Heartland featured in Lt. Governor’s Journal

February 8, 2017

Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti (front) with (L-R) HCC President Rob Widmer, Governor Bruce Rauner, HCC student Kirsten Peterson and Unit 5 Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel

Illinois has approximately 7,000 units of government, a relatively high amount compared to other states in the nation. When elected to office in 2014, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti had a goal to empower state government agencies to be more effective and efficient. To do so, Lt. Governor Sanguinetti formed a task force on local government consolidation and unfunded mandates and requested agencies submit examples of their shared resources with other government institutions.

She received more than 200 submissions, including one from Heartland that spoke about the College’s strong partnerships with their district’s K-12 schools. Out of those submissions, Heartland is one of 27 agencies to be featured in the journal, 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices. Overall, the journal highlights effectively crafted agreements and shared service partnerships among various governmental and public entities.   

Heartland’s entry speaks of partnering with K-12 to promote college readiness and STEM learning. The entry details the benefits of dual credit, remedial education resources and simulated learning through the Challenger Learning Center. It also explains a facilities use partnership with McLean County School District Unit 5 to distribute thousands of laptops to middle and high school students at the start of each school year.

Both the Governor and Lt. Governor announced the journal during a press conference at HCC on February 8 and congratulated Heartland on their successful partnerships.

“I’m a big fan of partnerships and Heartland is doing a great job,” said Governor Rauner. “Offering dual credit gives students the opportunity to learn the skills they need to thrive. By having a strong, educated workforce, Illinois looks more attractive for job growth.”

HCC President Widmer and Unit 5 Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel stressed the importance of partnerships during challenging fiscal times.

“We’re fortunate to live in a region that understands the concept of partnerships,” Daniel stated. “Even though we are under challenging times, none of these good things would happen without the quality partnerships in Bloomington-Normal today.”

“From social and transportation agencies to K-12 and higher education, we all find ourselves in challenging fiscal situations. Seeking and implementing opportunities to partner with other government agencies helps us continue to fulfill our mission, serve our constituents and maximize our limited resources,” said Widmer.

Kirsten Peterson is a 2016 graduate of Normal West High School and is currently studying Political Science at HCC. She entered Heartland with 24 hours of college credit thanks to dual credit with College NOW and Advanced Placement courses. She's  on track to graduate this summer.

“College NOW not only jumpstarted my college career, it cultivated the necessary skills I needed to be successful,” Peterson said. “Plus, thanks to this program, I saved time and money and will get to graduate early.”

Kirsten Peterson speaks highly of her College NOW experience.

A full copy of the journal is available online. Heartland’s entry can be found on page 31.

Written by: Becky Gropp