Featured Archives | Southwestern Illinois College

SWIC 2021 SkillsUSA PMT National Winners

Southwestern Illinois College students earned bronze medals at the 2021 National SkillsUSA competition held in July. SWIC students, from left to right, include Bryce Griggs of Granite City, Alex MidKiff of Belleville, Billy Laycock of Marine, Philip Culiberk of Maryville, Steven Boss of O’Fallon and Will Andersen of St. Louis.  Laycock, MidKiff and Andersen won as a team in Automated Manufacturing Technology; Boss earned a medal for CNC Milling; and Culiberk took his prize in the CNC Technician category. Griggs competed at the state level but was unavailable to compete at the national level. Andersen said the most challenging part about the competition was coordinating all of their efforts so they worked together smoothly as a team. SkillsUSA is a national technical education organization that partners educators, employers and students to teach greater skills to Americans. The SkillsUSA Championships are competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Due to COVID restrictions, competitors completed their projects at their respective colleges. SWIC Precision Machining students have won 13 national machining medals in the last 10 years, the most by any college in the country.

SWIC Releases Spring 2021 Semester Graduate List

The following is a list of Southwestern Illinois College students who graduated at the conclusion of the Spring 2021 Semester. The students’ names are listed alphabetically according to hometown.

The list also denotes students who graduated with honors (a 3.5 grade point average or higher) and with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

SWIC Spring 2021 Graduate List.

For more information, contact SWIC Enrollment Services at 618-235-2700,
ext. 5455 or 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5455.

SWIC Releases Spring Semester 2021 Dean’s List

The following is a list of full- and part-time students on the Southwestern Illinois College Dean’s List for the Spring 2021 Semester.

This list includes full-time students who completed 12 or more semester credits during the semester and part-time students who completed six or more semester credits during the semester while maintaining a 3.5 or higher grade point average.

The students’ names are listed alphabetically according to hometown:

SWIC Spring 2021 Deans List

For more information, contact SWIC Enrollment Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5455 or 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5455.

SWIC student wins Head of the Class award for HVAR skills

Hard work and dedication have paid off for a Southwestern Illinois College Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration student.

Donald Rommerskirchen of Highland was chosen by the college’s HVAR program for the Head of Class award. Presented by tool supplier, Malco, the award recognizes perfect attendance, class participation and a willingness to learn. All candidates are top students recommended by instructors.

“This is a great program,” he said. “You learn from a variety of instructors who have a wide variety of expertise and experience working on residential and commercial equipment.”

Rommerskirchen, who retired from a career in maintenance at a correctional facility, hopes to open his own HVAR business when he graduates at the end of the summer. His goal is to install and repair HVAR equipment at an affordable price.

“He’s a really dedicated student,” said HVAR Program Coordinator Keith Otten. “I can always count on him to help instructors in class and help other students who are just starting out.”

SWIC offers a two-year, 72-semester-credit Associate in Applied Science degree and a one-year, 45-semester-credit certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration.

 For more information on the SWIC HVAR program, call Otten at 618-931-0600, ext. 5175 or visit swic.edu/havr.

Gov. Pritzker Announces $15M Investment to Create Two State of the Art Manufacturing Training Academies Downstate

KTVI Channel 2 news: SWIC to develop new manufacturing training academy with state grant


Funding from Bipartisan Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan Will Establish Two New, Cutting Edge Training Academies to Prepare Illinoisans for Future Jobs and Boost Investment in Downstate Communities 

NORMAL, IL – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), joined by Heartland Community College and Rivian, today announced an investment to build two advanced manufacturing training academies to expand training for high-demand manufacturing jobs in Illinois. A $15 million capital investment through the Governor’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan will establish two downstate manufacturing training academies that will provide hundreds of Illinois residents the opportunity to develop specialized skills for a career in advanced manufacturing.

“Today, I’m proud to announce the winning projects that will launch two cutting edge new programs here in Illinois, which will begin enrolling students later this year,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This capital investment – spurred by our historic Rebuild Illinois capital program – builds on the funding that Rebuild already devotes to upgrading and expanding facilities at Illinois community colleges, cementing their key role in continuing to train our young workforce, and lifelong learners keeping their skills fresh. Today is just one indicator of the job and skills growth our state is seeing. Workforce investments like those we’re announcing here foreshadow even more good jobs we can fill in the future.”

