Wednesday, December 20, 2017


CEFCU is pleased to announce that members now have the ability to access Masterpass™ by Mastercard®, a digital wallet that can be accepted at millions of locations – online, in-store, and in-app.  Any CEFCU Debit Mastercard or Credit Mastercard may be used with Masterpass. 

               Masterpass is easy to set up and use.  Simply add your CEFCU Debit Mastercard or Credit Mastercard and make purchases quickly and securely online or in-app wherever you see the Masterpass button. You may also use the Masterpass Android™ app with an Android phone running Kit Kat (4.4) or higher in-store, wherever you see the contactless-enabled symbol.  Masterpass purchases are protected by layers of security and when you pay in-store a one-time number is used instead of your actual credit or debit card number. Users simply click the Masterpass button online or in-app, or tap & pay with a compatible Android device at accepting merchants.

            “CEFCU is excited to be able to add Masterpass to our lineup of digital wallets,” said Denise Ghere, CEFCU Senior Vice President.

With assets totaling nearly $5.8 billion, CEFCU serves over 327,000 members through 22 central Illinois Member Centers and four Member Centers in Santa Clara County, California; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s website,; the surcharge-free CO-OP ATM Network; and the CU Service Center Shared Branch Network.    

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Cash Store
3324 Court St. 
Pekin, IL 61554
Cash Store has been a trusted provider of cash loans with competitive terms and high approval rates since 1996. They have over 340 locations in 7 states - providing a better alternative to payday loans. Their loans give you more time to pay back with smaller payment amounts and no overnight wait. Their experienced service team makes it quick and easy for almost anyone to get the cash they need whenever the need arises. The Cash Store is committed to delivering the best customer service possible to assist you with your cash loans.


Illinois Central College will hold several informational sessions for its Highway Construction Careers Training Program, with program applications and TABE testing available at each session. There is no registration or fees required. 

The Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP) at Illinois Central College is a grant-funded program sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The goal of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program is to increase the number of minorities, women and disadvantaged individuals working in the construction trades. The program is a 12-week free training course that focuses on preparing individuals for a successful building trade application process by increasing math skills, job readiness, and technical skills. Training also includes OSHA 10-hour certification, Forklift and Aerial Lift Certification, and First Aid/CPR certification. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have the skills necessary to seek careers as laborers, cement masons, operating engineers, electricians, ironworkers, sheet metal workers, carpenters, bricklayers, and other union trades.

To qualify for the program a candidate must be 18 years old, have a valid Illinois driver’s license, have a high school diploma or GED, and consent to random drug screening.

Informational and testing sessions will be held:

  • Tues., January 23, 2018, at 9 am
    ICC Peoria Campus, Hickory Hall, Room 131
    5407 N. University Street, Peoria
  • Wed., January 24, 2018, at 9 am
Goodwill Industries
2319 E. War Memorial Drive, Peoria

  • Thurs., January 25, 2018, at 1 pm
    Tri-County Peoria Urban League
317 S. MacArthur Highway, Peoria

  • Thurs., January 25, 2018, at 5:30 pm
ICC North Campus, Hickory Hall, Room 101
5407 N. University Street, Peoria

  • Fri., January 26, 2018, at 9 am
ICC North Campus, Hickory Hall, Room 101
5407 N. University Street, Peoria

If selected for the program, the class will begin on February 26, 2018, and end on May 18, 2018.

For more information about the program, please contact Monica Arbuckle at (309) 690-6912,, or Ellen George at (309) 690-6909,

