MT. VERNON, Ill. (Aug. 15, 2013) – With the Rend Lake College MarketPlace’s 12th anniversary just around the corner, now is a good time to take a look back at the changes and improvements which have helped enhance the community and the college’s educational offerings.
The MarketPlace is scheduled to celebrate its 12th anniversary with an open house from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. A number of RLC-operated programs and centers will participate in the open house, as well as other retailers and businesses that operate in the 100,000 square-foot building.
RLC first acquired the MarketPlace 12 years ago when college administrators saw potential in a near-bankrupt former outlet mall located just off of the Interstate 57 / 64 interchange.
Several RLC-run programs have started in the former outlet mall, and more have joined in recent years. Studio RLC opened in the MarketPlace in 2004 and is a one-year program that prepares students for the Illinois Cosmetology licensure examination. Students looking to reach beyond the Cosmetology certification can work toward a certificate as a Cosmetology Teacher.
A new addition to the MarketPlace this fall is the Nail Technology program, which is associated with Studio RLC. The program will teach students the skills of manicures, pedicures, nail tips and wraps, gel nails, acrylics and nail art.
A Certified Nurse Assistant course, offered tuition-free to in-district residents, also has been held at the MarketPlace for a number of years, helping students prepare for work in a variety of health care settings. Upon successful completion of classroom and clinical experiences, the students are eligible to apply to take the state CNA registry examination. The EMT-Paramedic training program also is housed here, including a mock ambulance to allow students to get a real-world feel.
The Adult Education and Literacy program holds classes at the MarketPlace, allowing students who never completed high school to earn their GEDs. Staff here helps students develop skills in basic reading, math, job readiness and the English language.
A recent addition to the RLC MarketPlace family is the Fitness Center, where a number of exercise and aerobics classes are held daily. Recent renovations have allowed for more equipment to be installed and new classes to begin this fall semester.
Education and certification in many other areas are available at the MarketPlace. This includes training in CPR, Advance Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support, International Trauma Life Support, Pediatric First Aid and Adult First Aid, as well as various related instructor certifications.
The MarketPlace is home to an expanding array of educational classrooms for students attending RLC. English, speech, math, psychology and many other classes are held each semester. In addition, the college partners with several area four-year universities to allow students to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in some disciplines at the MarketPlace’s convenient location.
In addition to educational programs, the MarketPlace is home to retailers, including anchors such as the college-owned RLC Golf Outlet, Shoe Stop and Lonestar Steakhouse and Saloon.
The RLC Golf Outlet is located on the southeast corner of the MarketPlace and includes inventory from all major manufacturers of clubs, golf balls, apparel and accessories. The staff helps patrons find the right club and provides expert tips to help improve their golf games.
New to the RLC Golf Outlet is the Cherry Creek Driving Range just north of the store, where golf enthusiasts can try out their new drivers or golf balls within minutes. A Demo Day is set for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Golf Outlet.
Also housed at the MarketPlace are the state Departments of Human Services and Employment Security, Office of Rehabilitation Services, Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Man-Tra-Con Corp. and Crosswalk. In addition are an employment agency and conference rooms.