The new training facilities will be established at Heartland Community College (HCC) in Normal, and Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) in Metro East.  State funds will be met with $4.95 million in matching commitments for capital projects, as well as additional support from employers and regional partners to establish new training academies.

“Today’s announcement delivers on a key commitment made under Governor Pritzker’s 5-year economic plan, which calls for investments in downstate communities to prepare our next generation of workers with a pathway to well-paying jobs of the future,” said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.  “As the electric vehicle industry and other advanced manufacturing roles see increasing demand – in Illinois, we are preparing to seize those jobs, with investments made across our communities and to maintain our state as a top destination for companies to grow and invest.”

Programs are expected to launch later this year, enrolling hundreds of students in the first year of the program. While each program will have a different focus, both will help meet the demand for state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing training downstate, preparing Illinoisans to seize on advanced careers in the manufacturing sector in the years ahead.

“Community Colleges play an essential role in providing affordable and equitable access to education, and in turn, a pathway to sustainable careers. And partnership is key to building and maintaining the workforce needed to fulfil the promise of innovation in technical education and to grow the economy,” said Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille. “Working with the DECO and Rivian, and our other regional manufacturing partners, we gain key pieces in providing a pathway to a sustainable career for students both coming right out of High School and also those who look to re-enter the workforce. With the new Electric Vehicle-Energy Storage Manufacturing Training Academy, Heartland Community College will be a hub for innovation, and a resource for those looking for upskilling in a wide variety of occupations.”

At Heartland, a $7.5 million grant from the State will enable the development of the new Electric Vehicle-Energy Storage Manufacturing Training Academy (EVES). This first-of-its-kind EV manufacturing training program is made possible by a partnership with electric vehicle manufacturer, Rivian, which is expected to create an additional 1,600 jobs in the next two years alone. Matching state funds with a $1.5 million private employer commitment, HCC will develop a new auto shop used exclusively for training for EV manufacturing. This program will help meet growing needs of the region and will prepare Illinois to seize on the rapid growth of the EV industry, with Illinois jobs expected to double by 2024.

“Rivian is honored to have supported the leadership of Governor Pritzker in establishing the Electric Vehicle-Energy Storage Manufacturing Training Academy,” said James Chen, Vice President of Public Policy and Chief Regulatory Counsel for Rivian. “This project will help prepare local workers for the well-paid, technical jobs that the clean energy transition requires.  This project also reflects Rivian’s core values of community empowerment, innovation, and a strong foundation for the continued growth and success of the electric vehicle industry. We thank Governor Pritzker, the Illinois DCEO, and Heartland Community College for making this academy a reality.”

At SWIC, a second $7.5 million grant will create a new manufacturing education hub in Belleville – expanding upon the school’s successful manufacturing training facilities. The Advanced Manufacturing Center will break ground in 2021 and will welcome students into its new facilities by fall 2022. The project will be completed in two phases: with the first creating a new precision machining pathway; and the second aiming to expand career training for roles in industrial electricity and welding manufacturing. Construction on a new 31,100 SF lab space complete will provide new computers and other specialized equipment. This new program will also prioritize helping to address equity gaps in the region – with SWIC creating a new diverse recruitment program to help ensure more minority and women students can participate in newly created training.

“One of Southwestern Illinois College’s primary goals is to train students for well-paying, highly skilled, in-demand career fields, and the construction of a manufacturing training academy will bolster these efforts,” said SWIC President Nick Mance. “In light of the unemployment rate and economic distress in the area, it is more crucial than ever that students embark on a viable career pathway that leads directly to steady employment paying a living wage or better.”

“Manufacturing remains an important and growing industry for our state, and we are poised, with the right investments, to ensure more Illinoisans get the opportunities they need to train for these 21st century jobs,” said Brian Durham, Executive Director of the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). “These training academies will address a skills shortage in the manufacturing industry and adopt new technologies in manufacturing production while meeting the needs of many regional employers, located in these downstate communities.”

“This grant is a natural fit for Heartland Community College and will enhance every aspect of manufacturing training and education for students! The proximity of Heartland and Rivian Motors will be a strong connection for the technology needs for Students and this funding will be a great foundation of investment,” said Deputy Republican Leader Dan Brady. “Thank you, Governor Pritzker, Heartland President Keith Cornille, and trustees. I am pleased to have played a part in this education, and jobs training investment!”

