UC Ingalls Hospice ad 728x90px 102621 1
State invests $15 million to fuel two new manufacturing programs downstate

State invests $15 million to fuel two new manufacturing programs downstate

By GRACE BARBIC
Capitol News Illinois
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday the state was distributing funds to two downstate Illinois community colleges for electric vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy generation training programs.

Pritzker made the announcement at Heartland Community College in Normal, where one of the new programs will launch.

“I’m committed to building an Illinois that is focused on high quality skilled labor and developing that so that we can maintain our manufacturing prowess for generations to come,” Pritzker said at the news conference. “And so that our residents are ready for the millions of new manufacturing jobs arising over the next decade.”

HCC and Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville will begin enrolling students in their new specialized manufacturing programs for the fall semester.

HCC is partnering with electric vehicle automaker Rivian to establish a training academy for students who want to join the manufacturing industry. Along with state funds, a $1.5 million private employer commitment will allow HCC to develop a new auto shop that will be used exclusively for training in how to build electric vehicles.

The program will start with about a dozen students and be fully operational by 2023.

SWIC will also add to its existing manufacturing training facilities to offer industrial electricity and welding manufacturing training. This facility is expected to begin operation by fall 2022.

The programs are funded through the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan that passed in the governor’s first year in 2019.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said that the funds will be split between the two programs, with each college receiving $7.5 million to launch their programs. The state funds will also be met with $4.95 million in matching commitments for capital projects, officials said.

DCEO acting director Sylvia Garcia said the manufacturing industry is one of the largest employers in the state, with more than 550,000 workers and over 18,000 companies across different communities in Illinois.

Advanced Energy Economy, an industry association which promotes advanced energy technologies and services, released its “Electrifying Illinois” report earlier this month which shows the state is on pace to reach 83 percent job growth in electric transportation-related work by 2024, regardless of legislative action.

Electronic transportation activity in Illinois, according to the report, contributed $850 million to Gross State Product based on data from the 2019 United States Energy Employment Report, which was produced by the National Association of State Energy Officials and the Energy Futures Institute.

Vice President of Public Policy and Chief Regulatory Counsel for Rivian, James Chen, said this project will help prepare local workers for a clean energy transition in the state.

“We are only in the early stages of the electric transportation revolution and competition for skilled workers will only increase,” Chen said. “As the nation is preparing to lead on electric transportation, Illinois is setting an excellent example for other states, how to serve a motivated community that wants to be part of this burgeoning sector, specifically public private partnerships that prioritize workers are a model for a strong workforce development.”

Pritzker said the training programs will also help the state attract more business. He said while the industry, including Rivian, continues to evolve rapidly.

“What you see on their assembly line today will be somewhat outmoded, they’ll be upgrading and they’ll need new skills to fill those jobs,” Pritzker said. “So we need a constant upgrading of skills, and that’s what Heartland and SWIC and programs like those will offer and again, that’s very attractive for manufacturers across the nation, to see that Illinois is ahead of the game.”

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

Peggy Zabicki

Thankful for the man who gave us Peanuts

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Did you know that Charles M. Schulz, author of the Peanuts cartoon series, was born on Nov. 26, 1922? I’m thankful and grateful for his creativity, which has endured the test of time. His cartoon movie, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, was first…

Kathy Headley

Marquette Bank wants your opinions

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 So after eating the big Thanksgiving meal and maybe planning some weekend shopping, if you are a Marquette Bank customer, you might want to take the 2021 Customer Survey before it’s too late. The deadline is Nov. 30.…

Karen Sala

There are many Jewels, but ours shines brightest

By Karen Sala Your correspondent in Gage Park (773) 471-1429 • [email protected] Turkey Day is over, and now it’s time for leftovers! I enjoy leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner more than the original. Even though I went by my son’s, I still made my own turkey and sides. That way I have leftovers. I was watching TV…

Mary Stanek

The best is what’s left over

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 I hope everyone’s tummies are full of all that Thanksgiving goodness. In the words of actor and comedian Kevin James, “Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants!” Now the best part about Thanksgiving being…

The late CPD Officer Ella French.

