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Diane Hendricks opens CareerTek, previews new YMCA

Diane Hendricks, the chairperson of ABC Supply and a trustee of Beloit College, was on hand Thursday to celebrate the opening of Hendricks CareerTek, a youth career development center aimed at assisting local children find the right career path with the help of local Beloit businesses.

“Every child should be given the ability to have a goal and a dream in their life,” said Hendricks at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “We can help them do that.”

“This building is about all our children,” she added. “Our future is our children.”

According to Tina Salzman, the former principal of Beloit Memorial High School and current Business and Education Director for CareerTek, the center has been “designed to be a state-of-the-art career  development facility to help our kids dare to dream.”

Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News

Hendricks CareerTek will offer students with workshops and educational opportunities in prosperous career fields such as healthcare, computer coding, game design, healthcare, manufacturing, construction and entrepreneurship. Students will also have access to financial management training, resume and cover letter services, as well as a variety of speakers and educators.

In a visit to the facility on Wednesday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker praised Beloit’s commitment to its young people.

“This center will have a positive impact on the community in terms of helping students get a head start on what their career paths might be,” Walker said, according to the Beloit Daily News. “A place like this really will help students then apply what they learned from those academic career plans and plug it into whatever path they might be on.”

The Beloit Daily News also reported that Walker “stressed the need to link students with skilled working positions, and touted the state’s unemployment rate being at a 16-year low, while overall employment approached all-time highs.” Walker also met with executives and staff from Beloit College, as well as ABC Supply, Blackhawk Technical College, Comply365, Corporate Contractors Inc. and Hendricks Holdings.

CareerTek is strategically located within the Ironworks campus on Third Street, and is situated next door to IronTek, Beloit’s business incubator space, which is home to several rapidly expanding technology firms including Comply365 and AccuLynx.

It is also across from the future site of the new Stateline YMCA, an 80,000 square foot facility that was donated by Hendricks and another one of her companies, Hendricks Commercial Properties.

Will Tomer/The Round Table

According to Jaron Bertelman, the Director of Community Engagement for the Stateline YMCA, the organization currently receives over 400,000 visits a year and has served more than 16,000 youths and their families. With the new, “adaptable space,” the group hopes to expand their ability to serve local families.

Stateline YMCA CEO Doug Britt admitted that construction is several weeks behind schedule, but promised that the organization will continue “to make a positive impact on a daily basis.”

Plans for the new facility include a four-lane lap pool, a lounge area for older children to participate in hands-on engineering activities, a daycare that can accommodate children as young as two weeks, a nutrition education center, a yoga studio, racquetball courts and an indoor track.

“Everything will be brand new,” promised Bertelman. “The only things we plan on bringing will be our members and staff.”

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