August 21, 2019

Regional companies will learn practical ways to adapt for the future at the “ABC’s of a Thriving Workforce” conference set for Tuesday, September 24 from 9a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at John Wood Community College’s auditorium in Quincy.

The ABC’s of a Thriving Workforce refer to ways conference sessions will help companies of all sizes adapt new technologies, build strong leaders and concentrate on employee growth.

Automation: Replacing Dull, Dirty and Dangerous Task with Co-Bots, will be the featured keynote session.  The presentation will offer solutions to the region’s labor shortage through the use of collaborative robots and how to upskill existing employees.  Carson Weaver of FPE Automation will demonstrate Co-Bots and share how the machines have increased FPE’s clients’ return on investment by 30 percent in a matter of months.

Other conference sessions include the following: The True Cost of Turnover, Training within Your Industry, Cybersecurity, Engaging a Multigenerational Workforce and Leadership Development.

“The True Cost of Turnover” will address the hidden costs in every company that impact employee productivity and culture.  The session will be presented through Tooling U.

“Cybersecurity: Protecting More than Your Data,” will be presented by Jana White, chief operating officer and trainer for Alpine Security. White is an expert in loss prevention, penetration testing, and social engineering and is a Crime Scene Evidence Technician. She holds Security+, CyberSEc First Responder, Certified Ethical Hacker, Computer Hacking Investigator, Certified Authorization Professional and Certified Information Systems Security Professional certifications.

Lisa Kenney, IMEC technical specialist, will lead the “Training within the Industry: How to Leverage Supervisors and Team Leaders,” session. The presentation will cover ways to capture knowledge of long-time employees and tips for continuous improvement. Kenney is a certified master trainer for Development Dimensions International, Dale Carnegie instructor and certified facilitator for Achieve Global and Myers-Briggs Type indicator.

Ashley Beaudoin, technical specialist with IMEC in Chicago will present, “Engaging a Multigenerational Workforce.”  Beaudoin has extensive background in talent attraction, training and management and consults with companies about improvement processes for onboarding, incentive programs and in-house employee development.

A “Leadership Development and Training,” session will be led by Karen Shorey, Leadership Coach for Leadership Management International, which was named a 2019 Top 500 global franchise by Entrepreneur magazine.

The event is sponsored by JWCC, Great River Economic Development Foundation, IMEC, Workforce Innovation Board of Western Illinois and Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council.

Cost is $35 per person, or a company can register four employees for $100.  The cost includes lunch. Networking opportunities will be available during breaks.  Registration is available at More information is available by contacting Kelly Lewis at the JWCC Workforce Development Center at 217.641.4971 or

John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community.  JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.  JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois.  Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees and certificates and personal enrichment courses.

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ABC's of a Thriving Workforce