On November 12, 1970, Ines Caneda, Luis Matos, Carlos Leon, Philip Garcia, and Jose Rodriguez signed the incorporation papers for the Puerto Rican Organization for Community Education and Economic Development—better known now as PROCEED, Inc. It was originally staffed by fewer than five people working in three rented offices on Broad Street in
Elizabeth, New Jersey. A small nonprofit corporation, PROCEED had modest goals: to establish an orientation center, carry out educational activities, and promote the general welfare of Puerto Ricans in the Elizabeth area.
Over the past 40 years, the City of Elizabeth has continued to evolve, and PROCEED has grown alongside it. PROCEED has established itself as a comprehensive, premier service institution in the Union County Area, and now serves all that seek and qualify for services, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.
While there have been physical and programmatic changes for the organization, what has not changed in the past 40 years is PROCEED’s unfaltering commitment to helping those who need it most and to doing so with integrity, passion, and optimism. We care deeply about personal relationships, community building, and empowering people to become leaders and self-starters. The consumer, whether an individual, a family, or another organization is always the main priority. To this end, PROCEED works to help the individual as a whole rather than simply fix his or her isolated problems, and it does so by continuing its tradition of empathetic care and individualized attention.
Since it's inception, PROCEED has welcomed tens of thousands of individuals to its many homes and offered each of them access to extensive, personalized services and to a reliable network of community partners. PROCEED’s consistent and effective presence in the community has allowed it to endure, not only as an active and progressive non-profit organization, but also as a neighborhood landmark and as a witness to the change, development, and tradition of the greater Elizabeth and Union County area.