Monday, September 30, 2019

Illinois Central College to Lead $18.7 Million Workforce State Initiative

Illinois Central College, in partnership with Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth, announces the launch of a statewide Workforce Equity Initiative grant.  Illinois Central College will be the lead college of the $18.7 million initiative, receiving $1.85 million and partnering with 14 additional Illinois community colleges.    

The ICC Workforce Equity Initiative is focused on improving workforce inclusivity by providing a credential and a living-wage job for adults residing in disproportionately impacted areas (low income, low employment, high crime).  African American participants must represent a minimum of 60 percent of the population served by the grant due to their underrepresentation in high-demand, high-wage careers.  The initiative addresses local workforce gaps and employment barriers in an effort to prepare underserved individuals with a decent and equitable employment opportunity.  The end goal is for participating students to secure employment with a full-time job paying at least 30 percent above the regional living wage. 

“This initiative allows ICC the opportunity to remove barriers for the underserved and disadvantaged.  It allows us to meet students where they are, and get them where they want to be,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey.  “When adults earn credentials with labor market value, it not only changes the trajectory of their lives, but also the lives of their families; while growing the workforce, expanding businesses and creating a more vibrant regional economy.” 

The Workforce Equity Initiative will train participants in the high-demand occupations of CNC Operator, Welder, CDL Truck Driver, Local Area Network (LAN) Technician, CISCO Certified Network Administrator, CompTIA A+ (Computer Basics), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic. 

ICC will use Earn and Learn and Workforce Readiness skills training, enhanced by employer sponsorships, pre-apprenticeships, bridge programs and essential skills training.  Local community-based organizations will assist with case management and wrap-around support services.  Collaboration with these agencies, employers, faith-based organizations and community stakeholders is essential for success of the initiative. 

“ICC is honored to be leading this statewide workforce initiative.  Receiving this grant solidifies ICC’s commitment to bridging the workforce gap in our region and providing our students a pathway to careers with living wages,” said ICC Associate Vice President of Workforce Development Dr. Andrew Kerr. 

Legislative leadership for this initiative was championed by Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth and the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.  “I was proud to negotiate this innovative program that will be targeted directly at populations too often left behind when it comes to skills gap opportunities, career education and technical training, particularly in African American communities,”  said Gordon-Booth.  “I’m also proud that this program is being led by Illinois Central College, showcasing the ability of community colleges to help develop and implement innovative solutions that will lead directly to improved livelihoods for people across Illinois.”

The statewide grant will support development and implementation of instructional workforce programs at ICC and 14 additional community colleges, including College of Lake County, Joliet Junior College, Kennedy-King College, Lincoln Land Community College, Malcolm X College, Olive-Harvey College, Parkland College, Prairie State College, Richland Community College, Rock Valley College, South Suburban College, Southwestern Illinois College, Triton College, and Wilbur Wright College. 

As the third largest community college system in the country and the leading public workforce development trainer in the state, Illinois community colleges serve over 600,000 residents each year in credit, noncredit, and continuing education courses.  Illinois is home to 48 colleges in 39 community college districts, which provide high-quality, accessible and cost-effective educational opportunities to the entire state. 
                For more information, visit or call (309) 690-7600.

Legalized Marijuana and the Workplace Transparency Act

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (HB 1438) on May 31, 2019 and Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed the bill. The act, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, will allow anyone age 21 or older to possess, use or buy marijuana, which will be considered a lawful product. For employers, the end of Illinois' prohibition on recreational use invites a host of practical problems moving forward. 

And then on August 9, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker enacted sweeping changes to the landscape of employment law in Illinois. Among other changes, the amendments create the Workplace Transparency Act, which limits employers' abilities to restrict certain employee rights with regard to allegations of unlawful conduct. The amendments also significantly modify the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Illinois Victims Economic Security and Safety Act. The provisions of the amendments also go into effect on January 1, 2020.

We are pleased to announce Abby J. Clark from Davis & Campbell as our speaker.  Join us on November 7, 2019 as she helps dissect and discuss how these legislative changes will impact Illinois employers. 

Legalized Marijuana and the Workplace Transparency Act
November 7, 2019
Kuhl Insurance
632 W. Jefferson Street
Morton, IL 61550

Doors open at 8:30am and program begins at 9:00am, ending no later than 11:00am.

All programs are complimentary and are open to the public. We also offer a beverage and breakfast snack buffet. 

