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MATTOON -- Lake Land College plans to collaborate with area businesses and industries to start an apprenticeship project.

The Lake Land Board of Trustees voted during its meeting Monday night to accept a $42,762 grant from the Illinois Community College Board for supporting the startup of the Lake Land College Apprenticeship Collaboration Project.

Jon Althaus, vice president for academic services, said the grant funding will help Lake Land become the first downstate Illinois community college to act as a sponsor of U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship programs.

Althaus said Lake Land will oversee at least 30 new apprenticeships in both the production technician and the plastics manufacturing programs. He said the college will also begin recruiting students for registered apprenticeships in the field of finance.

The grant proposal reported that only one community college in Illinois currently operates as an apprenticeship sponsor with the U.S. Department of Labor.

"All other Illinois community college-based apprenticeships utilize either the partnering business or an intermediary agency to sponsor registered apprenticeships. By acting as a sponsor, Lake Land College will provide an administrative and economical advantage to participating companies,” the grant proposal reported.

Monday evening, the board also voted to approve the recipients of Lake Land's Distinguished Service Award and Alumnus Achievement Award and to approve the Retiree Wall of Fame inductees.

The Distinguished Service Award will be posthumously presented to Robert Luther, who served as Lake Land's fourth president from 1998 until his retirement in 2006. He later served as a trustee on the Lake Land board from 2011 until his death in mid-September 2017 at age 77.

Cari Rincker of Champaign, class of 2000, is the recipient of the Alumnus Achievement Award. Rincker is a licensed attorney in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington D.C., with concentrations in food, farm and family law. She is also an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School, teaching an online agriculture and environmental law course.

Lake Land retirees Kathleen Doehring, Thomas Kerkhoff, and Benny Ragle will be inducted into the Retiree Wall of Fame. Kerkhof worked for Lake Land from 1988 to 2009, retiring as executive dean of correctional programs. Doehring worked from 1982 to 2009, retiring as nursing instructor/director of nursing. Ben Ragle worked from 1974 to 2006, retiring as an academic counselor.

Other actions taken by the board included:

  • Hiring Data Reproductions Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich., for $15,425 to print the 2018-20 Lake Land course catalog. Data Reproductions submitted the lowest bid among five bidders for this project.
  • Authorizing three air clean vent hoods from the chemistry lab to be declared as surplus equipment.
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