Creating Education, Training and Employment Opportunities
Eggleston envisions a community which values the abilities of all persons, and endeavors to improve quality of life at work, at home, and at play.
Integrity, Choice, Empowerment & Quality
Excellence in Action
The company that is now Eggleston was first conceived by a group of parents who wanted to find meaningful day time activities for their adult children with disabilities. Most were medically classified as suffering from intellectual disabilities or cerebral palsy. The early meetings took place in people’s homes and by August of 1955, a Board of Directors was chosen and the Center was incorporated as the Tidewater Vocational Center (TVC), a not for profit organization which would provide sub contract work for local industries. Operations began at 621 Botetourt Street, in Norfolk, Virginia with eight employees in attendance.
By 1965, as the center celebrated its 10th anniversary, many changes had taken place. The Center moved to a larger location, a parent’s auxiliary had been formed, and training activities for participants included gardening, printing and a foray into running a laundromat. There were 80 employees in attendance.
Although the Center was initially created to serve only individuals with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy, it was decided in March of 1968 that the Center would begin accepting individuals with physical impairments as well.
During the 1970’s, Tidewater Vocational Center began a food service and service station training program, and training centers were started in Portsmouth and Chesapeake, and the Center celebrated its 20th anniversary.
A local philanthropist, Mrs. Louise W. Eggleston offered the use of a much larger building, with TVC only paying a small stipend for its use until she were to pass away at which time the building would be donated to Eggleston. Six months later, Mrs. Eggleston died and the building became the property of TVC. To memorialize her gift, the board voted to change the name of the organization to the Louise W. Eggleston Center.
By the early eighties, The Eggleston Center offered five program choices: Enclaves, Workshop, Life skills/Work Adjustment Training, Contract Procurement and Job Placement. These five programs combined serviced 156 persons with disabilities and were supported by 29 staff members. Individual Written Rehabilitation Plans (IWRP’s) were developed for all employees.
The 30th anniversary of The Eggleston Center was celebrated by the receipt of two awards; “The Most Valuable Facility to the Association” award and “The Small Vocational Facility of the Year” award both from the Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
During the rest of the 80’s, The Louise W. Eggleston Center continued to expand. The Center was now operating a deli, providing food distribution to the area’s poor, providing custodial services to the Virginia Zoological Park, and packaging services to Wesley International and Procter and Gamble.
In 1990, the Center was awarded two NISH (National Industries for the Severely Handicapped) federal contracts; the first at Langley Air Force Base providing commissary warehousing responsibilities and the second at Portsmouth Naval Hospital providing food service duties for patients and hospital personnel. The procurement of these two contracts was the beginning of a long and beneficial relationship with the Federal Government where persons with disabilities could provide needed services.
In 1992, two additional NISH contracts were awarded to Eggleston, the first at Naval Station Galley providing food service responsibilities for the primary galley at the Naval Station, Norfolk Naval Base and the second, a laundry operation providing laundry service to Portsmouth Naval Hospital.
In August of 1993, the Center was approached by the Army Corps of Engineers to take over mail room operations at its Norfolk location.
The expansion of services offered by The Louise W. Eggleston Center continued through the 1990’s and programs included three specialized services programs, a business services division and a community-based employment division, which sought to place workers into private companies in the region.
In 1997, the company shortened its name to Eggleston Services as a result of continued expansion of all of our services, to both businesses and the rehabilitation community.
In January of 1998, Eggleston purchased and moved into a property on Tidewater Drive which for many years served as a business fulfillment center. The facility offered services such as packaging, mailing bulk assembly and clients included companies such as Cox Communication, Blackhawk publishing and the Norfolk Foundation.
A joint horticultural program with the Virginia Zoological Park was opened in the spring of 1999. Originally known as Tanner’s Creek Garden Center, this operation raised plants in greenhouse and sold them in a retail store.
That same year, Eggleston joined with the Civitan Club of Norfolk to enhance opportunities for citizens with disabilities by offering vacations and other specialty services at Civitan Acres, a 14-acre resort and wellness facility located on Cedar Road in Chesapeake, Virginia.
In September of 2001, Eggleston moved its administrative staff and laundry operations into its new corporate headquarters at 1161 Ingleside Road in Norfolk, Virginia. The addition of several new government contracts enabled Eggleston to double the size of its laundry operation and offer additional employment opportunities to disabled persons in the community.
Eggleston also started a vehicle donation program, and began to make a greater effort to be known in the community through radio and television marketing efforts. The vehicle donation program is unique in that every aspect of the donation process is handled by Eggleston from the phone operators to the vehicle preparation, towing and ultimately auctions which are held twice monthly.
Over the past decade Eggleston has continued to grow, adding programs that “break the mold” of typical sheltered workshop environments. Our expanded role in the community include business-to-business services like our embroidery services, business fulfillment, document destruction, document conversion and a pet care service, Let’s Go! Pet Care.
In 2010 Eggleston purchased and renovated a large facility on Military Highway in Norfolk, and with the assistance of a $150,000 grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, the company has created this new facility which will offer the capacity to accommodate 80-100 employees, in a facility especially designed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
In the fall of 2012, Eggleston moved its vehicle auction program to this facility as well, and the newer style “drive through” auctions are a success.
Today, Eggleston is a multi-faceted organization serving the needs of persons with disabilities. Eggleston has added residential services, day-support programs, seniors programs and extensive supported employment programs. In all, 33 programs in 22 locations dedicated to the empowerment of persons with disabilities.
Eggleston is successful only because of the support we receive from our community which has allowed us to grow and expand services. There are many ways to help Eggleston continue to empower people and change lives. Visit this page to find out more.
We thank you for your support.