Wonderful Wally’s Family Gets a Sneak Preview of the First Responder Hero Room at the Peoria Ronald McDonald House®

September 24, 2019 – Peoria, IL  

Chillicothe Officer Alex Bastian and his wife Kelsey will be at the Peoria Ronald McDonald House® (RMH) on September 26th at 4:00 p.m. to view the new First Responders Hero Room and talk about why they are throwing their support behind the new Ronald McDonald House.

The Bastian’s son, twenty-month-old Walter (or Wonderful Wally as called by many in the Peoria area), battles a rare metabolic and neuromuscular genetic disorder called Barth Syndrome. He was diagnosed at 8-weeks old and has spent much of his life in and out of the hospital. His most recent hospital stay was around 100 days long in Chicago where he underwent a heart transplant. During their time in Chicago, the Bastians were residents at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie’s Children’s and quickly came to view it as their “second home.”

“We’re so thankful to have the support of families like the Bastians who have experienced first-hand the relief and comfort a Ronald McDonald House can offer,” shares Julie Locke, Founder of the Dax Foundation and co-chair of the Peoria Ronald McDonald House Capital Campaign. “We also celebrate with them that Wally is finally home!”

The First Responders Room is one of five suites that are part of the new Dax Wing in the Peoria RMH. This section of the House is specifically designed for immunocompromised children. The First Responder Hero Room will not only benefit many children like Wally but is also a great tribute to the many men and women who go above and beyond to keep us all safe and protected – just like Wally’s dad and the many first responders who have supported his journey so far.

In addition to the Bastians, Chillicothe Police Chief Scott Mettille and Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois Board Members will also be in attendance at the Peoria RMH. All have played an instrumental role in helping make the First Responder Hero Room a reality. Donations for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House build are still being accepted. Supporters can purchase a shirt by contacting Julie Locke at 309-360-9168 while supplies last. The cost is $20 per shirt.

The new Peoria RMH will serve over 700 families annually and provide hundreds of volunteer opportunities for the community. The capital campaign for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House is still going strong with many individual giving and Adopt-the-House sponsorship opportunities still available. For more information about how to support the project, please contact Kelly Thompson, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, at 217-836-3706 or
First Responders Room

Greg & Matt's Revenge Golf Course

Parkview Two-Person Triple Play

Better Business Bureau Study Examines Risk to Businesses from Business Email Compromise Scams

Better Business Bureau Study Examines Risk to Businesses from Business Email Compromise Scams