Monday, December 18, 2017

Tomorrow's Hope Christian Academy

ICC Offers Extended Hours in January for Spring 2018 Enrollment

               Illinois Central College will offer extended hours in January for the convenience of students interested in enrolling for the spring 2018 semester, which begins on Tues., Jan. 16.
In addition to regular business hours of 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday, ICC will be open on Sat., January 6 and 13, from 9 am to 1 pm at the East Peoria Campus. The College will also offer extended hours for Quick Start on Mondays at the Peoria Campus and on Tuesdays at the East Peoria Campus.  Offices are open until 7 pm in December and until 8 pm in January for QuickStart events.
QuickStart is an expedited way for potential students to get through the steps of enrolling all in one day. No appointment is necessary. Free parking is available in Lots A and B on the East Peoria Campus, as well as the Visitors Lot.
ICC is closed December 23 through January 1 for the holidays. Classes start Tues., January 16.
The class schedule is available online at
During QuickStart events, participants can complete an ICC application and have it processed immediately, complete placement testing, meet with an advisor, fill out financial aid paperwork, set up a payment plan, and enroll for classes. Advisors are available to help students who wish to enroll, but additional follow-up may be required. Some programs are restricted enrollment and only general education or pre-requisite courses may be scheduled in those cases. Enrollment, testing, and financial aid services also will be available for all students.

QuickStart participants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure enough time to complete the steps to enrollment, ICC suggests arriving no later than 2 hours prior to the ending time of the event.

Applicants also should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at  prior to coming to campus. Please list ICC on the form in order to be fully considered for federal student aid opportunities at the College.
To complete all the steps of admission and enrollment, participants should bring:
·        A valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, military ID, or other government-issued ID).
·        Checkbook or credit card to set up a payment plan.
·        Social security card.
               For those interested in financial assistance, ICC has scholarships still available for spring 2018. Visit
               Students should first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at ICC Financial Assistance staff is available to answer questions about completing the FAFSA or you can find helpful information located at

For more information or for any questions, please call Illinois Central College at (309) 694-5-ICC.                    


Groundbreaking new initiative will equip 1.2 million people with vital digital skills and Goodwill, the United States’ leading workforce development nonprofit, have announced the launch of the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. Funded by a $10 million grant from and with the assistance of 1,000 Google volunteers, the new Goodwill initiative will enable more than one million people — including people with disabilities and disadvantages, youth, older workers, veterans and military families, and people who are transitioning back into society — to receive digital skills training over the next three years.
To launch the initiative, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and President Jacquelline Fuller visited with Goodwill Industries International President and CEO Jim Gibbons and Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania President and CEO Mike Smith at the Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania headquarters in Pittsburgh to participate in a Digital Skills Career Day, a half day of sessions designed to raise awareness of digital skills training and career opportunities among Goodwill program participants and build Goodwill team members’ capability to train individuals for careers that require digital skills. Google volunteers were on the ground to help conduct trainings for the Pittsburgh Goodwill’s team members and program participants. The trainings focused on a variety of topics ranging from applied digital skills to Google tools for jobs and demystifying digital careers. The sessions occurred after a launch at the Google Pittsburgh office.
“Together, Goodwill and Google are helping people advance their skills and change their lives,” said Gibbons. “This exciting investment from one of the world’s most innovative technology and digital leaders will help Goodwill organizations across the country equip more than a million people with the digital skills they need to advance their careers. I’m proud of the work Google and local Goodwill organizations will accomplish together.”
“Goodwill is the leading workforce development nonprofit in the United States and Google is proud to support them as they prepare more than one million people across the country to get the critical digital skills they need to be successful today and in the future,” said Jacquelline Fuller, president of “We both share a commitment to create opportunities for everyone, and we’re excited to amplify Goodwill’s amazing work through our giving and Google volunteers.”
“This grant will be a tremendous asset to our community and Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is proud to be an administrator,” said Don Johnson, Goodwill President & CEO. “The skills people can learn are the skills employers are looking for, as technology grows. We look forward to putting people to work and further strengthening our community.”


Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois has received a $2,000 grant from Ameren Illinois to be used for Goodwill’s GoodJobs program. The GoodJobs program provides young adults, ages 16-19, with employment resources and job skills training.
During the two week program, participants attend soft skills courses, receive assistance with resume writing, participate in mock interviews and complete on-the-job training at one of Goodwill’s retail stores. The program culminates in a hiring event that features employers specific to the 16-19 age group.
The program is free of charge and also includes on-going support; weekly job leads lists and access to future monthly hiring events.
“This grant will help us give our young people the best possible start on entering the workforce and taking the first steps to successful a career,” said Samantha Kinsey, Goodwill Youth Services Program Manager.
The grant was made through the Ameren Cares program, which connects Ameren Illinois to the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteering. It will cover supplies needed by these young adults, including USB drives, office supplies, transportation (gas cards or bus passes), uniforms for on-the-job training at Goodwill stores and a Goodwill store voucher for interview clothing.
Daetta Jones, Division Director for Ameren Illinois, shared, "Ameren Illinois is proud to support Goodwill's GoodJobs program. Preparing our young people to enter the workforce is vital to creating strong communities in the future."
Goodwill also offers the GoodSkills program. Youth ages 11-17, participate in activities designed to explore career possibilities and learn valuable life skills.
All of Goodwill’s free programs are possible through the sale of your donated items. Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois serves 21 counties within Central Illinois. Along with youth services, Goodwill offers employment services, veterans’ services, operates a veterans’ home and employs more than 300 people.

Central Illinois Solar Training Pipeline Program

Central Illinois Solar Training Pipeline Program
Tues., Dec. 19, 2017
11 am
ICC Peoria Campus
Arbor 112 (Multi-Purpose Room)

5407 N. University St., Peoria
Thanks to a $1 million grant from Commonwealth Edison, Illinois Central College, along with more than 15 community organizations and businesses, will offer a program designed to build a workforce training program for solar technicians. ICC will serve as fiscal and lead agent for the Central Illinois Solar Workforce Pipeline Training Program, with Illinois People’s Action/Heaven’s View Community Development Corp. and Tri-County Urban League acting as key partners.

Additional information, including a news release, will be available at the press conference.

Featured speakers:

  • Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey – President, ICC
  • Dr. Rita Ali – Vice President of Diversity and Community Impact, ICC
  • Rev. Tony Pierce - Illinois People’s Action / Heaven’s View Community Development Corporation
  • Laraine Bryson – President, Tri-County Urban League
  • Ellen George – Dean of Corporate and Community Education, ICC

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ICC Opens Scholarship Application January 15 for 2018-19 Academic Year

Illinois Central College is encouraging students who intend to enroll for the fall 2018 semester to apply for its scholarships. The ICC Educational Foundation offers more than 600 scholarships worth more than $750,000 to students attending in the coming academic year.
Students may apply for the scholarships from January 15, 2018, until 11:59 pm on April 1, 2018, using the online application system. Please note: The link will be active as of January 15, 2018.           

               The online application process is simple, and by completing one application, students are automatically considered for every scholarship for which they are eligible. Go online to view a complete listing of all available ICC scholarships at

Questions about scholarships or the application process may be directed to Stephanie Holmes at (309) 694-8420.

Friday, December 8, 2017

December Grand Prize Winners

Congratulations to all of the Grand Prize winners.  The big door prize drawing was held at the December Puttin' on Pekin breakfast.  Each of the 12 prize packages were valued at over $375.  (See list below of  those who donated.)  All of the entries from the previous 2017 breakfasts were entered into the drawing and you had to be present today to win.

Renna Hadsall, the events manager for the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce presented the winners with their prizes.  Congratulations to Joel Catlin, Dave Osborn, Ken Coulter, Manda Brown, Cathy Gray, Baylee Gambetti, Amy Hasty, Jim McClary, Kim Bunting, Heather Calvin, Greg Ranney, and Drew Lockwood.

