COMPACT History

The McLean County Community Compact was formed as a not-for-profit corporation in 1989 as an outgrowth of a local youth problem study group.  Barbara F. Stuart spearheaded the organization’s founding and served as its first director. During the early ‘90s, the Compact affiliated with the McLean County Unit of the University of Illinois Extension and expanded its staff through a countywide tax referendum.

The main focus of Compact during these years was to strengthen the transition of young people from school to the world of work. The Compact membership, in conjunction with hundreds of volunteers, committed their support, participated in a variety of programs aimed at improving academic preparation and career readiness.

In 2012 and 2013, through mutual agreement, the Compact formally ended its affiliation with the University of Illinois Extension. As a result of a strategic planning exercise held during the transition, the Compact established new vision and mission statements aimed at forming alliances and facilitating community efforts to improve college and career readiness. This changed the focus from developing programs to enhancing partnerships.

In 2015, BNAdvantage, An Economic Development Strategy for the Bloomington-Normal-McLean County, IL region was unveiled, establishing a strategic framework to guide McLean County to a prosperous and sustainable economic future. A critical component of BNAdvantage was the development of a standing Workforce Development Committee, championed by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, to fulfill workforce development goals. The efforts of the Workforce Development Committee and the mission of the McLean County Community Compact made for a natural partnership to share leadership, commitment, and resources to the support of community stakeholders from business, government, labor, education and the community to achieve BNAdvantage strategic goals.

In March of 2018, the McLean County Community Compact Board of Directors voted to become a subsidiary of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and rebrand as COMPACT. COMPACT’s mission is to champion the region's educational and training institutions, resources, and programs that enables Bloomington-Normal's existing and future employers to cultivate, retain, and attract the talent that they need.

Today COMPACT is a dynamic organization of dedicated community, education, and business leaders committed to building and sustaining the McLean County workforce of the future and making our communities the choice to live, work, and play.