William Bishop IV, former Lanphier High School and Western Illinois University athlete, is the founder and CEO of Solid Ground Solutions Incorporated which provides project management and construction cleaning services where he creates job opportunities for people in the neighborhoods where he grew up. [Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]

As a kid developing up on Springfield’s east side, William Bishop IV would go on bike rides with his good friends. Collectively, they would normally trip by Washington Park. When they reached Illini State Club, Bishop — who is affectionately known as “Ham” — would inform his friends, a single day he was likely to make it inside that nation club. 

As the proprietor of Good Ground Options constriction business, final month Bishop, 32, was invited to a meeting at Illini Region Club. It was his very first time inside of and he took the option to inquire about a membership.

Nonetheless, Bishop’s vision for the foreseeable future has often been greater than himself. A year ago, his firm — in partnership with O’Shea Builders — started a program that is switching lives for people in the neighborhood he grew up in. The Minority Workforce Community has previously opened doors to the trades for 10 individuals who now have palms-on careers functioning in constriction, and make much more funds than they have in the previous as component of area unions.