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Street Lincoln to receive
Illinois FIRST funds
11, 2001] Main
Street Lincoln will receive a financial boost for some specific
projects, thanks to a state grant facilitated by former Sen. Bob
Madigan. The grant from the Department of Commerce and Community
Affairs totals $37,000.
than half that amount, $20,000, will be used for an incentive plan
for new downtown businesses. Main Street’s Economic Restructuring
Committee is charged with providing the details.
are extremely excited about the possibilities," said Wendy
Bell, Main Street program manager. "Currently, if a new
business comes to us and asks for financial help, we have nothing to
offer them. This can help fill a gap for smaller owner-operated
Economic Restructuring Committee is currently gathering information
from other programs, including the Seminary Street plan in Galesburg
and a survey compiled by Illinois Main Street. These will provide
the data about what works in other communities and what doesn’t,
so Main Street Lincoln will know what is best to offer locally. It
is estimated it will take several months to put the plan in place,
with incentives being available early in 2002.
$2,000 will be used to help identify the recently debuted downtown
historic walking tour, "Walking
on the Path of Abraham Lincoln." A brochure funded by the
city of Lincoln currently takes you to the christening site; the
State Bank of Lincoln display of Lincoln-related work by artists
Lloyd Ostendorf and Leonard Volk; the Lincoln House Hotel, Robert Latham home and
Lincoln lot sites; the Rustic Inn; Logan County Courthouse; and the
Depot. Other local historical sites are indicated as well, including
the Lincoln College Museum and Postville Courthouse.
are available at the Main Street office, the college museum and
other locations, but the sites themselves are not marked. These
funds will be used for an identification system, such as plaques, so
visitors will be able to follow the route easily," said Bell.
grant will also help complete the Indian maiden statue, scheduled to
return in early October this year. The community has been
contributing funds through personal donations, with names being
memorialized on bricks, a permanent plaque or bench. These items are
still available until Sept. 1, but the grant funds will enhance the
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it returns, the statue will move to the southeast side of the
courthouse as part of a garden area with benches and landscaping. A
brick walkway will connect to the current sidewalk. Gene Baker
Masonry is assisting in the design and donating his services as
who visit Scully Park will reap the rewards of the remaining
$10,000. The funds will be used for playground equipment being
planned by a subcommittee headed by Michelle Schick and Logan County
Board Chairman Dick Logan. Main Street Lincoln restored the park’s
fountain and added picnic tables, trash receptacles, historic
lighting and a wrought-iron entryway last year.
number of people who use the park has dramatically increased, and
the play equipment is antiquated," said Logan. "However,
new equipment is expensive; these funds will give us a good
are ecstatic," said Bell, when asked about the grant.
"This will move projects off the drawing board that would
suffer due to lack of funds and move them to the top of our work
However, it’s important to remember this grant will be used
specifically for projects, not operational funds. We couldn’t keep
the door open to do the work if it weren’t for the businesses and
individuals who support us financially and as volunteers."
Street Lincoln was designated in 1994 and is dedicated to
revitalizing the downtown area. It is one of more than 50 Illinois
communities participating in the national Main Street program
initiated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 to
help communities revitalize their historic or traditional commercial
articles from the LDN archives:
County Chamber declares cooperative business-education goal
24, 2001] At
a recent Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce luncheon, members
were reminded of the chamber’s purpose. The chamber of commerce is
a catalyst for community progress, bringing business and
professional people together to work for the common good of Lincoln
and Logan County.
program emcee was Nick Stokes of Union Planters Bank, who is
chairman of the chamber Membership Committee. Board President Todd
Lowman of Garland Gehrke Trucking presented the keynote address.
Lowman apprised the gathering of old and new business members that
this year’s emphasis is on economic development for the community.
This year the chamber has set forth a goal of working with
businesses through education. "The most challenging issue
facing employers is finding reliable employees," Lowman stated.
With this in mind the chamber has initiated a new program that works
through education to develop potential good employees.
Abbott says that the first step in this process was taken earlier
this year through a business breakfast meeting. They surveyed
businesses, asking what is right and working for them and what their
needs are. Using the information generated from those
questionnaires, the chamber recognized the potential of working with
educators to meet those needs. The next step is already in process
to meet those needs.
explained that the chamber is working with Lincoln Community High
School, with what is called the Chamber Academy, to bring together
the needs of businesses and education. The chamber is coordinating
with vocational-technical and work preparatory training programs to
communicate business needs and find job internships. Internships not
only provide experience for the student and supply local businesses
with needed employees at lower training costs but also often result
in businesses gaining good long-term employees.
