Regional Planning Office continues to operate in Tuscola

By Kendra Hennis 
The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission Workforce in Tuscola is under new leadership with Case Manager Joshua Taylor-Johnson. The office continues to be open at 401 S. Main Street on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, but at this time, it is more efficient to call them at 217-278-9610 or email jtaylor-johnson@ccrpc.org to make an appointment. 

Joshua serves as the Douglas and Ford County Case Manager under CCRPC. He has a background in emergency medicine and case management, working for four years as an EMT and two in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation field. He is also currently working on completing his degree in social work. Joshua said he found his passion in this because he “has a strong desire to help others. I find a lot of job and life satisfaction through seeing others succeed and helping them along the way.” 

Joshua explained that the workforce development program is “an amazing program first of all. It can help so many different people with so many different things. We really look to help people who are looking for work find not only a job, but a career, that they are going to love and stick with for a long time. We want to help both the employees and employers find and keep people in positions so that they no longer bounce around from job to job because that doesn’t help anyone. We also save companies money by providing training programs and employment programs that offset their costs.”

Some of the programs and services provided by the workforce development program include career services, which are essentially just for training people and helping them find a job; programs to help people go to school to get degrees in high-demand industries; “on the job training” where they would help someone get hired at a business and then augment the cost of of bringing them on, making it easier for an employer to justify the risk in hiring someone; help at-risk youth stay in school, find out what careers they like, and help set them up for success.

An additional way the workplace works to assist the youth is through incentive programs. For example, if a student is struggling with a class, they could set up a homework day at the office where they could come work on homework. If they increase their grade in a certain class or all of their grade, they could be provided with a cash incentive or other reward. Incentives are case by case and can be developed for each youth to best help them succeed. The workplace also provides experience programs for youth where they would place them at a local volunteering agency or non-for-profit, where they would then be paid to volunteer. 

Joshua says “he is just excited to help people. Right now, I just need to get the word out to as many people as possible that we are here and operating. I just want to help the people, businesses, and the community at large. There are so many great people in this area, and I want them all to have the best possible chance for success. Times are hard right now for lots of people and they are struggling to pay their bills. Let me help you. I have been there. I can’t guarantee it will be a quick fix, but by the time you are done working with me your life will have changed for the better.”

To contact Joshua or make an appointment with the Workforce Development Office, please call 217-278-9610 or email jtaylor-johnson@ccrpc.org.

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