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State Farm gives $1.5 million to HCC

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 15:14:25 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

State Farm Insurance has given a big red valentine to Heartland Community College, $1.5 million in grant money for information technology scholarships and aid in other high demand courses of study. State Farm Systems Vice President Mark Oakley says you might think of State Farm as an insurance company, but that's not correct.

"We are a technology company. everything today that we do revolves around technology and everything that is enabled comes through my department for enablement. And it's constant change, constant evolution."

Oakley says tech skills atrophy the fastest of any job at the Bloomington-based company, simply because of the rate of changes. He urged Heartland students to be ready to become life-long learners. The gift from State Farm Companies Foundation also conforms to standards mentioned by company Chairman Ed Rust last week during a speech in Peoria where he urged businesses to become involved in workforce development.

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