IVCC joins group for manufacturing academy

IV Leader Staff

Illinois Valley Community College will join a four-college consortium vying for a $7.5 million Central Illinois Manufacturing Academy.

 If the consortium’s grant application is one of two chosen by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the academy would be built in East Peoria near Illinois Central College. Satellite sites would be at IVCC, Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield and Spoon River College in Canton.

The academy would significantly enhance IVCC’s ability to meet advanced manufacturing workforce needs, President Jerry Corcoran told the board Thursday. There are an estimated 45,000 manufacturing jobs in the four-college region.

As a satellite, IVCC would receive $100,000 to upgrade its manufacturing facilities. In return, IVCC commits to paying $40,000 per year over three years for operational expenses such as the employment of a full-time manager and lab assistant at the academy.

“In my mind, extraordinary benefits to IVCC include shared curriculum, data collection, instructional materials including online training software, apprenticeships, common instructional training and part-time faculty,” Corcoran said.

“The academy will provide students access to credentials that lead to high-paying, family-sustaining wages,” he said. “It will benefit traditional students and nontraditional students upgrading their skills, and employers in need of worker training.”

Each site would offer welding, manual machining, manufacturing basics, and essential skills. Rapid prototyping, quality assurance and AWS welding certification and online instruction will be offered through the East Peoria site.  

Corcoran said DCEO is expected to announce its central and southern Illinois academy sites by early spring so the initiative can be “well underway by fall.”

In other action, the board approved short-term criminal justice certificates in social justice, criminology and forensic science.

The 21-credit social justice certificate is for students interested in racial disparity, unequal representation, government control and an imbalanced criminal justice system. Courses in African American History, Women Through Culture and Centuries, Police Community Relations and Social Problems are included, among others. 

The 21-credit criminology certificate is tailored for students interested in sociology, psychology and the exploration of the criminal mind and “what makes a person commit a crime,” said Kevin Hermes, criminal justice program coordinator.

Forensic Science is for students interested in the physical sciences and criminal investigation. The 20-hour certificate includes chemistry and biology courses.

The board also approved:

  • Purchase of 20 multi-stage welders from Airgas USA for $59,872 for the welding program.
  • A two-year contract renewal with Blackboard for a total of $113,423.
  • Extension of the leasing agreement for two trucks with Central Truck Leasing for $44,631 for truck driver training.
  • Emergency underground pipe repairs by John’s Service and Sales of Oglesby for $37,811. The hot water return pipe between buildings C and G was leaking.
  • The full-time appointment of welding instructor Theresa Molln who had been a part-time instructor in the program.
  • The resignation of agriculture instructor Kathryn Seebruck effective May 22. “I am a scientist both by training and by heart and hope to pursue it as my profession. It will be difficult to leave the faculty, staff and administration at IVCC,” Seebruck said in her letter of resignation.
  • The retirement of nursing instructor Pam Mammano who began teaching at IVCC in 1989 and was hired full-time in 1993. “I have enjoyed working with the students and my co-workers for the last 30 plus years,” she said. “I am excited with the direction that I believe Dr. (Jennifer) Grobe will lead the nursing division.” Her retirement is effective Aug. 14.
  • The retirement of Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema effective July 31. Roelfsema, who has held her current position since 2008, said in her letter to Corcoran, “It has been a privilege to be part of your management team and I appreciate the confidence and trust you and the Board of Trustees have placed in me.”
  • Changes to board policies involving alternative credit, chronic communicable diseases and required academic placement testing.
  • Closed session meeting minutes from Dec. 10.
  • Additional data breach notification and monitoring services with Kroll for $71,551. In October, the board contracted with Kroll for nearly $260,000 to notify potential victims of the April data breach incident. Approximately 162,000 names were submitted as potential victims. Since then, the college discovered additional potential victims.

In other business, trustees learned:

  • A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the college and American Federation of Teachers Local 1810 entitled “COVID-19 Quarantine Day.”
  • An update was made to the student code of conduct.
  • The college is contracting with Cumulus Media Chicago on a digital marketing campaign to run February through August.
  • Ottawa Center information specialist Vicky Jackson has resigned.
  • A $13,673 change order was made in the Building C air handler replacement project.
  • There were 160 fall graduates earning 175 degree and certificates compared to 153 graduates earning 178 graduates in fall 2019.
  • Student trustee Naomi Ochuba of Peru participated in her first meeting. Ochuba will serve through the May 22 commencement.
  • Corcoran credited the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for facilitating a Jan. 13 development day presentation by Paul Gorski and Marceline Dubose. The presentation will help the college develop its DEI plan, Corcoran said.
  • Overall fall GPA for athletes was 3.09 including a women’s basketball GPA of 3.19.
  • Corcoran thanked LaSalle County Health Department Administrator Julie Kerestes and her staff “for being so responsive to everyone’s needs during the pandemic.”
  • The new Illinois Valley Career Guide for 2021-22 will soon be available.
  • Corcoran credited director of facilities Scott Curly, Casey Wood and his G4S coworkers, and Oglesby police for their handling of the Dec. 29 campus incident in which shots were fired.
  • Spring semester classes began today but students can still enroll in second 8-week classes starting March 22 such as CNA, phlebotomy, medical assisting, criminal law, business, keyboarding, wellness, psychology, Spanish, therapeutic massage, forklift operations and welding.
  • Corcoran read a letter from LaSalle-Peru High School Supt. Steve Wrobleski referencing a recently created IVCC Foundation scholarship for LP students in memory of former IVCC librarian Melva Richards. Wrobleski said, “This is another example of the amazing relationship between the college and high school. I have no doubt Mrs. Richards helped me find a book at some point during my time as a student at IVCC.”