“This is an important grant that will help this program to train people to be successful in high tech careers with employers such as Rivian,” said State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). “It’s good to see the state step up to help keep our workforce ready for a changing and ever-competitive global economy.”

Since taking office, Governor Pritzker has prioritized making investments in the manufacturing industry that will create jobs, advance access to training, and maintain Illinois as a top destination for manufacturing growth and innovation. This includes the creation of the apprenticeship tax credit to further establish and build out the pipeline of skilled talent of advanced manufacturers in our state to help prepare Illinois to seize the new jobs created by this growing industry in the years ahead. Additionally, the Governor’s pledge to make Illinois a clean energy state by 2050 is predicted to increase jobs in the EV sector.

For more information on the two Manufacturing Training Academies programs, please visit DCEO’s website.

SWIC to host a Virtual Spring Job Fair April 28

If you’re looking for a new job or just want to explore your employment possibilities, it’s time for you to attend the Southwestern Illinois College Virtual Spring Job Fair. Employers from a variety of career fields are expected to participate in the event.

The virtual fair runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 28. All job seekers are welcome and the event is open to the public.

To register for the event, visit swic.edu/job-fair.

For more information, call Career Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5562, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5562.

Celebrate Spring with the SWIC Plant Sale and Family Fun Day in April

Dig out your gardening tools – it’s spring! The SWIC Horticulture program is selling reasonably priced water and vegetable plants, tropicals, perennials, annuals, and herbs grown by SWIC students over the winter.

You can get your green thumbs (and fingers) on these plants at the annual Plant Sale April 22-23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the SWIC Belleville Campus, 2500 Carlyle Ave. The sale will be held in the greenhouse, located on the southeast corner of campus behind the baseball fields.

“Horticulture students play a major role in growing and nurturing these healthy, hardy plants throughout the semester,” said SWIC Horticulture Program Coordinator Kurt Range. “They get to see their hard work pay off by selling these beautiful, hardy plants.”

Only cash and check payments will be accepted. Proceeds benefit the Horticulture program.

In addition to the plant sale, SWIC will also be hosting a family fun day Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be food and drinks available for purchase from SWIC’s very own food truck, Ollie’s Eatery; free flower pot decorating; carnival games and bounce houses. Also on display will be SWIC’s CNC mobile truck, a helicopter and more!

Everyone must wear a mask and social distance. For more information about the plant sale contact Kurt Range at 618-235-2700, ext. 5135 or kurt.range@swic.edu.

SWIC to Host Workshop for Parents of Future College Students April 20

If you are preparing to send your son or daughter to college in the near future, the Southwestern Illinois College workshop, Parent 101, can help you understand the ins and outs of the college process.

This free in-person or online workshop will be held Tuesday, April 20, from 6-7 p.m. The event is open to the parents or families of future college students in eighth through twelfth grades. Face masks and social distancing will be required.

The informational presentation will include:

– Timeline for preparing for college
– The financial aid process
– Earning college credit in high school  
– Transferring courses to four-year universities
– Cost saving benefits of education and training at the community college

To learn more and to register, visit: swic.edu/admissions-events.

For questions or more information, contact SWIC Admissions at 618-235-2700, ext. 5200.

Fire Science program receives equipment donation

Thanks to O’Fallon Fire Department and Chief Brad White, the Southwestern Illinois College Clay Baitman Fire Science Training Center received a donation of Amkus and Phoenix Vehicle Extrication Tools. These tools will be used to train firefighters across the program in various specialties. The SWIC Fire Science training program includes a two-year, 66-semester-credit Associate in Applied Science degree with Fire Protection Administration and Fire-Rescue Specialist options. Eleven certificates, ranging from Vehicle Rescue Operations to Hazardous Materials First Responder, help firefighters develop specific skills. The Clay Baitman Fire Science Training Center, located on Freeburg Avenue in Belleville, is used for hands-on training designed to meet various national fire service training standards. For more information, visit swic.edu/fire-science.

SWIC releases fall 2020 dean’s list

The following is a list of full- and part-time students on the Southwestern Illinois College Dean’s List for the Fall 2020 Semester.

This list includes full-time students who completed 12 or more semester credits during the semester and part-time students who completed six or more semester credits during the semester while maintaining a 3.5 or higher grade point average.

The students’ names are listed alphabetically according to hometown:
SWIC Fall 2020 Dean’s List

For more information, contact SWIC Enrollment Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5455 or 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5455.