IV Insight                                                              IVCC Logo with text to right  


 A periodic newsletter from the

 Illinois Valley Community College

 President's Office   




Peter Miller Community Technology Center Nov. 2012 
Vol. II Fall 2012
Dear Alumni and Friends of IVCC:  

In this issue of IV Insight, you will receive an exciting update on construction of the Peter Miller Community Technology Center (CTC) as well as our newly forged partnership with global manufacturing leaders MAG IAS and Caterpillar. As you also will see, our capital campaign for equipment in support of programs and services to be located in the new facility is going well - in  less than one year, we've raised over $1.5 million toward our $2.1 million campaign goal. 

Next fall, we will begin moving into the state-of-the-art facility. September 15, 2013 is the scheduled "date of substantial completion," the day the Illinois Capital Development Board will turn the building over to us. By January 2014, nine CTC career programs should be operational for the start of spring semester classes. 

The Center's grand opening promises to be one the most significant milestones in our College's rich 88-year history. We also believe the building will have a dramatic effect on economic development in the region.  

Please feel free to call me at 815-224-0404 anytime for any reason. We're here to serve you and make you proud of your community college.  

Thank you for being a loyal friend of IVCC, its students and our Foundation.  



Jerry   Jerry's signature                






Jerry Corcoran,
IVCC President  

Letter from IVCC President
Major CTC Campaign Gifts
IVCC Partners with MAG, CAT
Federal Grant to Fund Training
Need a Job? CTC will help
$99,000 Grant for Wind Equipment
CTC News Website
Corcoran, Skoflanc Recognized
IVCC Teaches in Ghana
IVCC Young Leaders
Gifted Students Choosing IVCC
Taking Higher Ed to the district

CTC capital campaign for technology enhancement

Illinois Valley Community College's new Peter Miller Community Technology Center will dramatically transform the very face of the College and bolster its ability to prepare workers for the manufacturing and alternative energy jobs of the 21st Century.
The 80,000-square-foot building will also be home to critical student services including counseling, financial aid and admissions, and community strengthening programs such as Continuing Education and Adult Education.
Committed to making its first new main campus building in 32 years an exceptional facility, IVCC is one year into a $2.1 million capital campaign to provide state-of-the-art technology in every lab and classroom.
In conjunction with the building's development, IVCC has for the first time established naming opportunities for individuals and corporations contributing to the enhancement of the facility in order to provide students with the best equipment and technology available.
Private support will make the CTC an extraordinary facility.

Major CTC Campaign Gifts
IVCC launched its $2.1 million campaign for Community Technology Center enhancement one year ago with the announcement of a $1 million pledge from Miller Group Charitable Trust.
   Other major gifts include:
*    $300,000 - MAG IAS vertical machining center.
*    $100,000 - Bill and Dian Taylor
*    $99,000 - USDA Rural Business Enterprise grant.
*    $25,000 - IVCC Employee Campaign contribution.
*    $9,529 - miscellaneous contributions from individuals.
The campaign total topped $1.5 million after 12 months.

IVCC partners with manufacturing giants to enhance CTC technology

Dan Janka, President of MAG IAS, left, Brian Krzyaniak, Caterpillar-Aurora Powertrain Factory Manager, Jim Blass, Caterpillar Director of Product Validation and Global Technology, and IVCC President Jerry Corcoran at the Caterpillar Technology Center in Mossville


Oct. 8, 2012: IVCC today announced a historic partnership with MAG IAS, LLC, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States, and the Caterpillar-Aurora facility on a machinist program that will result in major equipment donations to the college.


"IVCC Machinist Training for Caterpillar" - a program tailored specifically to Caterpillar's training and production needs, will be strengthened with the installation of a $300,000 vertical machining center from MAG for the Computer Numerical Control Learning Lab in the new Peter Miller Community Technology Center.

In addition, a $600,000 horizontal machining center donated by Caterpillar will be consigned to MAG and retrofitted with MAG-patented thru-spindle, thru-tool cryogenic machining technology at the new MAG Cryogenic Research and Development Technical Center in Sterling Heights, Mich.


