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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3 Million to Support Workforce Training Efforts in Illinois

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million grant to Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Illinois, to support development of its new Workforce Sustainability Center. This EDA grant will be matched with nearly $6 million in state and local matching funds, and is expected to help retain 2,160 jobs.

“As shown by the work of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, the Trump Administration is committed to providing workers with the skills they need for good jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I look forward to seeing how Illinois Central College’s new workforce training center will tailor East Peoria’s workforce to the skills that businesses need.”

“This federal funding is an investment in East Peoria’s workforce and economy,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “As the largest and most affordable sector of the nation’s higher education system, community colleges are uniquely positioned to help close the skills gap, put people back to work, and fill critical shortages at growing businesses and manufacturers. Senator Duckworth and I are proud to support this federal funding, and will continue advocating for strong investments in Illinois’ communities.”

“Far too many of our nation’s best and brightest are struggling to find good-paying jobs at the same time that many businesses are searching for qualified candidates for their unfilled positions,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “Investments in our community colleges, like today’s funding for Illinois Central College, can help bridge this divide and prepare more hard-working Americans for 21st Century jobs.”

“Workforce development programs are essential to filling the over 7 million unfilled jobs we have in this country and Dr. Quirk-Bailey and her leadership team at Illinois Central College (ICC) are leading the way in our state to ensure students are prepared to enter into today’s dynamic workforce,” said Rep. Darin LaHood. “I applaud President Trump and his Administration for recognizing this important work that is being done in East Peoria at ICC. This award will provide our community with new workforce development facilities and make certain Illinois’ next generation of workers have the skills they need to succeed.”

This project will assist in the development of the Illinois Central College Workforce Sustainability Center. The facility will enhance the region’s ability to train workers with the critical skills they need for in-demand jobs in the region. The state-of-the-art instructional space will also be adaptable to future applications and training requirements.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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