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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 1999

RYAN ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $2,300,000 ITP GRANTS

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced $2.3 million in Industrial Training Program grants to help approximately 200 Illinois companies train about 600 new workers and upgrade the skills of nearly 22,000 current employees.

"These funds will help businesses throughout Illinois create jobs," Ryan said. "Any time government can help industry train and improve its work force, everyone benefits. By investing in the education and the training of our workers, we can help Illinois businesses grow and compete in the global marketplace."

The seven grants will serve businesses in Champaign, Chicago, Grand Chain, Hoffman Estates, Loves Park, Pekin, Springfield and numerous communities throughout Illinois. The grants, administered by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, are awarded competitively.

The department's acting director, Pam McDonough, encouraged companies with training needs to seek assistance from the Industrial Training Program. "Illinois businesses recognize the importance of keeping the skills of their employees on the cutting edge," McDonough said. "DCCA is eager to help provide the funds needed to ensure a bright economic future for Illinois companies and their workers."

A list of ITP grants is attached.

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1999 ITP Grants

Hanna Steel Corporation $73,710
Pekin, Illinois

Hanna Steel Corporation is constructing a new manufacturing facility in Pekin. Training will include manufacturing equipment and technology, computer skills, quality and safety training. Training will be provided by internal instructors

Illinois State Chamber of Commerce $1,601,862
Chicago, Illinois

Illinois State Chamber of Commerce is proposing a statewide training program to benefit approximately 200 member companies. Training will include basic skills, technical skills, computer skills, quality training, safety training and team building. Training will be provided by 17 training vendors.

Lafarge Corporation $143,745
Grand Chain, Illinois

The Lafarge Corporation is updating its facility in order to become more productive and meet increased domestic and foreign competition. Training will include metallurgy, cement chemistry, cooling systems, computer skills and preventative maintenance. Training will be provided by Shawnee College, internal instructors, trade associations and equipment vendors.

RPS Inc. $142,500
Champaign, Illinois

RPS is constructing a new sorting facility in Champaign. Training will consist of loading, unloading and sorting procedures; familiarization of automated equipment and safety. All training will be provided by internal or corporate instructors. The facility is expected to become operational in April 1999.

Sears Roebuck and Company $208,782
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Sears corporate Headquarters is training employees to use new desktop tools and software. All training will be provided by external instructors.

Superior Walls of Central Illinois, Inc. $52,780
Springfield, Illinois

Superior Walls of Central Illinois is constructing a new facility. They will train their staff in production and assembly techniques and in train-the-trainer courses. The training will be provided by Superior Walls of America.

West Telemarketing Corporation $85,305
Loves Park, Illinois

West Telemarketing Corporation is opening a new call center that will handle customer services and technical support. Training will include orientation, computer based training, communication techniques and product knowledge. All training will be provided by internal and corporate instructors.

Total: $2,308,684


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