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Amid coronavirus pandemic, McHenry County College furloughs 31 part-time employees

The McHenry County College Board of Trustees and administration meets on Thursday, May 28, 2020 via Zoom.
The McHenry County College Board of Trustees and administration meets on Thursday, May 28, 2020 via Zoom.

Citing local and national economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, and a natural reduction in courses offered during the summer, McHenry County College furloughed 31 part-time employees.

This furlough, approved by the Board of Trustees of the Crystal Lake school on Thursday night, is expected to last from June 1 through July 31. Furloughed staff will not perform any work for MCC of any kind during this time. Employees who have been furloughed will be given a seven-day notice before they are recalled back to their jobs.

In a statement read to the board by chairman Mike Smith, Tawnja Trimble, a coordinator of tutoring and Staff Council President at MCC, said these furloughed employees were an integral part of the college's success as it transitioned into a remote work environment.

"They, along with all staff, found creative ways to continue to do their jobs while also willingly accepting new tasks outside of their normal position, and often outside of their comfort zone," Trimble stated. "I want to thank each of them for the graciousness they showed as they received the difficult news of their temporary leave. I wish them all well during our short but painful time apart."

Trustees said this is decision, never an easy one to make, was not taken lightly.

“I especially look forward in August when these employees can return and be part of our team again,” Trustee Molly Walsh said.

Trustee Elizabeth Speros said, with the current pandemic, a lot of people are facing really painful economic consequences right now. “I sincerely wish it could be different,” she said.

Empoyees taking a 100% furlough are two adult education enrollment and assessment processors; and automotive and CLC assistant; an automotive technician; a career resource assistant; a cashier/food preperation/service employee; a coordinator of laboratory in chemistry; a culinary management program assistant; a distance learning specialist; two enrollment processors; two food production/servers; a horticulture assistant; a hydroponics/greenhouse assistant; a laboratory assistant in biology; a library circulation assistant; a mailroom assistant; a maintenance generalist; four office assistants; a project coordinator, a student veterans resource center assistant and three testing center assistants.

The coordinator of personal development programs and a court-mandated program assistant will take a 50% furlough, while the coordinator of workforce services will take an 80% furlough.

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