An in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau (BBB) finds that business email compromise scams are skyrocketing in frequency and have cost businesses and other organizations more than $3 billion since 2016.
Business email compromise fraud is an email phishing scam that typically targets people who pay bills in businesses, government and nonprofit organizations. It affects both big and small organizations, and it has resulted in more losses than any other type of fraud in the U.S., according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
The investigative study – “Is That Email Really From ‘The Boss?’ The Explosion of Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams” – looks at the prevalence of BEC scams and the criminal systems that perpetrate them. It digs into the scope of the problem, who is behind it, the multi-pronged fight to stop it and the steps consumers can take to avoid it. Read the full study at
BEC fraud takes many forms, but in essence, the scammer poses as a reliable source who sends an email from a spoofed or hacked account to an accountant or chief financial officer (CFO), asking them to wire money, buy gift cards or send personal information, often for a plausible reason. If money is sent, it goes into an account controlled by the con artist.
The FBI recognizes at least six types of activity as BEC or email account compromise (EAC) fraud, which differ based on who appears to be the email sender – a chief executive officer (CEO) asking the CFO to wire money to someone, a vendor or supplier requesting a change in invoice payment, executives requesting copies of employee tax information, senior employees seeking to have their pay deposited into a new bank account, an employer or clergyman asking the recipient to buy gift cards on their behalf, even a realtor or title company redirecting proceeds from a real estate sale into a new account. These targeted email phishing scams are sometimes called “spear phishing.”
This serious and growing fraud has tripled over the last three years, jumping 50% in the first three months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. In 2018, 80% of businesses received at least one of these emails. From 2016 through May 2019, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 58,571 complaints on BEC fraud, with reported losses in the U.S. totaling $3.1 billion. BBB’s report finds that the average BEC loss involving wire transfers is $35,000, while the average loss involving gift cards is $1,000 to $2,000. However, the cost to businesses can be much higher: Google and Facebook lost more than $100 million to BEC fraud before the perpetrator was arrested in 2017.
An Edwardsville, Illinois, real estate agent told BBB that on the closing date for a house she helped sell, the buyer received an email appearing to come from the agent, requesting that the buyer wire funds to a specified account, contrary to the agent’s instructions that the buyer bring a certified check to the closing. While the agent did not send the email nor was it from her true email address, the amount requested was the actual closing price of the house, and an attached PDF showed the letterhead of the real company handling the transaction; the account to which the money was to be wired was fake. The buyer did not comply and brought a certified check to the closing. Since the agent reported the incident to her manager and the title company, her company now warns clients to call the title company or real estate agent if they receive instructions to wire real estate closing money.
According to BBB’s report, the majority of defendants who have been arrested or charged for BEC fraud in the U.S. over the last three years are of Nigerian origin. The report says 90% of BEC groups operate out of Nigeria, with other Nigerian fraud groups operating from the U.S., Canada and many other countries around the world. In breaking down the anatomy of a BEC scam, the report notes that fraud gangs need the names of people within an organization, their job function and their email username and password, often obtained with illicit open source tools or free trials or lead generation services; that they must send emails directly to people, impersonating a trusted superior or partner and seeking money, which they can accomplish with a fake email address or domain name or by hacking a real person’s email account; and that they need a way to obtain money sent by victims, often via money mules, as detailed in a February 2019 BBB study about romance scam victims who become money mules.
Active efforts are being made to fight BEC fraud. On August 22, 2019, 80 defendants, believed to be responsible for at least $6 million in losses, were indicted in Los Angeles for BEC fraud in a major effort led by the FBI. On September 10, 2019, a worldwide law enforcement effort yielded 74 arrests for BEC-related fraud in the U.S., 167 in Nigeria and 40 in several other countries, with nearly $3.7 million in assets seized from the fraudsters. The U.S. Justice Department has brought at least 22 cases in the last three years, many as part of a collective enforcement effort dubbed “Operation Wire Wire,” named for BEC fraud’s common name among Nigerian fraudsters.
The report recommends:
      BBB urges businesses and other organizations to take technical precautions such as multifactor authentication for email logins and other changes in email settings, along with verifying changes in information about customers, employees or vendors. The report also urges culture and training changes in organizations – namely, confirming requests by phone before acting and training all employees in internet security.
      There is a strong need for more international cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
      Email system providers should consider enabling additional features to help prevent BEC fraud, including default settings with more security.
      Law enforcement should recognize that BEC fraud gangs engage in many varieties of the fraud at the same time and focus on the key actors in the frauds, not just supporting actors such as money mules.
What to do if your organization has lost money to a BEC fraud:
      If an organization finds that it has been a victim of a BEC fraud, it needs to immediately call its bank to stop the payment and report it to the FBI in the U.S. or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in Canada. If a report is filed within 48 hours, there is a chance the money can be recovered.
      Complain to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. IC3 also asks people to report unsuccessful BEC attempts as well. Information from attempts may help establish patterns or identify mule bank accounts.
      Complain to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: 1-888-495-8501.
      Report fraud to BBB Scam Tracker.
About BBB
BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit for more information.

Media contact: Jessica Tharp, President/CEO 309-670-1182 (direct) or (309)208-8050

Illinois Central College Hosting Power Show and Automotive Open House on October 8

                Illinois Central College will host a Power Show and Automotive Open House on Tuesday, October 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the ICC East Peoria Campus.  The open house provides potential students the opportunity to speak with faculty and representatives from the automotive service industry about high-demand careers in the automotive service area.  

                The open house will include presentations by industry professionals and discussion of opportunities in the automotive field, technology demonstrations, hands-on activities and contests, door prizes and giveaways, and more.  New, classic, and racing vehicles also will be on display during the show.

                “ICC is proud to be hosting the Power Show and Automotive Open House for high school students in our region for 44 years now.  It is a long-standing, fun event, showcasing the exciting, high-demand careers available in the auto industry,” said Interim Dean of Agricultural and Industrial Technologies Steve Flinn.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the ICC East Peoria Campus at the Agricultural and Industrial Technologies (AIT) building.  To RSVP or for questions, contact Renee Smith at or call (309) 694-5416. 

