Madison County officials and area business leaders attended a public debut on April 18 of a short film highlighting “soft skills” in the workplace.
“We are so pleased that you’re here,” Rosemarie Brown, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Madison County, said.
Brown welcomed the dozens of people who attended the event at Granite City Cinema to watch “Building Blocks for Success: Your Choices, Your Career, Your Future” on the big screen. County elected officials who attended the event included Chairman Kurt Prenzler, Treasurer Chris Slusser and County Board members Chris Hankins and Liz Dalton.
She said the project was a collaboration between Madison County Employment and Training and the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Madison County. The cost to produce the 23-minute video was around $8,000 and funding came from grants received by Employment and Training.
The Madison-Bond Workforce Innovation Board (WIB) got the first look of the video last month. It then premiered during the National Association of Workforce Boards conference in Washington, D.C.
“The response by those who’ve seen so far it is positive,” Employment and Training Director Tony Fuhrmann said. “This is the public’s first look.”
Prenzler said he enjoyed the video.
“There is a lot of information in it that is helpful to young people looking for jobs,” Prenzler said.
Hankins and Dalton said they also enjoyed the short film.
“I thought there was a lot of useful information,” Hankins said. “Especially about interviewing.”
The video features 14 area business and education leaders. Those who participated: Dan Buck, managing partner of Big Sports Properties; Ed Cunningham, president and CEO of Gateway Regional Medical Center; Steve Faust, business development/diversity coordinator of Icon Mechanical; Kathy Federico, executive manager of Jack Schmitt Chevrolet; Curtis Francois, president and CEO of Gateway Motorsports Park; James Glick, vice president of Glick Stores; Jerry Knoyle, refinery manager of Phillips 66; Richard Mark, president and CEO of Ameren Illinois; Michael Patton, general manager of U.S. Steel Corp.; Randall Pembrook, chancellor of SIUE; Jane Saale, president and CEO of Cope Plastics Inc.; Dennis Wilmsmeyer, executive director of America’s Central Port; and National Association of Workforce Boards President and CEO Ronald Painter.
The video focuses on 10 “soft skills” or essential skills employers look for when hiring someone. It shows the importance of those skills to individuals trying to obtain employment, retain employment and trying to succeed in their employment.
Sarah Lorio, work-based learning coordinator for Employment and Training, said the video is now available online. She said the public can visit Madison County website at https://www.co.madison.il.us/departments/employment_and_training/index.php to watch it
Paul Wellhausen, vice president, SCF Lewis and Clark Marine, Chamber Foundation Board president and WIB vice chair, said they are already planning the next video project.
“I don’t know how long it will take us, because this one took us a year to get this one done,” Wellhausen said.
Wellhausen said the next video would be about life from an employee’s perspective. He said many studies have been done on what an employee feels is the most important thing to them in their careers
“Many of us from the business standpoint on the other side of life — the managerial side —always comes to the fact it’s salaries that are most important,” he said. “Spoiler alert — it is not! We want to show in our next video what it’s going to take to keep people growing productively in our companies.”