ICCTA Business/Industry Partnership Award

2001 Nominees


Chicago Motor Speedway
Morton College

The Speedway is one of only two racetracks in the nation offering both auto racing and horse racing. Morton is one of the few area colleges providing automotive technology training. Both entities joined together in 1998 to market Morton programs at Speedway sporting events -- including an "Education û The Key to Driving Your Future" day where scholarships were given away to high school students. Morton president John Neuhaus notes, "The Speedway partnership is young but already bearing fruit in increased exposure for Morton with potential students unreachable in conventional ways."

Eli's Cheesecake Company
Wilbur Wright College

Wright's partnership with Eli's has evolved over the past decade from offering on-site GED classes to training employees in computer literacy, customer service, and management skills during the workday. So valuable is this connection that when the college moved to its current location in 1993, Eli's followed, building new facilities two blocks west of campus. "It is so important to me not to just give my associates a job but also a career," says Eli's chief executive officer Marc Schulman. "With the help of Wright College, we have been able to accomplish that goal."

Forsheda Engineered Seals
Kaskaskia College
2001 award recipient -- click here to read more

Since 1996, Kaskaskia has provided customized instruction at the Forsheda site. One-fourth of plant employees have completed basic computer training; prior to the partnership, workers would have been sent out-of-state for classes. In addition, Kaskaskia has developed a new electro-mechanical technician program in response to the impeding retirement of veteran Forsheda employees. "Working together has provided a win-win situation," says Forsheda general manager Bill Feld. "We have benefitted through employee skill-building, resulting in increased production and decreased downtime."

Graham Hospital
Spoon River College

Because they both offer nursing programs, Graham and Spoon River might be considered rivals to some extent. Despite this competition, Spoon River works collaboratively with Graham to offer general education courses, while Graham serves as a clinical site for SRC's nursing students. The college even created a specialized management and customer relations training program for all hospital staff in spring 2001. "This unique project is but another example of the long-standing benefits the partnership . . . has brought to the residents of Fulton County," says Graham president D. Ray Slaubaugh.

Hendricksen, the Care of Trees
William Rainey Harper College

In 1997, Harper was enlisted to assist Hendricksen's limited- English-speaking employees with their language skills. The program has now expanded beyond ESL classes to the provision of "survival" Spanish and cultural awareness training for managers and supervisors. In addition, the classes are being replicated at Hendricksen sites in New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. Company president Scott Jamieson states, "Understanding each other's languages and cultures has helped us to become a much closer company than we were before we began the Workforce ESL/Command Spanish and cultural training."

Krupp Gerlach Company
Danville Area Community College

The decade-long collaboration between Danville and Krupp Gerlach has generated such impressive results as flexible training schedules for plant workers; an innovative, one-year "Fast Track" degree in industrial maintenance; and nearly $225,000 in equipment donations to the college. Krupp Gerlach also supports a Youth Apprenticeship Program in which eligible high school students receive DACC scholarships and a full-time position with the automotive-parts manufacturer after graduation. "We have worked hand-in-hand to the mutual benefit of each partner," says Krupp president Joe Pycz. "Most importantly, this collaboration has benefitted our community in workforce development and training."

Matsushita Universal Media Services
Rend Lake College

Established in 1999, Matsushita will soon become Perry County's largest employer. Rend Lake has helped meet the CD/DVD maker's needs by providing an apprenticeship program, career pathing, and an on-site training coordinator. Matsushita's planned $76 million expansion also gave Rend Lake the impetus to plan a new satellite training facility, located just east of the Matsushita plant. "The college's role in training and retraining our existing and prospective workforce has been and will continue to be critical in the development of our manufacturing facility," says Matsushita's chief operating officer Gary Vaughn.

Southern Imperial, Inc.
Rock Valley College

In addition to providing classes and an in-house training coordinator, Rock Valley has facilitated Southern's strategic planning workshops û and even helped hire its chief operating officer, chief financial officer, and engineering manager. In turn, when the college needed room for a plastics technology program, Southern donated the space, even though the custom display manufacturer does not make plastic molding. "It is our judgment that Rock Valley College has saved our business in excess of $500,000 in the areas of shop floor improvements and training of all of our personnel," says Southern's chief operating officer Dean Zaumseil.

United Parcel Service
Moraine Valley Community College

UPS employs more than 10,000 people at its Chicago hub; 90 percent are part-time, with students between the ages of 18 to 24 the targeted hiring group. Moraine Valley has helped meet the company's training needs with special programs combining school and work opportunities for area high school seniors and college students. In 2000, the Earn and Learn program (part-time job plus financial aid) was expanded to all Chicago-area community colleges. "The activities resulting from our partnership have caught the attention of our national office, and in some cases, have been modeled throughout the nation," notes UPS district manager Tony Poselenzny.

The statewide recipient of the 2001 Business/Industry Partnership Award will be announced at ICCTA's annual banquet on Friday, June 15, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. For additional information, please contact Kim Villanueva at 217-528-2858,