INA – Bob Carlock retired from Rend Lake College on Jan. 31, closing a 17-year career as VP of Finance and Administration. He left one project on the table. Last Monday, Carlock got his curtain call.
He joined RLC President Mark S. Kern and State Rep. Kurt M. Granberg (D-Carlyle) in announcing that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity had awarded a $1.073 million grant for the construciton of a mining technology training center on the main campus in Ina.
Backed by words of optimism from Granberg at the RLC Foundation’s Annual Dinner last year, Carlock and co-workers continued to dilligently drudge for state funding. The announcement last week meant their vision, which they pushed for nearly two years to realize, had finally become reality.
That may have been enough for Carlock. However, Granberg went one step further and presented the Hillsboro native with House Resolution 1106 – legislation congratulating Carlock on his retirement.
HR 1106 passed on April 1 and covers many achievements Carlock made for the college in his 22 years there. Some of those are the establishment of a $5 million RLC insurance reserve fund; the co-founding of an insurance consortium in which, with some umbrella policies, community colleges can collect premiums and insure themselves for health coverage; pioneering RLC’s textbook rental program, one of a few in the State of Illinois; and the acquisition and renovation of an outlet mall that is now the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon.
With Carlock at the helm of marketing, the college has grown for five out of the last six years and has set record enrollment during those five years, according to HR 1106.
“The faculty, staff, and students of Rend Lake College, as well as the citizens of this State, owe Bob Carlock a debt of gratitude for the services that he has rendered to Rend Lake College and the State at large,” the Resolution reads. “ ... we congratulate Bob Carlock on the occasion of his retirement and wish him many happy and healthy retirement years...”
Carlock thanked Granberg for the resolution that the Assistant House Majority Leader sponsored. However, most of Carlock’s brief acceptance speech turned the spotlight back on the college and coal mining technology.
“Just to show you what a cyclical economy we have, when I started at the college in 1986, we were making the move to switch from the mining technology program to industrial technology,” he said. “Here, 23 years later, Rend Lake College is able to be accomplished in the industrial technology area and is venturing back to being a leader in mining technology.”
Granberg joked that perhaps Carlock’s retirement means he will stop lobbying Granberg for capitol development projects. It is a testament to Carlock’s tenacity and progressive thinking.
“If it were not for Kurt, we would have never been able to get this done,” Carlock said of Granberg’s role in securing Illinois Coal Development funding for the training center. “Kurt has brought a lot to this area. I don’t know if people know just how much.”
House Resolution 1106, short-titled “Congrats - Bob Carlock,” can be accessed online at www.ilga.gov/legislation.