City of Mendota hires new employees for economic growth and youth engagement

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MENDOTA – Recognizing the importance of sustainable growth and community wellbeing, the City of Mendota has hired three individuals to join the city’s workforce and contribute to the implementation of innovative development strategies and grant initiatives. This includes a skilled and diverse team who will collaborate on projects designed to enhance the local economy, improve quality of life and create positive youth opportunities.

The three employees include Project Director Annie Short, Project Coordinator Maria J. Arteaga and Grant Manager Alexandria (Ali) Braboy.

Short, a Mendota native, recently moved back to Mendota after working in Wisconsin for the past 20 years. Short is a Western Illinois University graduate, and she brings work experience in community organizing, strategic planning, non-profit leadership and drug prevention initiatives.

Arteaga, a long-time Mendota resident, graduated from Mendota Township High school and attended Illinois Valley Community College for two years. Her work experience is in schools as paraprofessional, coaching youth soccer and helping in the community. She is bilingual, which allows her to navigate and connect with different cultures and communities.

Braboy is an Illinois Valley native who graduated from Illinois Valley Community College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked with journalism, grant writing and community planning.

Mayor David Boelk expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, “The City is proud of this investment to improve the quality of life for residents.”

The employees will work on the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Partnership for Success Grant (PFS). Mendota was awarded the $1.875 million grant in late 2023, which includes funds for schools, organizations and staff to implement substance use prevention programming and create more positive youth activities over the next five years.

In addition to the efforts required by the grant, the new employees will play a pivotal role in supporting current staff with infrastructure development and community revitalization efforts. This work is crucial for the city’s future following the two devastating downtown fires in 2022.

By investing in human capital and talent, Mendota aims to position itself as a hub of opportunity, creativity and economic vibrancy.

For more information about the City’s work, visit www.mendota.il.us.