Volume 02 | February 2019
Workforce in the News
Workforce development stories from McLean County.
Pritzker Signs $15 Minimum Wage Into Law
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a measure gradually hiking the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, the highest in the Midwest.
Economics Expert: $15 Wage Will Benefit Poor, May Decrease Employment
Illin ois could soon be the fifth state on the path to a $15 minimum wage.
Project Oz Program Helps Youths Find A Job—And A Second Chance   
Young adulthood is often carved up into milestones—your first job, car, house, or child. For Tre Whitelow of Bloomington, it was a much smaller achievement that became a turning point of sorts. He recently got his first wallet, at age 21.
Rivian: Amazon Leads $700M Investment
Rivian has announced online shopping giant Amazon is leading a $700 million equity investment in the electric vehicle startup in Normal.
Upcoming Events
Education to Employer Summit

April 18th, 2019 from 3:00 - 6:00 PM
At Heartland Community College, Astroth Community Education Center
Registration is FREE!

Join COMPACT and leaders from the McLean County school districts for an afternoon to discuss how to strengthen the bond between public education and employers. Leaders and teachers from across McLean County will come together to show you the successes they have had in preparing students for a future in work, the challenges still faced in building programs and curriculum to meet business need, and ways to strengthen the connections to provide meaningful career exploration opportunities for our youth.
The McLean County STEM Gala will take place on Thursday, April 4, 2019, in the Brown Ballroom inside Illinois State University's Bone Student Center. Join us as we honor students, educators, and STEM Professionals in McLean County making extraordinary contributions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Tickets are $49 each 
Tables of 10 are available for $500
Scholarship opportunities for students, educators, and STEM professionals. More information on how to apply to participate in a project showcase, internship opportunities, scholarships, and grants can be found at McLean County STEM Gala .  
The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiative helps McLean County grow, attract, and retain talent to our community. This event is produced by the following Community Partners: The McLean County Chamber of Commerce, SMARTPath Education Services, McLean County Unit School District No. 5, Bloomington Public School District 87, Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University.
Sponsorship Opportunities are available. Please contact Traci Andracke  at 309-829-1183 with inquiries.  

COMPACT Selects Four New Board Members

COMPACT is pleased to announce the selection of four new permanent Board members.

  • David Taylor, President and CEO of United Way McLean County, has been a long time participant of COMPACT and currently sits as the Chair for the Community Committee.

  • Kacy Wickenhauser joins COMPACT from Corn Belt Energy. She is a long time participant in the BN Advantage Workforce Development Task Force and COMPACT.

  • Mark Fetzer, President of CORE 3, is an active member of the Employer Engagement Committee and actively represents small businesses for COMPACT.

  • Laine Sylvester, comes to COMPACT from COUNTRY Financial. She brings a breadth of experience in workforce issues across a wide spectrum of job sectors.

Congratulations to the new Board members. We look forward to your leadership and insight as COMPACT continues to pursue solutions for our community workforce needs.
Employer Engagement Committee
Essential Workplace Skills Program
Has Successful Launch 

The launch of the Essential Workplace Skills program, at HCC has been even more successful than anticipated. Developed to meet the skills demand of local employers, the EWS program provides employers a solution to their needs through a dynamic interactive program that trains employees in the essential soft skills required for success in the workplace. To date, HCC has complete two of the five modules and the demand for the training program has enabled them to open multiple sessions. Local employers enrolling in the program include Afni, Marcfirst, Westminster Village, Beer Nuts, Nussbaum Transportation, Young American Reality, HCC, City of Bloomington, and Home Sweet Home Ministries.

The success of the program is reinforced by the testimonials from participants:

"I learned a lot about my style of supervising but also learned there are things I could work on to better myself."

"I really liked how engaging it was, related to our personal life and work place profession."

"Personal goal settings were very relatable to anyone in any step on life, every job setting."

Learn more about this flexible, affordable retention solution at www.heartland.edu/EES .
Student Retention Task Force Presents:
Becoming BN 
Members of the COMPACT Student Retention Committee will be at the Heartland Community College Internship Fair to share information about Becoming BN, a program for adults 18-25 years of age, whether interns or entering the BN workforce, to learn about our community and connect with their peers. The 10 weeks summer program, beginning in June 2019, will engage participants through a variety of social, professional development and service opportunities to help them get to know their community.

If you are interested in participating as a sponsor, an event host, or mentor, contact COMPACT for more information.

Program Development & Alignment
Illinois 60x25 Network Annual Conference

Lynne Haeffele and Mark Jontry, members of the COMPACT Board, attended the Illinois 60x25 Network Annual Conference in Collinsville, IL. This year's conference focused on how to leverage data to make decisions and track progress while developing strong career development programs within the community. Lynne also facilitated a strategic planning workgroup where she presented COMPACT logic models as an effective way to align and synchronize programs and organizations within COMPACT.

Women and Drones
Women and drones will present a STEM program at Thomas Metcalf School in Normal on April 5. The program is designed to introduce students to the world of drones and show how they are changing the landscape of important industries, such as agriculture.

Why drone education?
  • Drones are changing the world for the better, from making agriculture more efficient, aiding search-and-rescue operations, delivering medicine to remote locations to inspecting critical infrastructure after a disaster.
  • The numerous benefits of drones carry over into cognitive development. Drones are an ideal tool for introducing kids to the fundamentals of STEM/STEAM.
  • Maneuvering an unmanned aerial vehicle is a fun way to help kids develop both problem solving and critical thinking skills.

To learn more and to register, contact BNSTEM.org .
Cyber Competition
On April 5th, participants of the newly formed Cyber Academy will participate in the Central Illinois High School Cyber Defense Competition sponsored by Illinois State University. The cyber defense competition puts your school's team up against IT professionals who are trying to attack your computers and networks. You and your team work together to keep critical programs and services running while dealing with attacks from the pros.
Community STEM Providers Meet to Learn About ACT Now
McLean County afterschool STEM providers met at the McLean County Chamber of Commerce to learn about ACT Now and the many resources they have to offer in supporting meaningful STEM opportunities. The ACT Now Coalition works towards ensuring that young people in Illinois have access to quality, affordable afterschool and youth development programs. ACT Now is a diverse statewide coalition supported by Illinois families, educators, business leaders, afterschool providers, community advocates, youth organizations, and policymakers from across the state. Participants in the meeting included BNSTEM , CeMAST from ISU, The Boys and Girls Club , the Normal Public Library , the YMCA , the Challenger Learning Center , the Children's Discovery Museum , and others. They all shared information about their programs and how to overcome the challenges they face in engagement and resources. Click here for STEM opportunities in McLean County.
Want to Learn More About COMPACT &
Workforce Development in McLean County?
If you are looking to learn more about COMPACT and how you can help drive workforce development solutions, contact COMPACT to come to your organization and present on the wide variety of projects being worked on. We are available to both social and civic groups, as well as independent business looking to become more deeply engaged in these efforts. Contact us to schedule a date.
For information about COMPACT or information in this newsletter
contact Andy Bender, Manger for Workforce Development.
Is there someone in your network that might be interested in   COMPACT or workforce development?
Please forward & share!
Andy Bender | McLean County Chamber of Commerce | (309) 829-1185