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[Pictured in front are Nettie Bates, WLLM; Carol
Howe, Community Living Options; Sandy Adkins and Mitzie Welsh, Dairy
Queen; Marcia Greenslate, Lincoln Park District; Linda Skeadas,
American Red Cross; Ed Stanfield, Glenn Brunk Stationers; and Shawn
Taylor, Logan Lanes. In back are Randy Belsley, Diversified
Buildings; Patrick Doolin, Integrity Data; Jim Ash, WMNW; Celeste
Rogers, Precision Products; Jim Newsome, Team Express; and
Annette Schishler, Pepsi Cola Bottlers. Big Oak Hunting Paradise and
A. Lincoln General Store & Bakery were also recognized for their
new membership status.]
the program is developed, the intention is to take it to the other
schools in the county.
veteran members of the chamber attended the luncheon to welcome the
new members into the organization. Fifteen new businesses were
inducted at the end of the luncheon at the Restaurant at the Depot.
The ceremony recognized businesses that have joined the chamber since
the beginning of the year.
businesses get an education
on workforce education
23, 2001] Representatives
from Lincoln businesses had the opportunity to listen and learn
about additional training to keep their workforce current with today’s
rapidly changing technologies. State grants are available for
financial assistance with that training,
tax dollars, in the form of grants, are there to be used,"
Heartland Community College representative Melinda Harper told the
gathering. "We have about $75,000 available for workforce
training over the next year. The grants can provide financial
assistance, in the form of refunds for up to 50 percent of the
training, to an employer."
a Chamber of Commerce mixer Thursday evening at the local branch of
the community college, about 30 people from a wide variety of
Lincoln companies listened to three speakers from HCC Corporate
Education talk about a number of programs available to all
businesses interested in additional training of their workforce.
Corporate Education provides employee training for both individual
and company needs. They also facilitate the state grants available
to the region stretching from Lincoln to Pontiac.
Melinda Harper and Scot Smigel explained how the program works:
Companies interested in providing additional training for their
employees contact Heartland. Heartland Corporate Education and the
employer meet to discuss general and specific training needs. They
jointly develop a training program, based on types of training
needed, when and where the training is to be done, and how long it
should take. HCC Corporate Education calculates the cost of the
desired program and identifies which grants are available for
financial assistance. Heartland also develops and executes the
training, providing expert instructors and required training
materials. After the successful completion of the program, Heartland
will give the employer a check for the agreed upon financial
assistance from the chosen grant.
types of training include computer skills, industrial and technical
skills, and leadership and management training.
an informal question-and-answer session afterward, Bob Jeckel of
Frontier Mutual Insurance asked, "What types of training are
there? We wonder if some of our employees have skills that could be
used better in other areas."
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responded, "There are all types of training available, based on
the employers’ desires. HCC Corporate Education can do an
assessment and evaluation of employee skills."
he explained welding training and certifications to Don Bode of Bode
attendees also listened to a brief presentation by Sara Baker on the
internship program at Heartland. Ms. Baker explained benefits there
are for employers using interns — the ability to plug in employees
with focused, specific skills where needed. Some companies hire
their interns full-time, thus reducing the training curve normally
associated with new employees. None in attendance had any interns
currently at their companies.
companies interested in taking advantage of the training programs
and grant monies should contact Kari Oetzel, HCC Corporate Education
program assistant, at (309) 268-8803. With any questions about the
internship program, contact Sara Baker at (309) 268-8035. Additional
information can be found at the Heartland website: http://www.hcc.cc.il.us.
calendar of events for August
Aug. 5 — Logan County Fair
2 — Chamber board meeting, Chamber office, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
3 — Grand opening ribbon-cutting, Logan Lanes, 1700 Fifth St.,
6 — Economic Development Council, Chamber office, 5 p.m.
9 — Government/Education Committee, Al’s Main Event, 7:30 a.m.
10-19 — Illinois State Fair
14 — Marketing Committee, Grapes and Grounds, 8:30 a.m.
17 — Membership Committee, Restaurant at the Depot, 4 p.m.
23 — Chamber mixer and festival kickoff party, Maple Ridge Care
24-26 — Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival
28 — Tourism board meeting, 5 p.m.
29 — Economic Development Council, City Hall, 4:30 p.m.
30 — Executive Committee, Blue Dog Inn, noon-1 p.m.
Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for community progress, bringing
business and professional people together to work for the common
good of Lincoln and Logan County.
County Chamber of Commerce
S. Kickapoo St., Lincoln
Street Corner News
calendar for Main Street Lincoln
Aug. 7 — Executive meeting, 4:30 p.m., Main Street Lincoln office
Aug. 8 — Main Street Lincoln board meeting, 5:30 p.m. Union
Planters conference room
Aug. 15 — Mornings on Main, 7:30 a.m., Union Planters conference
Aug. 15 — Looking for Lincoln, 7 p.m., Union Planters conference
Aug. 23 — Festival of Trees committee meeting
Aug. 24 — Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival begins
and Sunday, Aug. 25 and 26 — Main Street’s Adventure Zone at the
Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival will include a cardboard maze,
children’s art tent, community puzzle, giant Jelly Belly, Whopper
Hopper, face painting, snow cones, story time and lots of fun for
Aug. 27 — Economic Restructuring Committee meeting, 5:30 p.m.,