Aqua Illinois Donates to Local Career Development Initiative and Food Pantry

Aqua Illinois Kankakee Area Manager Melissa Kahoun recently presented a $1,000 check to the Coalition for Hope and Excellence in Education (CHEE), a locally-based initiative with a mission to “prepare a college and career-ready workforce to meet employment needs in Kankakee County,” according to its website.

CHEE is a collaborative effort between the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County and the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley. Its role as a facilitator for “collaboration between industry and education” begins by working with local stakeholders, such as the Kankakee Community College, to “ensure industry’s needs for a workforce.”

Much of their work centers on reaching out to the community via job fairs and local events to educate students on STEM, career paths and hiring opportunities in the area. Aqua Illinois is one of many corporate sponsors supporting the effort.

“CHEE provides students a chance to learn and develop skills they may otherwise not be interested in focusing on,” Kahoun said. “It’s important that we, as a utility company, support these efforts and partner with an organization whose mission is to provide more knowledge and growth opportunities for students.”

In addition to Kankakee’s contributions, Illinois’ Northern Regional Supervisor Patrick Wren and Area Manager Joel Gehrett presented a check for $1,000 to Maine Township, a newly acquired system in Cook County. The donation went to the Maine Township Food Pantry, which “provides food on an emergency basis to persons living in the greater Maine Township area,” according to MaineTownship.com.

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