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(From left): Kids paint ornaments at R & L Ceramics at a previous Hometown Holiday Community Celebration. The event will be back this year with lots of festivities including a tree lighting on Roscoe’s main street.

Beloit College helping students with array of career preparation programming

BELOIT—Beloit College’s array of career preparation offerings is helping students to find a precise career fit and score jobs post graduation.

A year ago, Beloit College started Career Channel—a professional community of peers, faculty, alumni and outside experts who can match students field of study including business and entrepreneurship, justice and rights, health and healing, and more. Each Channel transcends majors, bringing together students with varied perspectives to broaden their vision of the future.

The program connecting college and career has grown rapidly in student interest since it launched. Today, nearly 843 students are part of Channels, which represents about 86% of the college’s student population. Following its inaugural Beloit & Beyond Conference, where more than 70 students presented on their personal achievements in the Channels program, participation increased in the program by nearly 10%.

At this time of economic uncertainty, bridging the gap between college and career has taken on a new sense of urgency, according to Beloit College Co-Director of Channels and Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures Daniel Youd.

Many of today’s students report that their undergraduate experience had not prepared them adequately for life after college. According to a survey by McGraw-Hill Education, only 40% of college seniors feel prepared to pursue a career after they receive their degree.

Youd said the Career Channels program consists of eight career channels. Each channel has six to 10 mentors.

Students have multiple mentors to help guide them as well as options such as panel discussions, networking opportunities and other resources targeted to their career area. Students also have the opportunity to select more than one career panel to help them get the exposure they need to select the right career and be prepared for job hunting within it.

Youd said students have struggled during the past two pandemic years as they finish their degrees and transition to careers. He said Beloit College’s specific programming developed through its Career Works office and the Career Channels Program is helping them.

In response to the pandemic the Career Works office launched the Beloiters Helping Beloiters program under the guidance of Director Jessica Fox-Wilson.

“We were graduating seniors and they had been thrown into a pandemic situation where they didn’t come back to classes and didn’t have an opportunity to do final polishing of their resume. We reached out to alums and asked if they were interested in group and one-on-one mentoring,” he said.

The Beloiters Helping Beloiters program helped students in spring of 2020 and 2021 as graduating seniors were paired with mentors.

Beloit College also launched the Career Accelerator program—an intensive week-and-a-half to two weeks of programming between the fall term and beginning of spring term when students are at home in January. The Career Accelerator offers virtual programming on topics such as polishing a resume, doing informational interviews and a variety of other resources on career paths.

“It runs throughout the day, like a virtual conference,” Youd said.

Youd said all the career programming provides structures, support and mentorship along the way.

Youd said all the offerings help Beloit College not only to educate students and lead them into fulfilling work lives, but they are showing potential students and the community at large all the college has to offer.

“It helps students who are potentially interested in coming to Beloit. Young high school students, families and counselors see a liberal arts education is an engaged education. It’s an opportunity to develop your mind and become a reflective, critical, engaged human being. A liberal arts education is not at the expense of preparing for meaningful employment,” Youd said.

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Ho-Chunk Nation to meet with federal officials next week over Beloit casino plan

BELOIT—The Ho-Chunk Nation will meet with federal officials next week to get an update on the status of a key part of the tribe’s plan to build a casino and entertainment destination in Beloit, according to a tribe official.

Since March 24 when Democratic Gov. Tony Evers approved the Ho-Chunk Nation’s plan to build a casino and resort complex in Beloit by concurring with a prior federal decision, the tribe has waited for a portion of approximately 75 acres of land to be transferred to trust status by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

The transfer of land, near the intersection of Willowbrook and Colley Roads, is the last step needed before initial site work and construction can begin in Beloit.

Public Relations Officer Ryan Greendeer told the Beloit Daily News on Monday that the tribe intends to break ground on the project, pending the final approval by the BIA, in the spring of 2022.

“We’re excited for the project and we look forward to getting a sense of where the review is at with the (BIA),” Greendeer said. “We are hoping to come out of the meeting with a concrete timeframe for that approval.”

Greendeer said the lengthy review period stems from legal analysis of the plan based on complications of prior off-reservation, fee-to-trust land applications, along with the scope of the Ho-Chunk Nation’s project.

The groundbreaking would initiate phase one of a multi-phase project that would see the initial construction of the casino, restaurant and hotel, Greendeer said.

Final project designs are nearing the final stages, he added, and site work for soil borings was conducted earlier this year at the future casino site to aid in finalizing design.

Once the casino is operational, Greendeer said revenue generated from the casino will help fund future phases of the project.

“We are coming up on final designs,” Greendeer said. “From there, we can start talking about realizing cost estimates. It’s taking another step in the process while we are waiting for the application to be approved.”

The tribe also will need to determine a development agreement with the City of Beloit.

Initial plans for the casino project called fro a 300-room hotel, five restaurants, 50 table games and 2,200 slot machines.

Jack McCarthy of South Beloit was the BDN All-Area Coach of the Year in 1984-85. The First Team included, from left, Hononegah’s Dean Severn, Beloit Memorial’s Randy Cousins, Beloit Catholic’s Mike Hartzel, South Beloit’s Peter Scalia and Hononegah’s Rod Wecker. McCarthy and Scalia will be inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame.

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COVID-19 cases among 4 to 14-year-olds reach highest levels

New COVID-19 cases among those age 4 to 14 in Rock County are at their highest reported level since the pandemic began, according to data from the Rock County Health Department.

There were 82 new cases of COVID-19 among children, age 4 to 13, from Nov. 24 to 30; and 54 new cases among young people age 14 to 18 for the same time period.

The number of 82 cases among 4 to 13-year-olds this November is the highest number reported since the start of the pandemic. The number had peaked at 72 in the time period of Nov. 11 to 17, 2020. The number had dipped down to 26 during Oct. 13 to 19, but has been escalating since that time.

Growing numbers of youth are getting vaccinated, although most children under age 11 have not been fully vaccinated, according to Rock County Health Department data.

In the geographic area within the School District of Beloit , 50% of youth age 12 to 18 have been fully vaccinated; 44% of youth age 12 to 14 are fully vaccinated; 55% of youth age 15 to 18 are fully vaccinated; and 0.2% of children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated.

In the geographic area within the Beloit Turner School District 39% of youth aged 12 to 18 have been fully vaccinated; 33% of youth age 12 to 14 are3 fully vaccinated; 43% of youth age 15 to 18 are fully vaccinated; and 0.31% of children age 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated.

In the Janesville School District area, 45% of youth age 12 to 18 have been fully vaccinated; 46% of youth age 12 to 14 have been fully vaccinated; 44% of youth age 15 to 18 have been fully vaccinated; and 0.99% of children age 5 to 11 have been fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 continues to increase in the county for all ages

From Nov. 29 to Dec. 6 there were 259 total new cases of COVID-19 in Beloit; 373 in Janesville; 18 in Clinton; 40 in Edgerton; 35 in Evansville; 47 in Milton; and 40 cases in the rest of Rock County.

On Monday, the Winnebago County Health Department reported 643.4 cases per 100,000, which is increasing. The positivity rate was 10.8% which is increasing. There is 53% of the county that is fully vaccinated.