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CLC snares green jobs federal grant worth $6M

Updated: November 27, 2011 1:23PM

GRAYSLAKE — The College of Lake County and 16 partnering Illinois community college members of the Illinois Green Economy Network will receive funding from a $19.37 million U.S. Department of Labor grant.

CLC, which submitted the grant proposal on behalf of the colleges, will serve as the administrative and fiscal agent for the grant.

CLC will receive $5.9 million of the $19.37 million to fund administrative costs, implementing a statewide online course development and delivery system and creating new career programs at CLC. The award is officially called the “Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant.”

The award is part of a total of $500 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education to fund job training and workforce development for economically dislocated workers who are changing careers. The $500 million will fund 32 grants nationwide; the IGEN grant is the only award in Illinois.

“We are very excited about the news of this grant and its potential to assist workers in economic distress,” said CLC President Jerry Weber. Weber and Georgia Costello, president of Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, serve as co-chairs of the IGEN Steering Committee.

IGEN is a partnership of all 39 Illinois community college districts to grow Illinois’ green economy, provide new employment opportunities and foster healthy communities.

The 17 IGEN colleges partnering in the $19.37 million grant will serve as training and assistance “hubs,” providing services for displaced workers and developing and offering comprehensive job training programs in areas affected by “foreign trade consequences” such as jobs moving overseas.

Currently, 20 of Illinois’ counties, including Lake County, have been identified as significantly impacted by foreign trade.

The grant will focus on providing training in green economy industries through traditional classroom instruction and a blend of online and classroom formats. The programs developed through the funding will be replicated by the other IGEN community colleges, thereby serving the entire state, according to Weber.

The grant funding will include developing or enhancing training to prepare for green careers in various areas, including architecture, construction, engineering, agriculture, food and natural resources, information technology, manufacturing, transportation, distribution and logistics.

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