Tom Kacich: Developer's self-preservation saves mural

Few people today think of Champaign as a factory town. But it once was, with manufacturing plants making, among other things, clocks, automobile repair kits, gloves and undergarments.

Quick Read: Champaign, Danville areas rank high in job opportunities

For the third time in the last four quarters, the Champaign metropolitan area has landed on Beyond.com's list of the top 10 areas in the nation with the most job opportunities per capita — and Danville made the top 10 too.

New path to a degree on the table

CHAMPAIGN — At a community college, you can finish work on a high school diploma, earn a certificate in anything from software to automotive technology, get your associate's degree, brush up on a foreign language or try flower-arranging.

In the future, you might also be able to earn a bachelor's degree at an Illinois community college.

BRG to hire 30 more for Rantoul facility

CHAMPAIGN — BRG Sports plans to hire an additional 30 people in Rantoul as the assembly and distribution center there takes on more functions, the center's general manager said Wednesday.

Jelly Belly candy won't be made in Illinois

NORTH CHICAGO (AP) — The makers of Jelly Belly candy say they're reducing their workforce at the company's North Chicago factory and will no longer make their famous jelly beans there.

Pharmacy technician program offers career options

CHAMPAIGN — Bryant Lagle knew when he was still in high school that he wanted to be a pharmacist, and he didn't want to wait until he got through college to do pharmacy work.

A 19-year-old Parkland College student from Mansfield, he's already helping fill prescriptions at the Sam's Club Pharmacy in Champaign, working part time as a certified pharmacy technician.

Farnsworth Group engineers purchase of Foth's Champaign office

CHAMPAIGN — Farnsworth Group, an engineering and architecture firm based in Bloomington, has acquired the Champaign office of Foth Infrastructure & Environment, the company announced Friday.

Founder: Sony Biotechnology had 'fantastic employees' here

CHAMPAIGN — Sony's stay in Champaign lasted not much longer than a single presidential term.

Sony acquired Champaign-based iCyt Mission Technology in 2010 and two years later changed the name to Sony Biotechnology.

Economic development chief sets sights on budget

CHAMPAIGN — The new executive director of the Champaign County Economic Development Corp. said he is determined that the group has a break-even budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

On Wednesday, the group's board of directors approved a core budget of $468,000 that calls for a steep increase in private-sector giving and a leaner staff.

Bill puts qualification before conviction in job search

URBANA — Have you ever been convicted of a crime, other than a minor traffic violation?

For former offenders, that question, routinely included in most job applications, can be the source of much anxiety as they reintegrate into society and start looking for a job, a key step in keeping them from sliding back into a criminal lifestyle.

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