Gateway: National Recovery Month

In observance of National Recovery Month, Gateway Foundation is celebrating our strides made as an organization, as well as highlighting notable alum and recent events. Today, read the story of Mike and his journey to recovery. 

Mike's Success Story: Starting from the Bottom Shelf

Drinking began for Mike when he was working at a liquor store at age 13. His friend’s father owned a store, and Mike was responsible for stocking the shelves and checking inventory. It was easy to steal a bottle here and there because he was the one in charge.

As the years passed, Mike began experimenting with inhalants; as the highs became less intense, he moved on to different substances with greater risks. One such drug was Belladonna, a substance used for treating asthma. Its serious side effects caused him to overdose, and Mike awoke three days later in a mental institution. But his using didn’t stop there.

Mike continued down this path, using LSD and speed to reach the high he had been seeking. Still able to graduate from high school and hold down a job as a taxi driver, Mike became a “garbage can,” using intravenous drugs and whatever else he could find that didn’t leave him with a hangover.

Things only got worse. At 24, Mike was left to die in a basement after overdosing with his dealer. At that time, Mike’s father had had a stroke and was in a coma. His wife at the time told him that this was the breaking point; their marriage was over.

How Mike Got Help

Realizing he needed help and knowing his brother had been receiving addiction treatment at Gateway Foundation, he decided it was time. Mike was in a residential addiction treatment center  for a short period of time, but after his release, he was involved in an armed robbery and attempted murder.

Unfortunately, his addiction and search for the next high continued. After spending six weeks in county jail, Mike came into contact with a corrections officer who referred him to Gateway Foundation again. Mike entered treatment at Gateway Foundation Lake Villa.
After 13 months, Mike became a model patient. Protected from the outside world and working with dedicated staff, it became evident to Mike that recovery was possible. After completing the Lake Villa program, Mike moved to Gateway Foundation’s recovery home in Chicago.

After four decades in recovery, Mike has stayed in contact with those he met at Gateway Foundation and feels they have positively influenced his recovery.

“They have the ability to rid you of the image you had of yourself,” he says, “and teach you that you can live life without drugs, no matter where you come from.”

No matter how bleak things appear now, Mike's success story proves that addiction recovery is possible. To hear more success stories, watch here.

Call Gateway Foundation today at 877.377.2027.

Illinois American Water’s Pekin District Investing $1.5 million to Complete Transmission Water Main Upgrade

Project will enhance water service and fire protection to downtown Pekin

Illinois American Water’s Pekin District is investing approximately $1.5 million to install over
4,000 feet of 16-inch water main near the Pekin water treatment plant. The project will help increase water flow and pressure to downtown Pekin.

Cord Crisler, operations superintendent for the Pekin District, explained the project is part of an overall effort to help enhance water service and fire protection in Pekin. He said, “We work closely with our local firefighters, testing and operating every hydrant in our service area. We also monitor water flow. We expect these improvements will not only improve water flow, but will also contribute to an improved ISO rating for the City of Pekin. That’s one of our goals.”

An Insurance Services Offices (ISO) rating assesses community fire protection capabilities for insurance carriers. An upgraded rating illustrates improved public safety. It can also help decrease insurance costs for residents and businesses. The initial construction of the transmission water main upgrade project began last year when about 3,000 feet of 16-inch water main was installed. The work completed in 2018 represents an additional investment of about $1.1 million to ensure quality, reliable water service for a total investment of $2.6 million to upgrade over 1.3 miles of transmission
water main.

Crisler explained the company works to replace water mains annually to keep up with aging infrastructure. He said, “Like other water systems across the country, our water infrastructure is reaching the end of its useful lifespan. In fact, the U.S. EPA reports that the nation’s water utilities need to invest more than $384 billion by 2030 to safeguard public health.

This is why Illinois American Water is continuously investing to ensure reliable water service today and future generations.”

Illinois American Water’s water main replacement program focuses on replacing mains where leaks occur, corrosion has caused damage or the size of the pipe isn’t sufficient. For more information about Illinois American Water, visit

About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to more than 14 million people in 46 states. American

Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing.

For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Savant Capital Management Recognized as RIA Leader by Barron’s and Forbes

Savant Capital Management, a nationally-recognized fee-only wealth management firm headquartered in Rockford, IL, with locations in Peoria, Chicago, Downers Grove, Freeport, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, St. Charles, Sterling, and Wilmette, IL; Santa Fe, NM; Madison and Park Falls, WI; and McLean, VA has been ranked by Barron’s in its list of Top 40 Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) Firms and recognized by Forbes, naming Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant, as one of America’s top wealth advisors.

