Making Opportunities Real for Everyone (MORE) in the Mississippi and Rock River Regions

Recent Updates

March 2019 Update A lot has been happening in the MORE region including expansion of the multicraft internship program (MEIP), and STEM/Robotics activities.

The MEIP program now has 15-member companies willing to take on students as interns.  Additionally, through a state grant, Sauk Valley Community College will work with area manufacturers to offer 12 paid internships for students who attended the Whiteside Area Career Center (WACC) immediately upon starting the Multicraft Technology program.  

STEM/Robotics activities – The MORE team is helping promote regional summer STEM camps at Morrison Tech and Sauk Valley Community College.  Both institutions will be hosting separate activities focused on STEM and STEAM learning activities. The location of the two schools will provide access for students on both sides of the county.  Area partners may be asked to help offset expenses through scholarships. Partner schools will be asked to consider providing transportation to and from the camps. STEM and STEAM activities are a great way to promote student learning and partner with area institutes of higher learning. The MORE region has a small number of high schools and middle schools with robotics’ teams.  MORE is working with ROE 47, Sauk Valley CC, Morrison Tech and area schools to build capacity within the schools to create and expand robotics in the classroom and after school. The MORE community would also like to host a robotics demonstration and or competition in the near future.

Further, MORE will host a Career Cruising/Xello informational meeting on Thursday, April 4th at Sauk Valley Community College.  With the recent migration to Xello, what used to be known as Career Cruising is changing. This meeting will be an opportunity for employers, representatives from area schools and higher education institutions to learn about the transition from Xello staff.  

Additionally, area manufacturers and the Sauk Valley Chamber of Commerce  will be hosting the second annual Manufacturing dinner on Thursday, May 2nd at Sauk Valley Community College.  A similar event was well received last year and brought employers, educators, government officials and other community leaders together for an informational and networking opportunity.  

 

December 2018 — In the MORE communities, representatives from area employers, higher education, and K-12 schools are meeting and creating a model/template for high school endorsements in agriculture, manufacturing, and education.  The education work recently brought together leaders from Western Illinois University (WIU), Northern Illinois University (NIU), Sauk Valley Community College, Whiteside Area Career Center, and area school district to meet and discuss how K-12, Sauk, WIU, and NIU can support students who choose to enter the education field.

The MORE Communities have also been planning a Robotics Team Challenge.  Area manufacturers, schools, Morrison Institute of Technology and Sauk Valley Community College are beginning to plan an area robotics competition in the Sauk Valley Region.  The goal of the competition is to provide an avenue to bring together employers, higher education and students for a day of learning, engagement and competitions.  The MORE team believes that employers can gain valuable access to potential employees, and that post-secondary institutions can market their programs of study to students and provide the students with a competition that engages their interests.

September 2018 — Through a collaborative process that included administrators, teachers and other stakeholders, River Bend Community Unit District #2, which is in the MORE (Making Opportunities Real for Everyone in the Mississippi and Rock River Regions) Leadership Community has adapted the PaCE Framework.  Darryl Hogue, the Superintendent for the district, said he is thrilled to have this tool to support students as they progress from K-12th grade.

Find the adapted Framework here.

June 2018 — Local Manufacturer Presents Internship Opportunities at Area High School

Fulton High School recently invited Timkin Drives, a local manufacturer to meet with graduating seniors to present the Timkin/Sauk Multicraft Intern opportunity as part of the region’s Multicraft Extended Internship Program.

Timkin shared the possibilities that exist if students commit to the internship that allows them to go to Sauk Valley Community College two days a week as a multicraft interns and work three days a week. Students complete the internship with a two-year multicraft certificate. Fulton High School is part of the MORE team and helps connect local manufacturers to graduating seniors.

To support the internship program, Whiteside Area Career Center (WACC) and Sauk Valley Community College have purchased multiple pieces of equipment this year, including two Haas mini mills, two Haas lathes, and six new CNC simulators. All of this equipment is housed at the WACC manufacturing technology center and has been purchased in response to workforce demands. Night courses are now offered at the facility to further engage industry and the community in workforce development.

Watch “Humans of Sauk Valley,” a video about MORE’s efforts that debuted in April 2018.

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Community/Region of Focus

Whiteside Area Career Center, 18 high schools

Prioritized STEM Industry Clusters

  • Specific focus on manufacturing, agriculture, health science, and construction
  • Initial project allows for application across all industry clusters

Key Activities for Upcoming School Year

  • Career Cruising Inspire is being purchased through WACC.
  • Area communities will be supported through partnerships formed with MOR.
  • SVCC and WACC will begin hosting training for area high schools to maximize opportunities.
  • MOR is promoting the Multi-craft Extended Internship Program at SVCC through partnerships with area manufacturers and high schools.
  • MOR is promoting Morrison Tech’s pre-engineering dual credit program that allows high school students to earn credit toward an engineering degree.
  • MOR is working with SVCC, NIU, WACC and area hospitals to expand enrollment in health science courses, certifications and degree programs.
  • MOR will also be promoting and helping schools grow their school-business partnership programs through Career Cruising Inspire and business portfolios that highlight networking opportunities.