A Publication of WTVP

Mark Matthews is an assistant professor at Illinois Central College and program coordinator for the college’s Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Training Program. He manages all facets of the Think Big program, which teaches students how to safely use Caterpillar engines and machines. His work also includes recruiting students and teachers, writing program curricula, and working with students through graduation and job placement.

At the early age of 20, Mark Matthews began his teaching career making a difference in the lives of the prisoners he taught at Canton Correctional Center. His unique teaching abilities and skills in engine mechanics were quickly recognized, and he was chosen to be involved in ICC’s Caterpillar Technician Program, which trains students to become entry-level technicians for the dealerships that buy, sell and repair Caterpillar machines and equipment. He also helps organize events and fundraisers for the Think Big Power Club, which allows students to interact professionally within the industry.

Matthews assists with fundraising and shares his technological talents to help the Pekin American Legion, and has worked diligently to begin the newly formed chapter of the Sons of the American Legion. He currently serves as the chapter’s chaplain and on its Kitchen Committee.

Pekin Main Street has been another beneficiary of Matthews’ mechanical, electrical, staging and cooking talents, which led to his being named the organization’s Volunteer of the Year. He has been instrumental in working with Illinois Air Repair, a division of the EPA, to keep emissions down, and is a certified scuba diving instructor and volunteer coach for the Junior Football League.

Matthews co-hosts the Illinois College Automotive Instructors Association’s annual conference, and because of his excellent public speaking skills, is often called upon by businesses and other groups to give technical presentations on a variety of subjects. Organizations throughout the community have come to rely on his dedication, expertise, resources and willingness to do any task. iBi