GODFREY – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey is leading a consortium of nine community colleges in eight states that have been awarded $23.8 million in federal funds to train and place workers in high-skill transportation, distribution and logistics jobs. Lewis and Clark will receive $4.9 million and John Wood Community College (JWCC) in Quincy will receive $2.1 million for their parts in the effort. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to driving Illinois’ economy forward and ensuring all people have the opportunity to follow their dreams and reach their full potential.
“This pairing of community colleges with on-the-move career opportunities is a great fit,” Governor Quinn said. “With Lewis and Clark leading the way, we look forward to providing high-paying, in-demand jobs for thousands of workers and supplying industries with the skilled workers they need.”
The Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Consortium, led by Lewis and Clark, will receive $23.8 million for nine community colleges located in eight states along the Mississippi River. The grant comes through the United States Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Careering Training grant program. The multi-year, nearly $2 billion initiative will expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers. The participating colleges are committed to advancing economic development in the Mississippi River region by placing dislocated and other workers in high-wage, high-skill occupations in vital transportation, distribution, logistics and related industries.
Other members of the consortium in addition to Lewis and Clark and John Wood Community Colleges include: Delgado Community College, New Orleans, La., $2.1 million; Hinds Community College, Raymond, Miss., $2.2 million; Mid-South Community College, West Memphis, Ark., $2.1 million; Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical, Winona, Minn., $1.8 million; St. Louis Community College, St. Louis, Mo., $3 million; Southwest Tennessee Community College, Memphis, Tenn., $2.9 million; and West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah, Ky., $2.8 million.
“Our consortium members aim to match worker training and education programs to high opportunity occupations, and to do so in ways that capitalize on the unique strengths of these individual colleges,” Lewis and Clark Community College President Dale Chapman said. “Each of the institutions is focusing its resources on occupations that meet the requirements of local and regional employers and on the training and support needs of the local workforce.”
"The strength of a trained workforce in manufacturing, distribution, and the accompanying supply chain are critical to area economic development, and this grant will help us train folks to meet those needs,” JWCC President Dr. John Letts said.
Over the next three years Lewis and Clark will train 300 students and program participants from throughout the community college district. They will utilize the grant funding to expand workforce training programs including Welding, Auto Tech (Hybrid-Electric), Process Operations Technology, Logistics Technician, Auto Tech (Conventional), Diesel Mechanics, Truck/Tractor Trailer Drivers and Production Technician. Lewis and Clark’s industry partners include Phillips 66, Olin-Winchester, Cassens Transport Co., and many others.
JWCC's focus is on jobs needed by the local logistics industry. Employers need warehouse and logistics technicians, help desk and computer information specialists and supply chain managers. This helps individuals gain skills for careers, not just jobs, and helps the West Central Illinois region maintain and grow business.