A $1.4 million Workforce Equity Initiative Grant from the Illinois Community College Board will enable Southwestern Illinois College to develop employment training programs to assist minorities in underserved communities.
“The grant will help create, support and expand short-term workforce training opportunities in high-need communities focused on specific sectors with identified workforce gaps,” said SWIC President Nick J. Mance. “We look forward to expanding career pathway programs and pulling communities together to help students achieve their educational goals.”
The communities that will be served by the grant include Alorton, Brooklyn, Cahokia, Centreville, East St. Louis, Edgemont, Fairmont City, Granite City, Lovejoy, Madison and Washington Park.
SWIC will develop training programs in the fields of Welding, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Health Sciences, Food Service and Forklift Training.
The goal is to recruit up to 500 students per semester and an additional 200 students who are already pursing one of the designated career pathways. The college plans to participate in 20 outreach activities in the next year.
This project was championed by Illinois state legislators who support community colleges and workforce training initiatives, especially Sen. Chris Belt, D-Cahokia, and Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea. Other supporters include: Sen. Rachel Crowe, D-Wood River and Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis and Rep. Nathan Reitz, D-Steeleville.
For more information, contact the SWIC Chief of Staff Beverly Fiss at 618-235-2700, ext. 5247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.