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July 30, 1999

Ryan Convenes Community Forums, Releases New Brochure On Y2K

SPRINGFIELD -- In honor of "Year 2000 Preparedness Day," Governor George H. Ryan detailed part of his public awareness plan to keep Illinoisans informed about state government Y2K issues.

"I have made preparing for Y2K one of my top priorities," Ryan said. "State agencies are working diligently, and now we have an outline of numerous ways for people to become informed about individual preparedness for Y2K," Ryan said.

The Governor's Office of Technology and the Y2K Preparedness Council recommended some of the following public awareness activities:

  • Community forums, scheduled throughout the state;

  • State of Illinois Y2K website at www.state.il.us/y2k;

  • Y2K brochures available on the web, at community forums or from the Governor's Technology Office;

  • Monthly state agency status reports available on the web or from the Technology Office.

    The General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 8, declaring Sunday, August 1, 1999, as "Year 2000 Preparedness Day" in Illinois. The Council advised the Governor of some activities that would be useful as public information tools.

    The Governor has asked several community colleges to host forums for local leaders to discuss the local and regional readiness for the Year 2000. The forums are open to the public. "These forums will allow us to check the local and regional readiness so that we can better assess where we need to focus resources and to ensure that all areas of Illinois are taking the Y2K bug seriously."

    Illinois' Chief Technology Officer, Mary Reynolds directs the forums and state's Y2K efforts. "We will take a state team to each of these forums to provide information and guidance on preparing for Y2K," Reynolds said. "The State has resources to address potential Y2K-related emergencies, but we need to have a better status of our communities before we can be ready for December 31."

    The Illinois Technology Office and the Y2K Project Office will conduct the forums with participation from other state agencies such as the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Office of Banks and Real Estate.

    "The community colleges in Illinois are leaders and have agreed to serve as a gathering place to discuss the critical issues surrounding Y2K. I am grateful that the colleges are willing and eager to help us get a better reading on local readiness," said Ryan. Ryan commended efforts by the City of Chicago in sharing Y2K information with the state. Other municipalities like DuPage County have invited state officials to participate in contingency planning events. "In order to not duplicate those efforts, we have not scheduled any forums at those locations, but are focusing staff on other areas of the state," Reynolds said.

    The first community forum, held July 27 at John Wood Community College, allowed local citizens to discuss concerns about, Reynolds noted. Upcoming community forums are listed below, but will be expanded with more dates and locations.

    Aug. 234:00 p.m.Parkland CollegeChampaign
    Aug. 279:00 a.m.Olney Central CollegeOlney
    Aug. 319:30 a.m.John A. Logan CollegeCarterville
    Sept. 810:00 a.m.Oakton Community CollegeDes Plaines
    Sept. 158:00 a.m.College of Lake CountyGrayslake
    Sept. 228:00 a.m.Moraine Valley Community CollegePalos Hills

    Dates will soon be set for the following sites: Black Hawk College, Moline; Kaskaskia College, Centralia; Illinois Central College, East Peoria; Lake Land College, Mattoon; Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield; and Rock Valley College, Rockford. Other forums also may be held at: Joliet Junior College, Joliet; Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey; and, Rock Valley College, Rockford.

    Several agencies have also produced informational pieces about Y2K. Reynolds encouraged consumers to contact specific agencies or visit their web sites for more information.

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