Metro East Area News Briefs

Chronicle Media

ast St. Louis School District nursing students with CNA Coordinator Stephanie Tate-Patterson.

Tech school students offer public sample services cheap

In an increasingly tight labor market — with many types of well-qualified skilled and technical workers hard to find — many employers might sometimes wish they had a way to easily try out the handiwork of various job candidates before hiring them.

Metro East business people, from factory managers to restaurateurs, had just that at East St. Louis Senior High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Showcase in Feb. 23.

For three hours, the high school’s CTE Department invited the public in for a rare open house; with tastings of cuisine created by culinary students, demonstrations of skills from cosmetology to welding, tours of the facility, and even prize giveaways to encourage attendances.

“The East St. Louis Senior High School Career and Technical Education Department prepares students to help close the skills gap and prepares an adaptable and employable workforce,” noted DeKiethrich Lockett, Career and Technical Education Director.

The program allows student to graduate high school with certification or state licensure in a variety of in-demand career fields without further attendance at trade schools or community colleges.

Those career fields currently include audio-visual, automotive, business, construction, cosmetology, culinary arts, electrical trades, health occupations, and welding.

For example, programs can allow students opportunity to graduate high school as American Welding Society (AWS) certified welders, Illinois state licensed cosmetologists, Illinois state certified nursing assistants, National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER)-certified construction professionals, and ServSafe certified food handlers and food managers.

Additional certification programs are under development.

Blake Zettler, first certified welding student of the year, with welding instructor David Koleson.
(Photo courtesy of School District 189)

In addition, for student who wish to pursue a college degree, the program allows student to earn dual credits through Southwestern Illinois College in construction, electrical trades, audio-visual, nursing assistant, welding, and business.

Taking their open-house strategy a step further, selected East St. Louis CTE students, for the rest of this month, will offer their services to member of the public at reduced rates.

“In recognition of National CTE Month (February), our department will begin offering an abundance of services to the community. These services will be executed by our advanced students under the direct supervision of our certified instructors. The services offered will be at a student rate and will not only provide great benefits to the consumer but will afford our students the opportunity to showcase their abilities,” Lockett said.

Services will be offered during school hours only and will be available on specific days. The CTE programs participating in the special outreach are: audio-visual, automotive, business, construction, cosmetology, culinary arts, and welding.

For additional information about the Career and Technical Education Program, services offered, community partnerships, or general questions please contact Andrea Wilson-Vickers, CTE Special Populations Coordinator at 618-646-3730 or 618-646-3700, ext. 1030 or via email at

No tariff relief so far for local steel users

Metro East-area manufacturers have been so far unsuccessful in pursuing steel tariff exemptions from the Trump administration.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has denied 15 of the 42 exemptions requested by Watertown, CT-based ShelterLogic for its Arrow Sheds subsidiary in Breese. The other 27 remain pending

The department has denied two of the four exemptions requested by the Collinsville-based packaging provider, Sev-Rend Corporation. The other two remain pending.

Michigan-based Petersen Spring has yet to hear from the department regarding the exemption it has requested for its manufacturing facility in Greenvillle.

According to an Associated Press analysis, the Commerce Department has granted more than 14,000 exemption to at least 370 companies since President Donald Trump ordered steep tariffs on steel made in China, Japan and other countries in May 2018; but also offered the possibility of exemptions.

About 27,000 additional exemption applications are still pending. The AP analysis was released Fb. 15.

U.S. Steel, which temporarily idled its Granite City Works in November 2015, citing unfair competition from Asian steel makers, has so far expressed little concern over tariff exemptions.  The steelmaker announced its was reopening the Granite City last year, shortly after the new steel tariffs were announced.

The company on Feb. 11 announced it was restarting construction on a technologically advanced electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking facility in Fairfield, Ala.

Roadside safety checks coming to Jersey County

The Illinois State Police (ISP) will conduct roadside safety checks (RSCs) in Jersey County during the month of March, according to Lt. William Guard, the ISP’s District 18 Interim Commander in Litchfield.

The stepped-up patrols and checkpoints will be used primarily to target:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI);
  • Safety belt and child restraint use;
  • Speeding;
  • Distracted driving; and,
  • Other Illinois Vehicle Code and criminal violations.

However, officers working the detail will also be watching for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, or transporting open alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol and drug impairment is a factor in more than 30 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois, and throughout the U.S., nearly 10,000 people die each year due to alcohol-impaired driving, the ISP notes.

The ISP’s roadside safety check program in Jersey County is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Alton community service grant deadline nears

Riverbend area not-for-profit organizations seeking Alton Community Service League funding for community beautification or improvement projects have just two weeks left to apply.

Since 1958, the Service League, has annually supported Alton-area community improvement projects through volunteer service as well as monetary grants.

Past recipients have ranged from the Alton Little Theater and the Community Supported Garden at La Vista to Riverbend Family Ministries and the Serving Area Kids (SAK) program.

Grant funding is raised through the league’s annual holiday gift-wrapping service and other fundraising projects.

To qualify for grants, applicants must be not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations.

Grant applications forms can be requested by contacting Dorothy Droste at (618) 466-7746 or (618) 465-6904, or by writing to Alton Community Service League P.O. Box 211, Alton, IL 62002.

The grant application period opens each year in January.

Completed forms must be postmarked this year by March 15th, 2019.

Grant recipients will be announced in May.

Mascoutah girl is top high school bowler again

For the second year in a row, Mascoutah High School student Olivia Moyer is the Illinois High School Association’s (ISHA) state bowling champion in the association’s wheelchair division.

Moyer, a sophomore, won the IHSA Girls State Bowling Tournament, Feb. 16-17, with a six-game total of 806.  In her first session, she rolled games of 155, 122 and 131; for a 508 series. She then rolled games of 138, 123 and 137 for a 398 second series.

She won the 2018 state championship with an 869 total.

Triad junior Chenoa Stokes was fourth in this year’s tournament with a 482 score.

Moyers was born with cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair since age four.



–Metro East Area News Briefs–