WOOD RIVER, IL. MARCH 24, 2011…The Madison-Bond Workforce Investment Board hosted its annual awards banquet, which included a luncheon. The awards program is a long-standing tradition that honors local customers, business leaders, and project successes. This year, the annual luncheon was held at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville on March 23, 2011.

The eleven (11) award winners were: Pamela Althardt (Pocahontas), Ernest Cowens (Florissant MO), Mina Dixon (Alton), Laura Garrett (Godfrey), Kellie Gregory (Granite City), Patricia Hahs (Collinsville), Claire Miles (Highland), Shanae Isaac (Madison), Joann Russell-Baum (Alton), and Lauren Wilkinson (Granite City) received the 2011 Individual Achievement Award for overcoming significant obstacles to achieve their personal career goals.

Roger Miller of Gateway Packaging Company (Granite City) was awarded the 2011 Business Leadership Award, given to private sector companies that have demonstrated leadership and made significant contributions to workforce/economic development activities. Gateway Packaging Company started in 1982 in Mr. Miller’s basement with two customers and a handful of employees. The company has now grown to 350 workers. Now one of the largest privately owned businesses in the St. Louis area, the company produces flexible packaging materials for the human food, pet food, industrial, chemical and medical industries throughout the world, with Nestle Purina Pet Care as its largest customer.

During the awards ceremony, David Stoecklin, Executive Director of the Madison County Employment and Training Department, mentioned, “This is our twenty third awards banquet. Whenever I learn about the stories of nominees, I truly appreciate their courage, perseverance, and positive attitudes to overcome any challenges they have faced. They possess the very spirit that this community needs to share and promote. And, I want to show appreciation to our private-sector businesses for their contributions to the local workforce and economic development efforts. I am also grateful to those volunteers from our Workforce Board and staff that go above and beyond to help make this event so special every year.”

About the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

WIA’s goal is to provide workforce development services to employers and workers through a universally accessible, information-driven, one-stop career center system. That is, it not only serves the job seekers but also employers. WIA also includes federal job training funds for adults, dislocated workers, and youth. WIA (1998) is a successor of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (1973) and the Job Training Partnership Act (1982), all of which were delivered to the region by the Madison County Employment and Training Department. Please visit www.workingforamerica.org for more information about WIA.


About the Madison-Bond County Workforce Investment Board (WIB)

The thirty-nine member WIB strives to ensure service integration in order to prepare individuals to meet the needs of business and industry in the region. It takes a leadership role in advocating, planning, evaluating, and developing local workforce resources in order to enable individuals and businesses to reach their full potential in a changing global marketplace. The Board assures, in conjunction with the Madison County Employment and Training Department, that the WIA funds are used in a way that will most effectively enhance the economic well-being of the local community. Please visit www.madisonbondwib.org for its accomplishments.


About the Madison County Employment and Training Department (MCETD)

The MCETD implements the WIA programs in Madison and Bond Counties. The department operates three satellite offices to help individuals find a job and to assist business owners to find the right employees. Currently, the offices are called Southwestern Illinois WorkNet Centers. Please visit www.illinoisworknet.com or www.mcetd.org to learn more about the services available and to find the locations of the Alton, Granite City, and Greenville offices. Some of the offices are accessible by riding the Madison County Transit.

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