Volume 05| May 2021
Becoming BN is a program of the McLean County Community COMPACT, a subsidiary of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. This program is designed to introduce new residents to the wonderful attributes of the Bloomington Normal community, with specific focus on early career, summer interns, and grad students. 

Becoming BN will be back in-person in 2021 with a new look. In 2021, the Becoming BN Program will consist of four events happening quarterly throughout the year. 

The program will highlight community attractions, groups, businesses, and provide opportunities to engage and network. Each event will focus on a particular sector of BN; such as Arts & Entertainment, Community Engagement, Health & Wellness, and Food & Drink. 
Our first event is tentatively set to take place towards the end of June/early July and will focus on Art and Entertainment.

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), joined by Heartland Community College and Rivian, announced an investment to build two advanced manufacturing training academies to expand training for high-demand manufacturing jobs of the future. The new training facilities will be established at Heartland Community College. 

To celebrate Earth Day, our AmeriCorps VISTA members volunteered with the Parklands Foundation at the Merwin Preserve as part of their Earth Day Volunteer Challenge.

To see our VISTAs in action, click here.
  • Attracting Talent Post-Pandemic: As the potential for remote work has opened up, many workers have migrated to less expensive regions. Recent research from CityLab explores relocation trends and examines incentive programs that have enticed a migrating workforce.

  • Crafting an Equitable Recovery: EdNote kicked off a four-part blog series on state policies for an equitable economic recovery. The series focuses on how local leaders can mitigate some of the workforce and education impacts of the pandemic and highlights several state case studies.

  • The state board of education plans to set aside money for assessments, intensive tutoring and “bridge programs,” which would help the youngest students adjust to school and assist the oldest students to graduate and explore their post-secondary options. Read More.

  • Almost all of Illinois’ roughly 850 school districts, or 96%, report having students back in the classroom at least part time, while 46% of districts have resumed in-person learning full time. Just 4% of school systems are still offering only remote instruction, according to newly posted data on the Illinois State Board of Education website. Read More.

  • The Illinois Retired Teachers Foundation is making $36,500 in grant money available statewide in Illinois. This special grant money will provide additional funds to public school educators (Pre-K through 12) so that their students will have the means to participate in special projects. All proposals must be submitted by June 1, 2021Read More.
  • An NSF Award of $296,356.00 will be applied toward Heartland's Flexible Learning for Industrial Technology Education (FLITE) project. The FLITE project is part of an overall Work Ready strategy at Heartland to provide students the opportunity to quickly advance into the workplace, but also use "stackable" credits to pursue the next level of their career goals. Read More.
  • Check out local job opportunities with the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Community Job Board.
  • Check out the Chamber's event calendar to learn about opportunities to get involved with the Chamber!
For information about COMPACT or information in this newsletter
contact Jancy LaFollette, Workforce Development/COMPACT Manager.