07152019CW0043aCHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) visited the Eden Park Illumination factory in Champaign on Tuesday to announce a $15 million investment to construct two new manufacturing training academies at downstate community colleges.

Bennett was joined at the event by Gov. JB Pritzker and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Erin Guthrie.

“Manufacturing is an important pillar in many of our communities and infuses new dollars into our economy,” Bennett said. “This is a critical investment that will help rebuild our economy as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Funding for the new training academies will be distributed by DCEO. The agency is seeking proposals from community colleges to provide cutting-edge training programs that will equip students for an array of high-paying skilled manufacturing jobs that require specialized training.

These academies are a key part of the governor’s five-year economic growth plan, providing training to Illinoisans pursuing high-demand jobs, including machinery mechanics and computer numerically controlled machine operators and programmers.

Applications for the grants will be accepted from community college districts or coalitions of community college districts outside Cook County and the surrounding collar counties.

For more information, visit DCEO’s website.

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