Congratulations to Matt Blomquist!

Matt Blomquist, LLCC adjunct and dual credit instructor of construction and Taylorville High School building trades teacher, recently won a national teaching award — the 2022 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. The 2022 prize had a record 768 applications and included three rounds of judging. The prize includes a $15,000 award for Blomquist and $35,000 for his program at the high school. Read more from NPR Illinois.

LLCC-Taylorville to host financial aid event Oct. 20

LLCC-Taylorville, 800 S. Spresser, will host Financial Aid Completion Night Thursday, Oct. 20 from 3-6 p.m. to assist high school seniors and their parents/guardians in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

An online registration form and more information on documents to bring to the event are available at Registration is also available by calling 217-786-2754.

Current LLCC students who will be attending college next year are invited to attend as well. Prospective students may take a tour of the facilities and get assistance with enrollment steps.

In the news

Dee Krueger, director, LLCC-Taylorville, was interviewed on Thursday, Sept. 29, on the WTIM Morning show. She discussed module classes, spring registration dates, Campus Visit Day and the LLCC-Taylorville FAFSA Completion Night.

LLCC awarded $5 million grant to expand emergency services, truck driver, diesel technologies and agriculture programs and facilities

Don Schaefer, executive vice president, Mid-West Truckers Association; Dan Smith, vice president of product support, Roland Machinery Co.; Charlotte Warren, Ph.D., president, LLCC; Ken Elmore, chair, LLCC Board of Trustees; and Christopher McDowell, M.D., associate professor and chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, SIU School of MedicinePhoto: Speaking at a press conference today about LLCC’s $5 million training grant were L-R: Don Schaefer, executive vice president, Mid-West Truckers Association; Dan Smith, vice president of product support, Roland Machinery Co.; Charlotte Warren, Ph.D., president, LLCC; Ken Elmore, chair, LLCC Board of Trustees; and Christopher McDowell, M.D., associate professor and chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, SIU School of Medicine.

Responding to an urgent community need for more paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), truck drivers, diesel mechanics and agriculture specialists, LLCC will renovate and expand its training facilities with the help of a $5 million federal grant.

The expanded facilities will allow student capacity in these programs to grow and remain on the cutting edge of curriculum, producing trained workers ready to fill local, in-demand jobs.

The grant was awarded to LLCC by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

“We’re excited to announce the receipt of a large grant that will allow us to positively impact the workforce of our local communities in critical areas of need,” said Ken Elmore, chair of the LLCC Board of Trustees, at a press conference today.

LLCC President Charlotte Warren, Ph.D., announced that the funds will be used to:

  • Renovate the east wing of Logan Hall for an expanded emergency services training facility, purchase a working ambulance and state-of-the-art equipment and simulators, allowing more than 400 students to enroll each year in EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic training programs.
  • Expand the truck driver training lot and purchase a new tractor and trailer, allowing for an additional 90 new students for a total of 251 students annually
  • Renovate a lab in the Workforce Careers Center to house and equip a new diesel technologies program. The first class will admit 20 next fall for this two-year program, adding cohorts after that.
  • Construct a large storage facility adjacent to the truck driver training lot to house heavy equipment for agriculture and diesel technologies programs, along with the new ambulance for emergency services. As these programs grow, the college will continue to offer the latest from the industry for students.

“Every time an ambulance arrives late to a call, the urgent need for additional paramedics and EMTs becomes more apparent,” said Christopher McDowell, M.D., chair of emergency medicine at SIU School of Medicine. “Expanding LLCC’s emergency services program is critical in increasing the supply of EMS providers to serve the citizens of our communities.”

“We applaud the expansion of LLCC’s truck driver training program to address the continuing shortage of workers to fill positions in our industry,” commented Don Schaefer, executive vice president, Mid-West Truckers Association. “There are currently more than 1,700 good-paying jobs open for truck drivers in the LLCC district, and quality training is the first step toward filling them with safe and dependable drivers.”

Meanwhile, the need for mechanics to service and repair diesel engines is also acute.

“There is a significant need for diesel technicians in our field, which includes the construction, agriculture and trucking industries,” said Dan Smith, vice president of product support for Roland Machinery Co., headquartered in Springfield. “Last week there were 427 open positions within 100 miles of Springfield for diesel technicians. These are high wage positions that can also lead to career advancement in parts and service management. We’re pleased and excited that LLCC will be training new diesel technicians and look forward to hiring their graduates.”

Yesterday’s press conference took place as the future of the local workforce, over 500 area high school students, attended LLCC’s first Workforce Careers Expo, where they had the opportunity to visit local employers’ displays and learn about job opportunities in the trades.

Press conference at 11:45 a.m. on $5 million grant awarded to LLCC

The campus community is invited to a press conference outside the Workforce Careers Center at 11:45 this morning to announce details of a $5 million federal grant awarded to LLCC. The grant will allow LLCC to expand facilities and programs that will train more emergency medical services workers (EMTs and paramedics), truck drivers and diesel mechanics, all fields that have an urgent need for workers in this area. Speakers are Ken Elmore, board chair; Dr. Charlotte Warren, president; Don Shaefer, executive vice president, Mid-West Truckers Association, Inc.; a representative of SIU School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine; and a representative of Roland Machinery Co. Speakers will detail how the grant funds will be used, how many students will be impacted and how the local economy will benefit.

The press conference will take place between sessions of the college’s Workforce Careers Expo, featuring outdoor displays of heavy equipment and approximately 50 employers meeting with 500 area high school students.

LLCC awarded grant to expand career and technical training

LLCC has been awarded a $540,000 grant as part of nearly $5 million designated for seven Illinois community colleges by the U.S. Department of Labor to expand career and technical training. LLCC will use the funds to expand its integrated media design and helpdesk programs.

LLCC will develop an integrated media design lab at the college’s Medical District location, 130 W. Mason St. near downtown Springfield. This will provide a convenient location to those who live or work in that area to earn an associate in applied science degree in the subject.

“The lab will contain Mac computers which are the standard in the design industry,” said Adam Watkins, LLCC dean of arts and communication. “Students earning the integrated media design degree will be qualified for local jobs in graphic design, application design and web design. Wrap-around supports will also be offered to encourage members of marginalized communities to enroll in the degree program. We are working with local employers who are looking to diversify their workforce and are interested in offering jobs to graduates of this program.”

The grant will also help LLCC develop a competency-based program leading to a helpdesk certificate. Students will be able to demonstrate the skills they have in the subject and accelerate through courses based on their prior knowledge and experience, saving them time and money.

“This program gives students the skills and knowledge required for an entry-level IT helpdesk position. We know there is a great need for these positions across all industries locally and nationally,” said Dr. Carmen Allen, LLCC professor of computer science. “We will develop this program to emulate another competency-based program LLCC offers in cybersecurity. The helpdesk program is offered online and can be a game-changer for adults looking for a new career as well as students right out of high school.”

Both program expansions are expected to kick off in fall 2023.

In the News

Kim Wilson, recruitment specialist, was interviewed by WICS/FOX/CW23 at the Friday Night Rivals broadcast of the Jacksonville vs. Springfield High School football game Sept. 23 about LLCC’s upcoming 8-week class session and Campus Visit Day.