While consigned to MAG, the cryogenic horizontal machining center will be used to develop cryogenic machining processes specific for Caterpillar applications, said MAG President Daniel Janka, a native of La Salle and an IVCC alumnus. IVCC President Jerry Corcoran said the partnership underscores IVCC's commitment to meeting the needs of world-class manufacturers through high-quality training.

"Caterpillar and IVCC have become corporate partners with MAG in support of cryogenic machining and training," said Corcoran. MAG, one of the largest machine tool manufacturers in the world, employs 3,500 at 32 facilities and is the market share leader in the heavy equipment, oil and gas, automotive power train, and aerospace industries and is one of Caterpillar's global strategic technology partners. Caterpillar had 2011 sales and revenues over $60 billion and is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.   

continued ... 


Caterpillar group photo

The first group of 10 Caterpillar employees recently completed a 30-week CNC program through IVCC. The program, entitled, "IVCC Machinist Training for Caterpillar," is tailored specifically to Caterpillar's training and production needs.

The 30-week CNC training program, customized for Caterpillar by Jennifer Scheri of IVCC's Business Training Center, was key to solidifying the partnership.


"Programs like this are becoming very popular across the country as our industry has experienced the need for trained technical resources," said Brian Krzyaniak, Caterpillar-Aurora Powertrain Factory Manager. "We need to use these programs to teach our future employees that the manufacturing jobs available today are much different than previous generations experienced."

Jim Blass, Caterpillar Director of Product Validation and Global Technology, said "Innovation has always set Caterpillar apart and there's a lot more to do, which is why we are pleased to partner with IVCC to enhance our machinist program."


Corcoran credited the three graduates of IVCC's mechanical technology program: Janka, Blass and Krzyaniak for making the partnership possible.


"IVCC's long reputation for quality is directly tied to its faculty and the fact Dan, Jim and Brian were all graduates of our program before moving on and achieving greatness is not just a coincidence," said Corcoran."They've all gone on to highly successful careers after being trained at IVCC and now they're demonstrating their appreciation by giving back to the college and our community in a very significant way."

Federal grant spurs high-demand manufacturing training
Sept. 28, 2012: IVCC will receive a significant share of the state's nearly $13 million in federal funding to spur advanced manufacturing training, IVCC President Jerry Corcoran announced today.
IVCC joined 15 other Illinois community colleges led by Harper College in Palatine in forming the Illinois Network of Advanced Manufacturing (INAM) consortium. 

The funding, possibly as much as $500,000, will expand cutting-edge educational programs in high-wage, high-demand fields, said Corcoran who has been speaking to civic groups across the district this fall about IVCC's ability to provide the skills needed in today's sophisticated manufacturing environment. 
"This grant will allow our students to earn successive levels of manufacturing-recognized credentials, which makes our graduates even more industry-ready," said Corcoran.  
The funding will allow IVCC to purchase precision machining equipment and mechatronics trainers for the Peter Miller Community Technology Center. Mechatronics represents a new IVCC program that combines aspects of mechanics, electronics, and computer systems into an advanced manufacturing format.
IVCC, will recognize the National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) credential earned in high school and provide additional opportunities for high school graduates and GED completers to earn NCRC as a key to more specialized education and/or workplace.
Students can then earn the Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential through further IVCC courses featuring manufacturing processes and production, maintenance awareness, safety, quality and continuous improvement.
With their CPT credential, they can be working in the manufacturing environment while earning further industry-recognized credentials. The CPT has been endorsed by Illinois Valley area Chief Manufacturing Executives (CME) and Illinois Manufacturing Association (IMA) as a desirable credential for entry level operators.
Need a job? Start with CTC career programs
Students searching for a college program that will lead to high-demand employment opportunity need look no further than the variety of career and technical programs going into the Peter Miller Community Technology Center.
No less than 93.9 percent of 2011 graduates of programs going into the CTC are either working or continuing their education post-IVCC. Programs include CAD/Drafting, Manufacturing including CNC and Machinist/Tool & Die, HVAC, Industrial Maintenance, Electronics, Industrial Electricity, Wind Energy & Other Renewable Sources and Computer Network Administration including Computer Repair & Operating Systems.

