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NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

HCC Trustees support economic, environmental sustainability efforts
1/19/2012

FREEPORT The year's first Highland Community College Board of Trustees meeting produced unanimous votes on three proposals aimed at bringing economic growth and "green" initiatives to the HCC District through cooperative efforts with other colleges, local communities and businesses.

The Stephenson County Shared Vision and Community Strategic plan, also known as the Prospering Together initiative, was endorsed by Trustees. The Board pledged its support for the action plan summary targeting areas of improvement within key sectors, such as economic development and workforce development. The College will provide in-kind donations through leadership and small business development education, including the exploration of a hospitality training program.

"Through this vote in support of Prospering Together's shared vision, Trustees recognize Highlands key role in helping to improve the economic health and vitality of the region," said Highland President Joe Kanosky, emphasizing benefits realized as a result of this collaboration will affect all residents in Highland's district.

Furthering its pledge to improve the region's sustainability, the Board approved Highland's participation the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN). In conjunction with 16 community colleges, Highland was the recipient of an IGEN grant in September of 2011 and was designated as an adult transition center in order to expedite training in green industries for trade-affected workers and veterans. Additionally, Highland's wind turbine technician training materials will be shared to help provide the network's 48 community college campuses with up-to-date curriculum and online modules.

"By serving as an IGEN transition center, qualifying area residents will be able to take advantage of some real assistance to retool their skills and apply them in the growing green economy industry," said Dean of Business and Technology Scott Anderson. "IGEN officials recognized Highland's leadership in the field of wind turbine technician training by designating us as a training hub in this area."

Board members also heard a presentation by Charles Brettell of Energy Asset Advisors regarding a tax abatement request for the construction and operation of a DeBruce Grain, Inc., storage facility in Jo Daviess County. The structure, capable of storing six million bushels, would be part of the Freeport Stephenson County Enterprise Zone, requiring the support of various taxing bodies. The Board approved the abatement during the regular session. The agreement spans just over eight years with significant revenue anticipated upon its fruition. Additionally, increased tax revenue will be earned due to a reclassification of the building site from agricultural to manufacturing.

"The Board gave this request for abatement a thorough and critical examination and concluded that the project has strong potential overall benefit for the region," said Kanosky. "Our Board's policy states that Trustees will look favorably upon proposed tax abatements when it can be shown that the abatement can provide significant economic benefit to the District."

In other action items, Trustees approved the regular Board of Trustees meeting schedule through April 2013, a revised salary range placement for the Workstation/Network Client Analyst position, and full-time faculty seniority lists.

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OFFICE OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

815-235-6121
Fax 815-235-6130



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