JWCC Trustees Consider Small Tax Levy Increase

The John Wood Community College Board of Trustees, meeting in regular session in Quincy Wednesday evening, November 20, adopted a resolution for a small increase for the 2013 tax levy.

JWCC’s estimated 2013 tax levy is $4,821,699, which is $191,483 more compared to 2012. Approval of the levy is scheduled for the December JWCC Board of Trustees’ meeting. The amount is less than 35 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation. For example, homeowners with a property valued at $100,000 will see an increase of  approximately dollar on their tax bill.  This example applies to Quincy Township based on multiplier of one.  Rates and multipliers throughout JWCC’s district will vary.

The small increase for 2013 is based on projected expenses and continued decreases in state funding.

Trustees heard reports from Melanie Lechtenberg, dean of enrollment services and director of financial aid, and Pam Foust, dean of career and technical education.

Lechtenberg provided an overview of the financial aid services and programs administered at JWCC and how new state and federal regulations impact aid and service for students.  Trustees learned how the College has worked to maintain and lower JWCC students’ loan default rate.  The national one-year cohort default rate for student loans in 2008 was 10 percent.  JWCC’s was 7.4 percent.  The new three-year cohort national default rate is 30 percent and JWCC maintains a 17 percent rate.

Last year, JWCC administered more than $9 million in financial aid assistance to 2,074 students in the form of grants, loans and work study.  The majority of JWCC students receive the federal Pell grant and loans.  Four-hundred eighty five are awarded grants from the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant. Lechtenberg noted that increased verification of student and parent financial records has also clogged the process of fund distribution.

Foust presented updates on three of JWCC’s federal grants, which over three to five years, will provide more than $3 million in funding to respond to community needs, provide advanced training and support at-risk students.  The College received a three-year $597,334 Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) grant in 2011.  The IGEN grant has helped JWCC develop and offer online and lecture-based courses and workshops in computer applications, fiscal management, marketing and legal issues for area business capacity and sustainability.   The business courses, as well as a local foods curriculum developed by JWCC,  are shared with 17 Illinois community colleges. Those 17 institutions share 32 additional program curricula with JWCC that range from logistics and manufacturing to social equity and environmental justice.

JWCC received a $525,769 Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing (INAM) grant in 2012, with the full amount to be received in a three-year period.  The focus of INAM is to improve the delivery of career manufacturing programs to help area residents gain new technological skills to meet the needs of regional employers in the industry.  JWCC has used INAM funding to create nationally recognized industry credentials for Certified Production Technicians, Machine Technicians/Operators and Industrial Maintenance in partnership with Knapheide Manufacturing, Titan Wheel International, Prince Agri Products and Caterpillar.

Most recently a $23.8 million Mississippi River Transportation Distribution and Logistics (MRTDL) grant was awarded to a consortium of Illinois community colleges, including JWCC.   The focus is to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers and provide them with new skills in emerging industries.  In the next four years, JWCC will receive $2.1 million  to  develop training, certificates and degrees in the areas of supply chain management, computer networking and software management.  During the development phase, the College will consult with private industries including Dot Foods, Inc., ETC Computerland and Archer Daniels Midland in an effort to deliver courses to provide students with skills needed by regional employers.

In other business, the board:

Approved Manufacturing Skills Standard Council (MSSC) and National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) registration and assessment fees.  MSSC and NIMS are nationally recognized credentials used in the manufacturing industry that require specific testing and assessment fees.

Authorized submission of an application to the Illinois Community College board for an Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center Partnership grant.  If received, the grant would leverage existing funding to enhance JWCC’s outreach to provide customized training for manufacturing companies. 

Authorized submission of a $1,000 grant application to Perkins Agency for a New Look Occupations program to help fund the “Women Changing the Face of Agriculture” conference to be hosted on the JWCC campus March 7, 2014.

The next meeting will be held Wednesday, December 18, at 7 p.m. in Quincy.