$99,000 USDA grant to fund wind equipment
Jerry and Colleen
With the Peter Miller CTC's steel frame as a backdrop, USDA Illinois State Rural Development Director Colleen Callahan joins IVCC President Jerry Corcoran to announce a $99,000 grant for the college's wind energy program in June.


June 4, 2012: IVCC's capital campaign for Peter Miller Community Technology Center enhancement received a $99,000 infusion from a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant today.


Using the CTC construction site as a backdrop, the college announced the grant would fund key instructional pieces for its renewable wind energy technicians program. As a boom crane swung structural steel beams into place and masons laid cement blocks for elevator shafts, USDA Illinois State Rural Development Director Colleen Callahan commented, "That's the sound of progress."
Making the official announcement, Callahan said, "USDA Rural Development is a lender helping make possibilities possible. Today we see a possibility becoming a reality. Williams Jennings Bryan once said, 'What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.'We are proud to partner with IVCC in developing a high tech workforce needed to power our country toward energy independence."
IVCC President Jerry Corcoran credited Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue Isermann, Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema and assistant to the president on special projects Reed Wilson for playing major roles in acquiring the grant.
Student demand for wind energy training, one of a variety of career and technical programs going into the CTC in January 2014, has exceeded IVCC's current capacity. Specifically, the grant will help purchase two pieces of training equipment: a Nacelle wind turbine system with power generation control and an electric pitch hub system.
"This equipment will help train wind energy technicians as another 400 to 500 wind turbines are constructed in the area," said Callahan.

Visit IVCC Website for latest CTC News
For timely CTC construction and campaign news visit:


Corcoran, Skoflanc Recognized
IVCC President Jerry Corcoran and graphic design instructor and program coordinator Francie Skoflanc were recognized at the second annual Illinois Small Business Development Center's Breakfast of Champions Oct. 25 in La Salle.
Corcoran earned the "Champion of Entrepreneurship" after being selected by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship as one of just three Illinois representatives on their "Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum."
Skoflanc was named SBDC's 2012 "Advocate of the Year" along with part-time IVCC instructor Ted Parisot (Informé, Inc.) of Ottawa and Miller Group Media of La Salle.
A Breakfast of Champions video, created by Skoflanc's students can be viewed at

Gibson's PLC instruction could help transform West African nation

Jim Gibson
IVCC electronics and wind energy instructor Jim Gibson took his talents to Africa this summer to assist colleagues in the West African Republic of Ghana and potentially help transform the nation's ability to automate production.

Gibson spent most of August at Tokaradi Polytechnic teaching PLCs (programmable logic controllers) to fellow professors so they can in turn teach their students and maintain their equipment.
"They've always had to have someone from the outside come in to teach PLCs to their students," said Gibson. "This is life changing for their country. Paint lines, conveyor belts, anything that's sequenced, and anything that repeats itself uses automation control. PLCs are the basis of all automation in industry. This will be a major breakthrough for them.

Gibson's teaching skills caught the eye of Amatrol while working on National Science Foundation-funded projects for IVCC and he's now been teaching PLCs, wind and photovoltaics for the company for three years.

In Ghana, he taught three sections with 12 professors per class using a trainer similar to the one he uses at IVCC.

"It was an honor to be chosen to do this and it says a lot about what they think of what we can do at IVCC," Gibson said. "To be asked to be their representative in a foreign country is a big deal."

Gibson said over that three-week period he developed close relationships with his West African colleagues. 

"The people actually love you. Many of the problems we face in the classroom are the same. On the last day of class, they teared up when they told me about the impact this would have," he said.

The menu, however, was sometimes a challenge. 

