Monday, June 18, 2012

Local Adult Welding Class a Huge Success

The Livingston Area Career Center (LACC) recently graduated its inaugural adult welding class with great results. The class of nine unemployed adults received 40 hours of welding instruction over two weeks. Upon completion of the class, each of the graduates took and passed a welding test administered by Manpower, Inc. All nine graduates have been hired by local companies and are now gainfully employed and beginning a new career as a welder.

The GLCEDC (through the Livingston County Board) provided a $7,000.00 grant to the LACC for the purchase and repair of welding equipment to be used for training adults in basic welding. "We are excited to be able to contribute to a program that benefits our local residents and employers in such an immediate and tangible way" said Larry Vaupel, GLCEDC CEO. The program began shortly after a round-table discussion that included the Workforce Investment Board, GLCEDC, LACC, local employers, and Manpower, Inc. The discussion revealed that numerous welding jobs were available but unfilled due to a lack of skilled welders in the area. The LACC plans to offer additional welding courses for adults in the coming months.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spending Continues at Dwight Correctional Center

An article in today's edition of The Pantagraph  theorizes that recent purchases at State facilities may provide hints as to which of them will be closing. The article points out that there have been service contracts for 2013 signed recently for the Dwight Correctional Center. Other State facilities have cancelled contracts or did not renew contracts expiring June 30. Additionally, word on the street informs us that capital projects like roofing and water well repairs have recently been completed.

While this spending is surely a good sign, we cannot rest until the Governor signs the budget with Dwight Correctional Center funding intact. Please continue to email the Governor at and urge him to honor the will of COGFA and the State Legislature and keep Dwight Correctional Center open.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dwight Correctional Center is Funded by Legislature

The Senate has approved the House Budget and the state budget now moves to the Governor's desk for signing.  While we are excited that Dwight Correctional Center (DCC) is fully funded in the budget, the Governor can utilize his line item veto and still close DCC.  Please take a moment to call or email the Governor and urge him to keep DCC open.  Key arguments to make include:

  • 629 direct and indirect job losses locally. On a percentage basis, this would be like the Chicago MSA losing 140,000 jobs!
  • A negative $54 million economic impact on the local economy.  This would be equivalent to Chicago MSA experiencing a $40 BILLION negative impact! 8% of our total economic output would evaporate.
  • If DCC closes, the female corrections facilities will be operating at 180% capacity - nearly double the inmates they were designed to handle.
  • 65% of the inmates are from Chicago and 78% are mothers. They need to be close to their families for visits.  Moving inmates another 100 miles from their families will make visits more difficult.
  • The savings projected from a closure will not be realized - $8.35 million in capital improvements are needed at Logan Correctional Center. Early release programs will result in increased state spending elsewhere: food stamps, medicaid, public housing vouchers, etc.
Governor Pat Quinn
Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph Street, Floor 16
Chicago, IL 60601