A Laborers’ apprenticeship is not only a decent career path, it’s also a higher education path. Tracy Coats, who completed her Laborers apprenticeship in November 2017, also completed an Associates degree at Heartland Community College in December. The community college recognized her Laborers training hours as equivalent to college credit. Coats had to take extra classes in math, English and science to gain her Associate’s degree. She completed those classes at Illinois Central College. “I wanted an Associate’s Degree,” she said. “I had the hour, I had to take a few extra classes. I’m hoping this will push me toward other opportunities, along with the combined experience in my field.” Coats said she enjoys outdoor work; “Laborers work is different all the time; I’m not an inside person,” she noted. She worked on pipelines and a variety of other projects. Laborers Local 231 business manager Bob Schroeder commended Coats. “Going through a successful apprenticeship takes self-initiative and a willingness to tackle different kinds of work. Tracy Coats went above and beyond that, using her Laborer apprenticeship hours to complete this degree. That shows initiative and a worker willing to go the extra mile. This makes Laborers 231 proud. She is an asset for any contractor who engages her.”
A Friday deadline is looming for Illinois homeowners to file for claims as part of the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement that was announced last February.
About 64,000 borrowers in Illinois who lost their home to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011 and had their mortgage served by one of the five banks participating in the settlement may be eligible to receive financial assistance if they file a claim. The five mortgage servicers involved in the settlement were Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
Potential settlement recipients received initial claim packets between Sept. 24 and Oct. 12 and received a reminder letter in late December. According to the state, 27,900 claims forms for payments have been submitted by foreclosed homeowners.
"We know there are still thousands of eligible Illinois borrowers who haven't stepped forward," said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in a release.
"I urge anyone whose mortgage was serviced by one of these five banks and who lost their home to foreclosure to contact the settlement administrator immediately."
The deadline applies only to the direct cash payment portion of the foreclosure settlement. Other parts of the settlement, involving relief to distressed homeowners in the way of loan modifications and mortgage refinancings, continue for another two years.
More information is available at nationalmortgagesettlement.com or by calling the settlement administrator at 1-866-430-8358.