"I loved the people and tried their food every day. It didn't always agree with me. It's very spicy. My lips and mouth paid the price," Gibson says.

He is confident his work and that of three other American professors who joined him in Ghana will have a lasting impact. 

"Things they could not do last year they'll be able to do now and companies will spend half of what they did on consultants and maintenance."

Gibson, who travelled with his wife Diana, said he will definitely return to Ghana if asked by Amatrol, a global leader in skills-based, interactive technical learning. 

"If this goes the way Amatral hopes it does," Gibson said, "other African countries will be involved next time. They are looking at the future."

"I can see their entire nation changing because of this. They are going to be able to automate!" 
IVCC well represented in young leaders initiative
Illinois Valley Community College alumni and employees have been well represented in the two years of the "40 under 40" initiative sponsored by the Illinois Small Business Development Center.
Kim Koehler, Program Manager of Continuing Education at IVCC, is a member of the 40 under 40 class. Of the 81 young entrepreneurs honored, 47 have ties to IVCC - 20 are graduates and 27 attended, said IVCC director of admissions Mark Grzybowski, a member of the 40 under 40 Class of 2011.

The program recognizes "some of the best young minds in business today" in La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties, said ISBDC director Bev Malooley.
"We have a diverse, highly-educated group of entrepreneurs and professionals who have made a commitment to the quality of life and economic success of the region," she said.
A complete list of honorees can be found at www.ivcc.edu/sbdc.

District's top students choose IVCC
helen taylor scholars
Academically-gifted students continue to choose IVCC. This fall, 13 of the district's top high school graduates, including six valedictorians, are attending. IVCC awards $1,500 Helen Taylor Scholarships to district high school valedictorians, salutatorians and those finishing in the top two percent of their class.

2012 Taylor scholars include Nadia Churchill-Gilstrap, Princeton High School valedictorian, above left, Joe Dimmig, Mendota High School valedictorian, Joe Sydlowski of Peru, La Salle-Peru High School salutatorian, Ashlee Heider of Oglesby, LP top two percent, Marissa Washington, Streator High School valedictorian and Hannah Kosciewicz of Spring Valley, Hall High School top two percent.

Not pictured are Alexa Giacinto of Streator, Rhema Christian Academy salutatorian, Billie Goluba, Streator High top two percent, Madison Harms of Streator, Woodland High School valedictorian, Joshua Highsmith, Mendota High valedictorian, Nathan Klaassen, Ottawa High School salutatorian, Trey Pastirik of Streator, Rhema valedictorian and Kendale Stanford, Earlville High School salutatorian.

Since 2009, 20 valedictorians have enrolled as has 21 salutatorians or those graduating in the top two percent of their class. That's a yield of 41 of the district's best in just 4 years.


Taking the value of higher education district-wide
CEO high school students
High school seniors in the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities program visited IVCC Nov. 15 to hear the Value of Higher Education presentation.


This fall, IVCC President Jerry Corcoran and director of community relations and development Fran Brolley are meeting with clubs and organizations across the district to promote the value of higher education.


By Dec. 18, Corcoran and Brolley will have made 24 presentations (since June 28) in Streator, Princeton, La Salle, Peru, Hennepin, McNabb, Ottawa, Stavanger, Streator, Granville, Wenona, Mendota, Princeton, Spring Valley and Marseilles. They've been joined at some presentations by members of the Rho Omega Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the honorary society for two-year colleges.


The program illustrates the impact an associate degree has on lifetime income and home ownership and also focuses on the challenges employers face in finding qualified workers, especially in the manufacturing, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and information technology sectors. For example, if current trends continue, by 2015 there will be an estimated 3 million unfilled manufacturing jobs.


"The bottom line is, IVCC can train students for jobs in the highest demand fields: STEM, manufacturing and IT," said Corcoran. "Students who invest two years and $6,000 to $7,000 on an associate degree from IVCC can expect to earn $500,000 more over their career. That's quite a return on your investment!" 


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