‘They tried to taint Ella’s legacy’

Aldermen furious with mayor, COPA chief By Tim Hadac The three aldermen representing Clearing and Garfield Ridge are among 20 City Council members opposing the appointment of Andrea Kersten as the next Chief Administrator of Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Kersten, the current interim chief of COPA, came under fire recently for releasing a report…

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 4.30.36 PM

Roadrunners are state volleyball champs

Snack With Santa is an event founded by longtime Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Dybala near 40 years ago. It offers a bit of Christmas cheer for children and underscores the local business community’s commitment to the neighborhood. --File photo

Holiday warmth is straight ahead

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, my favorite holiday of the year. I look forward to it because it’s all about family, whether it’s family of blood or heart or both. People actually slow down and catch up with each other. It’s not about…

GSWNH_CityLeadersVax_111921

Pushback over ‘conscience’ law change

Measure would close vax loophole By Peter Hancock Capitol News Illinois and Tim Hadac A number of Southwest Siders are pushing back against a new state law designed to clear the way for employers to enforce vaccination, testing and other mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measure, Senate Bill 1169, amends the Illinois…

GSWNH_BFEDM2_111921

Back in their dancing shoes

  After the pandemic forced them off the stage for more than 20 months, the boys and girls of Ballet Folklórico Estrella del Mar donned their costumes and dancing shoes last week and performed for Big Shoulders Fund representatives visiting St. Mary Star of the Sea School in West Lawn. Founded in 2015 at the…

Chicago Police Department

Warn of business heists in Wrightwood, Chicago Lawn

From staff reports A cluster of early-morning burglaries of businesses in Wrightwood and Chicago Lawn has prompted police to issue a warning. Crime scene include: 7800 block of South Oakley on Oct. 19. 3000 block of West 63rd Street on Oct. 21. 8200 block of South Kedzie on Nov. 7. 7800 block of South Kedzie…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
USALiquidators WebAd
Peggy Zabicki

Thankful for the man who gave us Peanuts

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Did you know that Charles M. Schulz, author of the Peanuts cartoon series, was born on Nov. 26, 1922? I’m thankful and grateful for his creativity, which has endured the test of time. His cartoon movie, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, was first…

Kathy Headley

Marquette Bank wants your opinions

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 So after eating the big Thanksgiving meal and maybe planning some weekend shopping, if you are a Marquette Bank customer, you might want to take the 2021 Customer Survey before it’s too late. The deadline is Nov. 30.…

Karen Sala

There are many Jewels, but ours shines brightest

By Karen Sala Your correspondent in Gage Park (773) 471-1429 • [email protected] Turkey Day is over, and now it’s time for leftovers! I enjoy leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner more than the original. Even though I went by my son’s, I still made my own turkey and sides. That way I have leftovers. I was watching TV…

Mary Stanek

The best is what’s left over

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 I hope everyone’s tummies are full of all that Thanksgiving goodness. In the words of actor and comedian Kevin James, “Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants!” Now the best part about Thanksgiving being…

The late CPD Officer Ella French.

‘They tried to taint Ella’s legacy’

Aldermen furious with mayor, COPA chief By Tim Hadac The three aldermen representing Clearing and Garfield Ridge are among 20 City Council members opposing the appointment of Andrea Kersten as the next Chief Administrator of Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Kersten, the current interim chief of COPA, came under fire recently for releasing a report…

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 4.30.36 PM

Roadrunners are state volleyball champs

Snack With Santa is an event founded by longtime Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Dybala near 40 years ago. It offers a bit of Christmas cheer for children and underscores the local business community’s commitment to the neighborhood. --File photo

Holiday warmth is straight ahead

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, my favorite holiday of the year. I look forward to it because it’s all about family, whether it’s family of blood or heart or both. People actually slow down and catch up with each other. It’s not about…

GSWNH_CityLeadersVax_111921

Pushback over ‘conscience’ law change

Measure would close vax loophole By Peter Hancock Capitol News Illinois and Tim Hadac A number of Southwest Siders are pushing back against a new state law designed to clear the way for employers to enforce vaccination, testing and other mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measure, Senate Bill 1169, amends the Illinois…

GSWNH_BFEDM2_111921

Back in their dancing shoes

  After the pandemic forced them off the stage for more than 20 months, the boys and girls of Ballet Folklórico Estrella del Mar donned their costumes and dancing shoes last week and performed for Big Shoulders Fund representatives visiting St. Mary Star of the Sea School in West Lawn. Founded in 2015 at the…

Chicago Police Department

Warn of business heists in Wrightwood, Chicago Lawn

From staff reports A cluster of early-morning burglaries of businesses in Wrightwood and Chicago Lawn has prompted police to issue a warning. Crime scene include: 7800 block of South Oakley on Oct. 19. 3000 block of West 63rd Street on Oct. 21. 8200 block of South Kedzie on Nov. 7. 7800 block of South Kedzie…

DVN Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church House Ad
Regional Bennett Auto Rebuilders House Ad