Third annual Jeep Blitz a success


BUSHNELL – At the city council meeting on Monday, the city’s utility manager Justin Griffith spoke about the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Robert Penny, an interview coordinator with the WIOA, spoke with Griffith about the WIOA a few weeks ago.
“What they do is they’ll find youths aged 17-24 and they try to help place them with a host agency that usually just supervises them and helps teach them time management, work ethic, tak(ing) direction and work(ing) in a team environment,” Griffith said. “They pay for everything; they pay their workman’s comp for this person – all we would have to do is supervise.”
“What they do is come up with a few people, let us know if they want to interview them, and have them help around up to 30 hours a week,” he continued. “It’s really no risk to us other than having them here.”
Griffith went on to say the program is meant to help teach an inexperienced person in a trade they may be interested in.
The program is federally funded through competitive grants.
Alderman Brent Glisan commented that the WIOA program is “very similar to a type of program that we use at Vaughan and Bushnell Manufacturing for training people. It’s a mentoring type program that is a little different – same funding but different name. But ours is designed to actually put them into that position within the organization.”
Glisan explained their vocational training program is “a monitored process on how they learn and what they pick up, and then an evaluation at the end to see what works for them. We’ve had excellent luck with it, and we have used it multiple times.”
A unanimous motion was carried permitting Griffith to proceed with the WIOA program in coordination with Robert Penny.
For more information about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, go to https://www.illinoisworknet.com/WIOA
In other matters, a motion was made and carried allowing local establishment JoJo’s Lounge, located at 776 North Cole Street, to change their liquor license from a Class I to a Class A.
A Class A liquor license allows for consumption of alcohol on or off premises but Sunday sales are prohibited.
ESDA Jeff Rench informed the board about progress on acquiring a prescription drug drop-off box to be located in city hall. He said he applied for an EPA grant last week.
“There were not a lot of details with the grant as far as how much (we could get), but (it) has to do with helping with disposal costs,” Rench said. He added that there is a deadline to apply for a grant, but there is no time frame for “when we might hear back from them.”
Rench added that he intends to apply for the McDonough Power Operation Round Up grant to get the rest of the funding for the drug drop-box. The ESDA director said he hopes that by August or September the city will have the prescription drug drop-off box.
For more information about McDonough County Power Operation Round Up, go to http://mcdonoughpower.com/community/operation-round-up/
During her ad hoc report, Mayor Robin Wilt said she is very pleased with the turnout for the Jeep Blitz which took place from May 24 through May 27. “(The) last number I got from (Steinjager President) Mark Rauschert was 417 registered jeeps. So, that’s almost tripled what they had from the first year.”
Wilt also commented on the recent announcement by Vaughan and Bushnell Manufacturing Co., which acquired a substantial portion of Rockford-based Dasco Pro, Inc. The acquisition will add upwards of 50 new jobs to the city, she said. “We’re going to be working with them and hopefully get some new folks in town – and make a difference here,” Wilt said. “I’m really looking forward to that.”
Bushnell City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first and second Monday of each month at city hall. Their next meeting is scheduled for June 18.

Reach Christopher Ginn by email at cginn@mcdonoughvoice.com