Rising 11 spots from 2018, Savant earned the No. 24 spot on the list of the Top 50 RIA Firms by Barron’s, a ranking developed to help investors find quality financial guidance. Barron’s, an American weekly newspaper that reports on current financial information and market developments, weighed dozens of factors in the rankings, including assets managed, the size and experience of the teams, and the regulatory records of the advisors and the firms. Click here to view the complete list of Top 50 RIA Firms.

For the fourth straight year, American business magazine, Forbes, ranked Brodeski in its list of America’s Top Wealth Advisors. Brodeski earned the No. 52 spot in the nation for 2019. More than 30,000 nominations were received, with 250 advisors chosen. The ranking, developed by SHOOK Research, includes advisors that are leading the way in offering best practices and providing a high-quality experience for clients from the financial services industry, including RIA firms like Savant, along with banks, brokerages, custodians, insurance companies, and others. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK received a fee in exchange for rankings. Click here to view the complete list of America’s Top Wealth Advisors.

Savant manages more than $6 billion in assets and employs more than 160 team members.

About Savant Capital Management
Savant Capital Management is a leading independent, nationally recognized, fee-only firm serving clients for 30 years with more than $6 billion in assets under management. As a trusted advisor, Savant Capital Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

Savant Capital Management is a Registered Investment Advisor. Savant’s marketing material should not be construed by any existing or prospective client as a guarantee that they will experience a certain level of results if they engage the advisor’s services. Please Note: "Ideal" is not intended to give assurance as to achieving successful results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Savant’s marketing material and/or rankings or recognition by unaffiliated rating services or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that they will experience a certain level of results if Savant Capital Management is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services nor should it be construed as a current or past endorsement of Savant Capital Management by any of it clients. Rankings are generally limited to participating advisers.

Friday, September 27, 2019

New Law Prohibits Employers from Asking for Wage History

Pursuant to Public Act 101-0177 the Illinois Equal Pay Act now bans employers and employment agencies from asking about applicants’ past wage and compensation histories. This law takes effect on September 29, 2019. Employers can be penalized for asking the applicant or the applicant’s current or former employers for wage or salary history. If they have not yet done so, employers should review their employment applications to make sure they do not ask for salary and wage history. They should also train those involved in hiring on the new law. For more information you should consult with your labor attorney or you may contact the Illinois Department of Labor at the Equal Pay Hotline 866-372-4365.

Frequently Asked Questions on Wage History Ban

1.  Can employers ask for salary history or use salary history when determining whether to offer a job or when determining how much to pay the job applicant?
No. It is unlawful for an employer to request or require a wage or salary history from a job applicant as a condition of being considered for employment or as a condition of employment.

2. Can employers ask about employment benefits that have been provided in the past to a job applicant during the application process?
No. It is also unlawful for an employer to request or require a job applicant to disclose benefits or other compensation received at any current or former employer as a condition of being considered for employment or as a condition of employment.

3. Who is covered by the law?
Illinois job applicants. This includes applicants to part-time and full-time positions, temporary or permanent, whether hourly or salary. The law however does not cover independent contractors.

4. Can employers use recruiters to determine applicants' salary histories?
No. Recruiters, employment agencies, staffing agency or any other agent of an employer may not screen applicants based on their current or prior wages or salary histories, benefits or other compensation.

5. Can an employer ask a current or former employer of the job applicant for the applicant’s wage history?
No. It is unlawful for an employer or their agent to ask for a wage or salary history, benefits or other compensation from an applicant’s employer or former employers when conducting verification or reference checks.

6. What if the employee already works for the company where he or she is applying?
The prohibition does not apply if a job applicant’s salary history is a matter of public record or if the applicant is a current employee applying with the same employer.

7. Can an employer prohibit employees from discussing their salaries?
No. An employer cannot prohibit its employees from disclosing their own salaries, benefits or other compensation to other individuals.

8. Can job applicants volunteer salary history information?
Yes. Applicants may voluntarily disclose their prior wage or salary history including benefits or other compensation. The employer shall not consider or rely on the voluntary disclosures as a factor in determining whether to offer a job applicant employment, in making an offer of compensation, or determining future wages, salary or benefits. 

