First, the Fondulac Bank is offering a free workshop on Starting a Business in Illinois. Co-sponsored by Bradley University’s Illinois Small Business Development Center and the Morton Community Bank, it is open to everyone.
One can never be too young to start the preparation needed for getting a job. Since – according to a recent report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics – within the next two years there will be over a million unfilled tech jobs – now is the time to start prepping young kids to get qualified. As such STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education is crucial. Particularly for girls, since they are less likely to get coding classes, but it’s also important for boys. Thankfully, such classes are cropping up a lot in the Chicago areas. One is, Code Play Learn opened by William Greenwald in 2013 because as he explains:
“Although not everyone will become a doctor or a scientist, it’s important that everyone have a basic scientific knowledge about how the human body works. I feel the same way about coding; I don’t expect everyone to become a programmer, but I do believe that it is critical that everyone gets a fundamental understanding of how technology works and how it is built.”
In addition, Coonley Elementary School students have been privy to coding lessons (from kindergarten to fifth grade!) thanks to Instructional Technology Coach Nicole Zumpano in an effort to: “expose students to coding, so that as they grow older they feel it becomes an option for them to pursue and they will already have some fundamental knowledge about it.”
There are also various community economic development programs springing up in the region such as Creating Economic Opportunities program, The Small Business Development Center and the Community and Economic Development Summits which seek to “align institutional resources with community and regional needs.” According to Joe Rives, Co-Chair of the PEI, and Vice President of the WIU Quad Cities Campus and Planning, “CED Summits are important to the state’s economy as we work to recruit and retain a highly skilled workforce for the 21st century in Illinois. Our work is achieved by helping to advance community and/or regional goals expressed in existing economic development plans. [The PEI] is also working with] businesses and industries of all shapes and sizes, from an individually owned and operated company, to Forbes Fortune 100 companies.”