Join LLCC’s Academy of Lifelong Learning this Sunday, July 15, at 2 p.m. in the Thorne Deuel Auditorium at the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St. for “Building Illinois: Entrepreneurialism Flourishes, Workers Rise.” Beginning with 1850s railroad construction, Illinois boomed as an agricultural and industrial powerhouse. Familiar brand names, from Wrigley chewing gum to Swift and Armour meat products, covered the nation. Looking at two specific industries, Mike Matejka will cover not only the business expansion, but the workplace tensions that followed.
Mike Matejka is the governmental affairs director for the Great Plains Laborers District Council, representing over 10,000 union laborers in central and northern Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. He is a vice-president of the Illinois Labor History Society and a past-president and board member of the McLean County Museum of History. He served 18 years on the Bloomington City Council and is involved in numerous civic and community groups. In 1984 he co-authored, with Greg Koos, “Bloomington’s C&A Shops: Our Lives Remembered,” an oral history collection with railroad shop workers, and in 2000, “Fiery Struggle: Illinois Fire Fighters Build a Union, 1901-1985.”
The program is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.