Robinson, Ill-- Governor George H. Ryan toured the Marathon Ashland Petroleum Refinery where an Industrial Training Program (ITP) grant of $654,000 trained nearly 630 employees.
They are just some of the more than 90,000 workers who will be helped by the nearly $22 million ITP program this year.
"The Industrial Training Program is all about saving and creating jobs for the working men and women of this state and for the industries that support them," Gov. Ryan told a crowd of workers at the refinery. "Our investment is helping your families in Southern Illlinois, and that is what government is all about."
The training is a necessary part of Marathon’s projected four-year investment of $180 million at its Robinson facility. This upgrade includes the installation and upgrading of production, environmental, and safety equipment. The overhaul will allow the facility to comply with environmental regulations and will also allow the plant to become more efficient, cost-effective, and competitive.
Employees are receiving safety training, as well as training in technical and process operations, environmental compliance, and emergency preparedness.
20 years ago while Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, Governor Ryan helped create the Industrial Training Program (ITP) to assist companies in training workers in order to keep pace with changing technologies and workplace environments.
In this fiscal year's budget, $21.6 million is dedicated for ITP grants which will help Illinois companies train and upgrade more than 90,000 workers.
The 2002 fiscal year budget allocated $25.1 million for ITP to help 85,000 workers, including 700 workers from Hershey Chocolate's Robinson facility. During 2001, $24.2 million in ITP grants assisted in training 80,000 Illinois workers.