Introduction

Welcome to the North Central Regional Betterment Coalition homepage. The NCRBC is a 501(c)3 organization. The North Central Region of Illinois is comprised of the counties of LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam. While there are many diverse entities in these three counties, they also share a natural linkage with each other. As a Betterment Coalition we strive for nothing more, and at the same time nothing less, than to see our region improve. Our region has many strengths and fine organizations. By definition, however, every organization also has its limitations. We are concerned about the potential improvement opportunities that can fall through the cracks. NCRBC would like to collaborate with you in facilitating your communication and involvement with others in this tri-county area. To do so, we need your help.

On this Web site, you can find links to:

  • membership-partnership options - a unique new service to bring greater continuity and service to all of the many fine service groups and organizations currently at work in North Central Illinois
  • plans for the creation of the North Central Regional Artists Coalition
  • the NCRBC Educational Advocacy Committee, which will be confronting the challenges of improving our educational capacity to match the needs of today’s economy
  • a detailed history of how a group of concerned citizens just like yourself came together in 2002 with the idea that people, one step at a time, can make things a little bit better

Additional links of service for the community will be added as we continue to evolve.

Our Mission

The North Central Regional Betterment Coalition would like to create and facilitate a means for new educational, cultural and economic opportunities in North Central Illinois; partner and network with other individuals, groups, and agencies to enhance our present strengths; and market these advantages.

NEWS

New Video Released! 2014 Discover Manufacturing Career Expo! Watch it here

Discover Manufacturing Career Expo Set for Wednesday October 22nd

The world of manufacturing has come a long way from the grimy image many people envision when they think of a factory career, and hundreds of local high school students will soon have the opportunity to see first-hand the career opportunities available in the modern manufacturing industry.

The 2014 North Central Illinois Discover Manufacturing Career Expo will be from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22. For the second year, the Discover Manufacturing Career Expo will connect local high school students and manufacturers to help raise awareness of manufacturing opportunities in the Illinois Valley and beyond.

“Many students are surprised by what they find at the Expo. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about careers they expect to see in manufacturing, like engineering, mechanics, or welding. It’s also an opportunity to discover more unexpected manufacturing career paths, such as chemistry, finance, sales and marketing,” said Ralph Moshage, Corporate Engineering Manager for Carus Corporation and Event Co-Chair for the Discover Manufacturing Career Expo.

One Illinois Valley native who has gone on to an exceptional career in the manufacturing industry will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Expo.

Jim Blass, who grew up in Peru and graduated from LaSalle-Peru Township High School (Class of 1973) and Illinois Valley Community College, is now the Director of Global Product Validation for Caterpillar’s Product Development and Global Technology Division. He will share his experiences in the manufacturing industry with students at the Expo.

In his nearly 40 years with the Caterpillar company, Jim has held a wide variety of manufacturing and product development roles. He most recently served as the Operations Manager for Caterpillar’s Aurora, Illinois and Peterlee, UK facilities. He also held positions as the Operations Manager for the Pontiac facility, Tech Manager for ACERT injectors and Product Manager for Caterpillar Environmental Technologies and Cooling Design Center. Jim is a noted inventor with 14 patents and holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Manufacturing Technology from Illinois State University.

The full-day event will bring students from 13 area high schools to tour local manufacturers and to Illinois Valley Community College’s new Peter Miller Community Technology Center. While touring the manufacturing locations students will see first-hand the multitude of career opportunities available in the modern manufacturing industry. Afterward, the students will tour IVCC’s new facility while learning about post-high school educational opportunities that could prepare them for careers in manufacturing. They also will have additional opportunities to speak with representatives of the participating manufacturing companies.

Students will tour the facilities of Carus Corporation, Sabic, Black Brothers, MBL USA, Vactor, Allegion (LCN Closers), Gardner Denver, and Eakas.

The event is a true collaboration between business, educators, and local community members. The North Central Regional Betterment Coalition, lead sponsor for the Expo, spearheaded this project by convening regional stakeholders interested in improving the economic climate of North Central Illinois.

The North Central Illinois Discover Manufacturing Career Expo is possible due to the support of sponsors, including Carus Corporation, Eakas, Gardner Denver, Imagine U Studio, Allegion (LCN Closers), MBL, Sabic, Vactor, MCS Advertising, and Black Brothers. Along with event sponsors, the North Central Illinois Discover Manufacturing Career Expo relies on a large group of partners, including North Central Regional Betterment Coalition, Illinois Valley Community College, Caterpillar, Starved Rock Associates for Vocational and Technical Education, Subway, HyVee, Society for Human Resource Management, Hometown National Bank, Nickeloid Metals, Machinery Maintenance, Valley Fabrication, On Site Repair Services, Jim Loveland, and LaSalle-Peru Township High School.

