City Council Asked to Partner w/Lake Land, Unit 40 on Manufacturing Skills Course

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Published on June 17 2014 7:36 pm
Last Updated on June 17 2014 7:36 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Manufacturing is making a comeback in the Effingham area, but there's a need for skilled workers to fill the jobs being created.

Lake Land College Vice-President Jim Hull asked the Council to allocate a one-time contribution of $120,000 to pay for equipment needed to house the Manufacturing Skills class at Effingham High School. Hull and Effingham Unit 40 Superintendent Mark Doan said the plan is to educate EHS students in the course during the school day and instruct adult workers after hours. Doan said they have more than 30 student applicants and space in the class for just 30 students, but said they'd work that out.

Hull said local industries such as Versatech, Quad Graphics and Hitachi Metals have indicated interest in utilizing the workers once they're trained. He said the program would be similar in scope to what Lake Land did at their center in Marshall to train workers for the North American Lighting plant in Paris when it expanded in recent years.

Unit 40 will provide the instructor for the course. Hull said that Unit 40 receives Tax Increment Financing dollars for instruction in their vocational courses, so they're seeking a separate allocation by the City.

Council members voiced support for the proposal, and hope to vote on the request within the next month.

Also Tuesday, the Council:

--reduced the number of Class B-1 liquor licenses by one due to the closing of The Hangout

--contributed $25,000 to the Effingham City/County Committee on Aging

--provided a first-ever contribution of $5,000 to the CEFS Golden Circle Nutrition Program for meals for seniors

--awarded a bid to Curry Construction for $304,732 for replacement of a sewer lift station on West Rickelman Avenue

--awarded a bid to Effingham Asphalt for $229,484.25 for the 2014 resurfacing work on streets in Park Hills Subdivision and Fire Station #3 on South Banker, with the work in Park Hills involving Bent Tree Drive, Crestwood Drive from Evergreen Avenue to Bent Tree Drive, Pleasant View Drive from Evergreen Avenue to Bent Tree Drive, and Sherwood Park from Evergreen Avenue to Bent Tree Drive

--voted to deny a requested rezoning of property at 209 North 4th to highway commercial district, and voted to deny a special-use permit for an indoor shooting range

--approved Cornerstone Christian Church as a participant in the City's Pick It Up, Effingham! litter abatement program along the frontage road area off West Fayette Avenue past Culver's to the end of the roadway

--approved a one-year extension of the agreement with Kabbes Development Group for the infrastructure work on the property next to Kohl's, after City Economic Development Director Todd Hull said a developer is interested in the property and the delay would allow the property to be properly utilized for the development

--allocated $9,200 in motor fuel tax funds for pre-emption equipment at the intersection of 3rd and Evergreen in conjunction with the State's plans to build a left-turn lane off 3rd onto Evergreen

--approved a contract with Reliable Plumbing and Heating install valves at the raw water intake at the water treatment plant for $14,350

--approved a new bore for a water line under the interstate just east of Willenborg Street on the city's north side for $136,417

--approved rezoning four lots into three lots in the first addition to Holiday Hills Subdivision with the provision that if the buildings on the non-conforming lots sustain significant damage they would have to be rebuilt in compliance with City guidelines

--agreed to proceed with purchase of fence to provide security for the water distribution facility

--agreed to proceed with oiling and chipping city streets damaged by the long winter

--agreed to renew an agreement with Bodine Electric to maintain city traffic signals.

City Administrator Jim Arndt and City Commissioner Matt Hirtzel were not present for Tuesday's meeting.