfound the cause I wanted to work towards to feel good about each day. Knowing that I am assisting someone with even the smallest of tasks, in which they can learn something new, makes it special to come to work every day.”
Amber Schierbaum, QIDP/ Director of Mt. Vernon Programs began working at Career Development Center in 2015. Amber attended Murray State University and then graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2009 with her bachelor’s degree in communications. Amber has worked as a QIDP since she graduated college in 2009. Before then she worked at a DSP while home on Summer and Winter breaks from College in a workshop setting. Amber carries a caseload of 22 consumers while overseeing the staff and daily operations of our Mt. Vernon location.
“Working in this field is all I have ever known.” “I have learned so much in the past 9 years and love working alongside our consumers every day.”
Erica Penrod, QIDP/Director of Employment began
working at Career Development Center in 2002.
Erica has an Associate in Science degree from Frontier
Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in
Elementary Education from Eastern Illinois University.
Erica started as a member of the management team as the Internal Program Director. In 2017, Erica was promoted into an administration oversight role by becoming the Director of Employment. Erica has a caseload of 19 Consumers and supervises 4 staff. Erica coordinates all of the transportation services as well as completes all of the intake paperwork for all new individuals.
"After obtaining my degree, I worked in the local school systems for a few years before deciding I wanted to try a new path. I found Career Development Center to be an extremely rewarding career. It was refreshing to meet people who wanted to work, learn and grow. I have learned so much from the individuals we serve and am thankful for the opportunity to be able to work with them."