Volume 01 | May 2018
COMPACT champions the region's educational and training institutions, resources, and programs that enables Bloomington-Normal's existing and future employers to cultivate, retain, and attract the talent that they need.
McLean County Community Compact Merges with
McLean County Chamber of Commerce
The McLean County Community Compact was initially formed under the University of Illinois Extension program before moving to Heartland Community College for administrative support. In March of this year the McLean County Community Compact Board of Directors voted to merge with the McLean County Chamber of Commerce as a subsidiary responsible for leading efforts in workforce development to meet the goals outlined in BNAdvantage , the community's strategic plan to ensure economic diversity and success. This marks a significant shift in focus on meeting the workforce development needs for McLean County and answering local employer concerns for future talent pipelines.

COMPACT is organized with a Board responsible for the strategic initiatives and administration of the organization, with the COMPACT Council providing advisory capacity to help committees achieve their goals. The five committees currently organized under COMPACT are:

EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT - Seeking cooperation and partnership with representatives from business and industry as well as public workforce agencies to ensure that supporting experience, curricula and instruction are closely aligned with the labor market needs resulting in job placement and career success for students and employers in McLean County.

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT & ALIGNMENT - Identifying the means and materials with which students will interact for the purpose of achieving identified educational outcomes. For the BN Advantage, it’s inclusive of the lessons and academic content relating to the needs identified and outlined by McLean County employers. 

PROGRAM EVALUATION & PROCESS IMPROVEMENT Assessing evidence of workforce development success based on project goals, products and outcomes; analyzing metrics to continuously improve the effectiveness of project activities.

COMMUNITY Uniting public, non-profit, private, and philanthropic sector leaders to implement county-wide solutions that will move the needle on outcomes related to milestones along the cradle-to-career continuum for children in McLean County.

STEM – Key stakeholders are engaging with a defined portfolio of STEM initiatives that establish the county as a premier location for education and experiences in STEM, while creating a talent pipeline for new and existing local businesses. 

For more information visit the COMPACT or BNAdvantage websites.
COMPACT Meeting Recap
On April 17th, COMPACT hosted its first community meeting, "Working for Workforce", at the Astroth Community Education Center at Heartland Community College. The meeting was attended by over 100 community leaders and employers in six critical industries, as well as our elected leadership. The meeting showcased the efforts of COMPACT to meet goals of the strategic plan under BNAdvantage and culminated with three breakout sessions to collaborate on pressing needs identified in a recent workforce survey. The areas for discussion were: post-secondary student retention, 7-12 grade career preparation and mentoring, and employability skills.

For more information watch the video below or click: Working for Workforce
COMPACT Stories:
An Impact on the Community
BACC Uses Technology to Work With Student
Alexis (Lexi) Peterson, Senior at Blue Ridge High School, was recently diagnosed with cancer, for the second time. She immediately was sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, for treatment. Part of Lexi’s goal has been to be a nurse. She took her first steps towards this goal this fall when enrolling and attending the Bloomington Area Career Center Nurse Assisting program. Before leaving for Memphis, she was able to complete all clinical and theory requirements of the program. 
Since that time, she has also been able to review and communicate with her classmates and instructor, Mrs. Christi Wingate. They have been using a Cisco Spark Board donated by Cisco, RoomReady, and State Farm to BACC earlier this year. This technology is assisting Lexi in continuing her goals and dreams of becoming a nurse. She plans to take the CNA exam within the next couple of months. Plans are to continue to use the Spark Board with Lexi, as needed, and when she is available throughout her treatment. 
In addition, students from both Nurse Assisting classes donated items for a care package. Since Lexi loves elephants, she received a large stuffed elephant and elephant necklace. Some of her other favorites included in the care package were sour candies and spicy chips; purple nail polishes, water bottles, and bath soaps. We were able to collect approximately $120 in gift cards, too. But, one of her favorite gifts was the “Tree of Hope”. Students hung encouraging handwritten notes that were then hung on a small decorative tree. She said that this made her cry happy tears. The BACC is thankful to have this technology and caring students to support Lexi through her journey.
BNSTEM.org, under the leadership of Rebecca Henderson, has established the Content Provider Directory to provide STEM opportunity and support our teachers with STEM programming. The Content Provider Directory connects community experts with a passion for STEM and a passion to teach directly to teachers. Through this program, COMPACT is taking a community approach to developing interest and sustaining the desire to explore STEM careers. For more information about how you can support STEM in our community, visit BNSTEM.org.
Employer Engagement
The COMPACT Employer Engagement Committee continues to progress in its work to further employer needs by addressing critical issues identified in the 2015 Employer Survey. local employers responded to the survey. The results indicated that important issues are retaining top talent in Bloomington-Normal, establishing an engagement strategy for employers to reach youth starting in highschool, and improving employability skills. Based on these results, the committee is working on creating a multi-pronged approach to student retention, selecting and integrating a mentoring tool for local schools, and developing an employability skills training program to fulfill employer demands.

To learn more: Survey Results
Program Development & Alignment
COMPACT is happy to announce that the Program Alignment and Development Committee, led by Kathy Nicholson-Tosh, secured a $14,000 grant to develop career pathways for McLean County high school students. The grant, provided by the Illinois 60 x 25 Network, will provide support to developing pathways curriculum for six key area: Advanced business services, agriculture, information and communication technologies, transportation and logistics, health services, and entrepreneurship.
Program Evaluation & Process Improvement
COMPACT recognizes that success in workforce development is going to take a team approach with strategic partners between the public and private sectors, education, and higher education. These critical partnerships have resulted in the creation of logic models that help develop the strategic guidelines to achieve our goals. As of today, the Program Evaluation & Process Improvement Committee, chaired by Dr. Lynne Haeffele of Illinois State University, has developed logic models for some of our strategic partners in workforce development: McLean County Chamber of Commerce, COMPACT, Heartland Community College, Illinois State University, Lincoln College, Regional Office of Education #17, Bloomington Area Career Center (BACC), Bloomington District 87, McLean County Unit 5, Economic Development Committee, Career Link.

To Learn More: Logic Models Presentation
Get Involved!
Community Workforce Events
2018 College & Career Conference
Saturday, September 15, 8:45 AM - 3:00 PM
ISU Alumni Center | 1101 North Main St, Normal, Illinois 61761

Working for Workforce
Tuesday, September 18, 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Heartland Community College - Astroth Career Education Center | 1500 West Raab Road
Normal, Illinois 61761

To get your event added contact Andy Bender  for assistance. 
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