ICCTA Business/Industry Partnership Award

2002 Nominees


North American Lighting Company
Kaskaskia Company

Since 1995, Kaskaskia and North American have worked together to improve the skills base of more than 300 NAL employees. Two associate degrees (in industrial technology and business management) have been developed for NAL workers, with the company picking up the tuition, fees and books of those receiving grades of "C" or higher. Employees also qualify for pay incentives and promotions upon the successful completion of classes. "There is no other business in our district that perceives the value of their employees so highly," says Kelly Bennett, Kaskaskia's director of business and industry.

Association of Record Managers and Administrators / Chicago
Harold Washington College

ARMA represents record managers from both the public and private sectors. Since summer 2000, Harold Washington has collaborated with ARMA to develop technology training for its members, many of whom lack even basic computer knowledge. To date, 115 members from 19 Chicago-based companies have completed the sessions. "The best part of this success story is the self-confidence that has been instilled in the participants," says ARMA president Connie Chiagouris. "People stop me at our meetings or at my office to tell me how much they have benefitted from these classes."

College of DuPage

Comark's partnership with COD began with a cold call in July 2000, when the $1.5 billion corporation decided to offer its first formal management training program. COD responded by developing classes tailored to Comark's specific needs. The result was "Quest for Excellence," a series of four leadership modules presented in a format to accommodate participants' schedules and job responsibilities. "With the overwhelming participation and response to the first year's Quest, we are offering an expanded program for 2002," says Comark vice president Larry Fazzini.

CONAM Inspection, Inc.
Moraine Valley Community College

Taking advantage of the college's existing facilities and the company's expertise in non-destructive testing, Moraine Valley and CONAM jointly opened an NDT Training Center in 2001. The partnership allows both entities to develop specialized training without any significant increase in costs. Students in Moraine Valley's credit courses and workers in CONAM's non-credit training use the same equipment, while the college buys materials at great savings through the corporation's national purchasing agreements.

John Deere Harvester Works
Black Hawk College

John Deere is the world's leading producer of agricultural equipment. In 1999, it approached Black Hawk about offering international awareness classes for employees who might be given overseas assignments. This cooperative effort has since expanded to include classes in diversity, computer skills, asbestos awareness, and the German language. "In partnership with BHC, we believe that we have made valuable contributions to both today's workforce and the Illinois workforce of tomorrow," says Deere general manager John Gault.

Ted's Auto Body / All Line CARSTAR
Triton College

Triton has successfully joined with area body shops to develop an collision repair program for entry-level technicians. Ted's Auto Body and All Line CARSTAR have not only provided the tools, equipment and facilities for the program but are original members of the curriculum advisory committee. They have also sponsored Triton students to work in their shops. "It is a real honor to have someone nominate you for an award for just doing what you love to do, and what I love doing is bringing people into an industry that has such great opportunity," says All Line CEO Teresa Kostick.

The 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."

Vactor Manufacturing Inc.
Illinois Valley Community College

Vactor is the major designer and manufacturer of sewer cleaners and one of the largest companies in the environmental industry. Over the last three years, it has partnered with Illinois Valley to customize curricula in software programs, electronic productivity, conflict management, and supervisory skills. By the end of June, most of the company's 480 employees will have been trained in Lean Manufacturing principles. "Through training and working together, we can continue to make measurable performance improvements throughout our company," says Vactor general manager Jay Buehler.

For additional information on the ICCTA Business/Industry Partnership Award, please contact Kim Villanueva at 217-528-2858, ext. 1.