Photo Gallery

We have now added a Photo Gallery The link has been added to the left or you can click here

Spring Valley Community Wide Forum-The Economic Value of Education

A coalition of major stakeholders and education advocates in Spring Valley will hold a community wide forum on Tuesday March 11th on the new importance of education in determining the economic prospects for the city and its residents. The meeting will be held at the Spring Valley City Hall in its City Hall Community Room, 215 N. Greenwood St. beginning at 6:30pm. The sponsors of the forum are Hall Township High School, Illinois Valley Community College, City Spring Valley, Spring Valley Boosters, Spring Valley Partners for Progress, and the North Central Regional Betterment Coalition. The featured speakers include Hall High School Superintendent Michael Struna, who will cover the impact of the most recent High School Performance Report Card, and IVCC President Dr. Jerry Corcoran who will draw the line from academic achievement to economic prosperity in a rapidly changing world. According to Spring Valley Economic Development Director Debb Ladgenski, “the meeting is intended for any resident of Spring Valley concerned about the future of their children, and/or the future of Spring Valley as a vibrant community.” Corcoran, who did 28 similar presentations across the college’s district in 2012-13, added, “All available data shows us how important a college education is to lifetime earnings. Individuals with even one-year certificates, let alone advanced degrees, can expect to make hundreds of thousands more over their working lives.” “Our mission is to get that message out; this event is an excellent opportunity to do just that.” Struna added, “Where we are now and where we need to go cannot be accomplished in a vacuum. I look forward to this opportunity to engage the residents of Hall Township in the process of further building an education process that prepares our students for the best future which awaits them”

UNVEILED! New Video for NCRBC Discover Career Manufacturing Expo

See it here http://youtu.be/NB5IW-5fJh0

October 23 regional manufacturing career expo promotes ready-to-work skills for students and community

300 students from 13 regional high schools tour local manufacturing facilities to gain a greater appreciation of how what they are learning today will help them tomorrow. Following the morning tour, the students head to Celebrations 150 in LaSalle for an Expo Hall of all participants. Speakers and informational forums will be held. Project sponsored by North Central Regional Betterment Coaliiton along with partners Illinois Valley Community College, Starved Rock Area Vocational and Technical Education, NCI Works. Support and help from many other including Manufacturing Participants Black Brothers, MBL, Vactor, Eakas, Carus Corporation, Gardner Denver, LCN, Washington Mills, and Transco.

At 1:30PM the Public is invited to the Expo to see the current state of the growing manufacturing economy of LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam County.

May 2013 Summer Chess Meet and Greets-Starved Rock Chess League

All Meet and Greets will be at Peru City Hall 1901 Fourth St. All events on Thursday June 6th, June 20th, July 18th, and August 1st. All time 1:00-3:00

Sponsored by Ford Farms, PDQ, S&J Electric, and NCRBC

March 2013 NCRBC Chess Meet and Greet! Our next event is Saturday April 13th 2013 at Peru City Hall Community Building. Students in grades 3-5 and 6-8 invited. Registration is at 9:00 and the intramural meet and greet runs 9:30 to 11:30. This is a predecessor to forming a regional interscholastic chess league in the fall. For more information contact DeAnna Carlson at dcarlson.usa@gmail.com.

November 2012- NCRBC today is introducing its newest service: Podcasts for Educational Excellence. With a multitude of challenges and opportunities in education, the goal of Podcasts for Educational Excellence is to focus in on key issues and improvement options in a long interview format. The debut guest is Debra Kasperski. Kasperski is the Director of the National Board Resource Center Center at Illinois State University. Their mission is to advance teacher quality through National Board Certification. In the interview, listeners will be able to learn how National Board Certified Teachers, through rigorous course work, are prepared to effectively communicate with students who may come to school with different degrees of obstacles. Additional Podcasts will be added to the site on an ongoing basis. If you would like to be notified when additional Podcasts become available please send an email to info@ncrbc.net. Many thanks to Invisual Technologies of Spring Valley, NCRBC Board Member Hugo Heredia and his wife Jennifer Heredia for making Podcasts for Educational Excellence possible.

Summer 2012- NCRBC teamed up Dr. Jerry Corcoran and Fran Brolley from Illinois Valley Community College to help get our shared message out about the importance of higher education in economic development. There is now abundant research showing that communities which place a high priority of education become better positioned to attract good quality high paying jobs. The IVCC presentation quoted editorials from the Chicago Tribune and Census data to drive home these points. NCRBC Board members facilitated several of the presentations at regional Rotary, Kiwanis, and Business Development meetings. If your group would be interested in hearing this presentation please contact us at jburt@ncrbc.net Click here to read more about this and other NCRBC News...


NCRBC Celebrates the National Board Certified Teachers of LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam County

Teachers are the most important resource we have for producing better educated kids. Better educated kids are the key to economic prosperity in today's world. However, not all teachers are equal. Some teachers, in an effort to be the most effective teachers they can possibly be, undergo the rigor of what is called National Board Certification. The NCRBC believes these teachers are very special. They should be celebrated in the community and well paid by their employers. Click here to see the local list...