Click here to pictures of all the winners:

A huge thank you to these businesses who contributed to the big door prize packages:  Alexandra Sinacori, Associated Bank, Beachbody/Teresa Mack, Big R of Pekin, BodyWealth Massage, CEFCU, City of Pekin, Classy Girl Boutique, Commerce Bank, Cornerstone Services, Debbie Fornoff Interior Designs & Draperies, Double D's Ice Crème, Enviro-Dry Clean Carpets, Excalibur Seasoning Company, Gold's Gym, Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Greenhouse Flower Shoppe,
Heartland Bank & Trust Company, Heartland Health Services, Hot Shots Pizza & Slots, Inspired Style Salon, Jake's Place, Jim Maloof Realtors, Kouri's Pub, Kyle's Care at Home, KZBEME Fingerprinting, Leo's Art Studio, Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, Misty Ward, NRG Energy Powerton Station, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, Pekin Community Bank, Pekin Hospital League Gift Shop, Pekin Insurance, Pekin Public Library, Redbrand Credit Union, Rocky Road Massage, Savant Wealth Management, Steger's Furniture, Suzi Davis Travel, The Hope Chest, UnityPoint Health, ValuCheck, Velde Lincoln Volvo of Peoria, Vonderheide Floor Coverings, and the Pekin YWCA.

December Puttin' On Pekin Recap

100 chamber members and guests attended the December 8th Puttin' On Pekin breakfast held at the Avanti's Dome  Events and Sports Center.  The Grace United Methodist Church players presented a preview of their upcoming Christmas program.  The emcee, Drew Lockwood from Velde Lincoln Volvo of Peoria, presented the Early Prize to Dave Osborn from Trouble Free Heating & Cooling.  Committee member John Plunket presented the Spotlight on Business Award to Debbie Fornoff Interior Design & Draperies.  Committee member Debbie Fornoff presented a Blue Ribbon Award to Vince Udry from Udry Jewelry.  Committee member Manda Brown presented a Blue Ribbon Award to Brigette Sullivan from Classy Girl Boutique.  Committee member Greg Ranney presented the Sunshine Award to Brian Byrne and Lynn Johnson from the Pekin Outreach Initiative.   The Late Prize went to Jordan Matthews from OSF.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

December Business After Hours Recap

Inspired Style Company and Hot Shots Pizza and Slots co-hosted the December Business After Hours.  The two Sunset Plaza businesses offered tours, and provided a great holiday atmosphere, including pizza, cookies and drinks. Michelle Bohm (Inspired Style Company) and Ryan Wozniak (Hot Shots Pizza and Slots) also shared with the attendees additional information about their businesses.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Neighborhood House Toy Shop

There is still time to register for the Neighborhood House Toy Shop! Neighborhood House is making Christmas brighter for kids.  Different businesses and organizations are busy collecting toys for the 82nd Annual Toy Shop. Parents who are working or going to school can pre-register for the Toy Shop November 20 through December 8 at Neighborhood House, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and the cost to register is $10. Those that wish to register must bring the following documents: 1) Photo ID 2) Birth certificates for all children or proof of guardianship (insurance or medical card with your name and children’s names) and 3) Proof of employment or paystub, school enrollment, or current unemployment statement (not required for retired grandparents).

Neighborhood House is proud to continue our tradition of helping families, help themselves this holiday season. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Breakfast with Santa 2017

Gather your family for a delicious pancake and sausage breakfast at Soldwedel's annual Santa Breakfast! Get your picture taken with Santa, bundle up for a sleigh ride and enjoy Reindeer games and a holiday craft to take home! Just $5 per person, children under 2 are free! Saturday, Dec 9th at Soldwedel Program Center from 8:30am to 11:00am. Tickets can be purchased in person the day of or online at
Soldwedel Program Center is located at 207 McNaughton Park Rd, Pekin, IL just outside of Pekin off of Route 98.

Are You Paying Your Employees Correctly?

December 14 @ 1 p.m. EST  / 10 a.m. PSTDecember 14 @ 1 p.m. EST  / 10 a.m. PST

Is your small business compliant with employee payment laws?

In this webinar, Jessica Hubbard-Davis and Julia Darcy of Paychex will cover the most critical components of paying your employees.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Stegers Renovations

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin held a ribbon cutting at Steger's Furniture on December 1.  The Steger family and staff were celebrating the recent completion of the major renovations of their store at 818 Court Street.  More pictures from this event can be seen at: