Oakton receives the 2023 Community Enhancement Award

Pictured L - R: Andrea Biwer, Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce executive director; Sam Stogsdill, chief of staff for State Senator Laura Murphy; Jesse Ivory, Oakton College dean of Adult & Continuing Education/Dean of the Skokie Campus; Eilish McDonagh Hermer, Oakton College senior manager, Workforce Solutions; Benjamin Salzberg, Oakton College Trustee; Bill Stafford, Oakton College Trustee; Joianne L. Smith, Oakton College President; Rebecca Banks, Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce Board President. (Stan Kotecki Photography)
Des Plaines, Ill. (March 2, 2023) - Oakton College was among the recipients of this year’s Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Industry Community Enhancement Awards. The awards, which recognize local businesses and leaders’ contributions within the past year, were presented during the Mayor’s Annual Address to Business & Community Enhancement Awards event on March 1.

In 2022, Oakton completed its five-year facilities master plan — renovating its Des Plaines and Skokie campuses with sustainable, student-centered upgrades that create inclusive learning spaces. In addition, Oakton opened a cannabis cultivation lab on the lower level of its Des Plaines campus, the first such learning facility on an Illinois community college campus. The College has also introduced new workforce education programs in areas such as manufacturing and healthcare.

“We are proud to be recognized with the 2023 Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Industry Community Enhancement Award. Oakton is committed to providing the best college experience for our diverse district, building just and thriving communities, and ensuring our students are prepared to successfully enter the changing job market to meet the needs of local employers” said Oakton President Joianne L. Smith, Ph.D.

"We are thrilled to be able to present the 2023 Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Community Enhancement Award to Oakton College in recognition of marking the completion of Oakton College's five-year facilities master plan — modernizing its Des Plaines campus,” said Executive Director of the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Industry Andrea Biwer.

“Combined with newly introduced workforce education programs focused on modern manufacturing, automotive and healthcare industries, Oakton is creating a pipeline of workforce-ready talent, ready to meet the varying needs of our Des Plaines employers,” added Biwer.

Oakton students can choose from 130+ associate degree and certificate programs and 100+ short-term (completion in one semester or less) career-focused programs, including health careers, manufacturing and information technology. Whatever your goal, we’ll help you achieve it. The College’s signature combination of real-world learning and a focus on your specific needs provides the platform for you to take your next steps confidently. Visit oakton.edu/academics, to find the right path for you.