9. Can employers provide a salary range to an applicant or discuss with an applicant their salary and benefits expectations?
Yes. An employer can provide information about the wages, benefits, compensation, or salary offered in relation to a position. The employer can also engage in discussions with an applicant about the applicant’s expectations with respect to wage or salary or benefits.

10. Who do I contact if I have questions about the new law?
Employers should consult with their labor attorney or you may call the Illinois Department of Labor at the Equal Pay Hotline 866-372-4365.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Family Friendly Spooktacular on October 24

Hopedale Wellness Center will be hosting its Annual Spooktacular on Thursday, October 24th from 6:00-8:00pm at the Wellness Center located at 222 NW Grove St. in Hopedale. The Spooktacular event is a FREE family friendly event open to children and adults of all ages. Come experience a Very Harry Potter themed event filled with quidditch, crafts, the Spooky Sprint, snacks, and more! You can dress in your Halloween costume and enjoy a Spooktacular evening of fun.

The Spooky Sprint will be a half-mile glow run beginning at 7:30pm. The race includes a costume contest and treats along the route. Prizes for costumes will be awarded to the Best Child, Best Adult, and Best Family.

The Hopedale Wellness Center offers programing for youth and adults throughout the year in a state-of-the art, 34,000 foot wellness facility. For more information on the Wellness Center visit or find them on Facebook at Hours are Monday-Friday 5:00a-9:00p, Saturday 7:30a-5:00p, and Sunday 1:00p-5:00p.

Monday, September 23, 2019

2019 Walk To End Alzheimers

Downtown Pekin Commercial Property Open House

The Power of Age Expo

East Peoria Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest

Jimbos Jumbo Volley For the Cure Challenge

Illinois Central College invites you to a press conference announcing a new state-funded Workforce Equity Project:

Monday, September 23, 2019
1:30 p. m. – 2:00 p.m.
ICC Peoria Campus
Arbor Hall Room A112
5407 N. University St., Peoria, IL
(Parking Lots 1 or 7 are closest to Arbor Hall)

This project will address our regional workforce gaps while uplifting and changing the lives of many individuals in our area.   

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

Available for interviews:
  • ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey
  • Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth
  • ICC Associate Vice President of Workforce Development Dr. Andrew Kerr
  • ICC Vice President of Diversity and Community Impact Dr. Rita Ali

For questions, contact Kayla Thompson, ICC Lead Communications and Media Relations, at or (309) 694-5527.

September Biz Barometer

Friday, September 20, 2019

Don't Ask Applicants About Pay History

Illinois employers can no longer ask job applicants or their previous employers about salary history under a new law passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Governor JB Pritzker earlier this year.  The legislature passed two earlier versions of the legislation, but they were both vetoed by then Governor Bruce Rauner.
Applicants will be able to seek up to $10,000 in damages if employers violate the law.  The new law also gives employees the right to discuss their salaries and benefits with co-workers.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Prepare for Minimum Wage Increase Now

Earlier this year, SB1, the "Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act," was passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker.  It takes effect on January 1, 2020 - just over 3 months from today.

The impact on businesses will be significant.  Over the next five years, the minimum wage will increase from $8.25 per hour to $15.00 for workers 18 years and older.  For employees who are under 18 years of age who work less than 650 hours in a year, the minimum wage will increase from $7.75 to $13.00 during the next five years.

Date                    18 & Older                Under 18
Current                       $   8.25                    $   7.75
January 1, 2020          $   9.25                    $   8.00
July 1, 2020                $ 10.00                    $   8.00
January 1, 2021          $ 11.00                    $   8.50
January 1, 2022          $ 12.00                    $   9.25
January 1, 2023          $ 13.00                    $ 10.50
January 1, 2024          $ 14.00                    $ 12.00
January 1, 2025          $ 15.00                    $ 13.00

Some employers may be able to claim a payroll withholding tax credit for a percentage of the increased wages under SB1.  The credit can be taken on the quarterly tax withholding returns for periods beginning on July 1, 2020.  Not all businesses will qualify for the credit.  Employers should consult with their tax advisors to determine their eligibility.

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Benson's Appliance
10 S. 9th St.
Pekin, IL 61554
Jim Dodson, Manager
Dan Bailey, Service Manager
Scott Benson, Owner
Your Home Appliance Experts - Where Pleasing You, Pleases Us