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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 1999

RYAN ANNOUNCES NEARLY $3 MILLION IN ITP GRANTS

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced more than $2.84 million in Industrial Training Program funds to upgrade the skills of some 13,000 Illinois employees.

"Highly skilled, well-trained workers are extremely valuable assets to Illinois employers," Ryan said. "These grants are an investment in the future and will help Illinois companies keep a competitive edge in the global marketplace. I have proposed expanding ITP to allow more companies to take advantage of this popular program."

The grants have been awarded to five businesses and organizations in Freeport, Huntley, Itasca, Mendota and Springfield. The grants, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, are awarded on a competitive basis.

DCCA Director Pam McDonough said some employers seek the grants because new technology has been introduced into their workplace. "Illinois companies are often at the forefront of updating their technology to keep Illinois products and services top-of-the-line. ITP is one way the Ryan administration helps business and industry meet that challenge."

Ryan said he supports increasing funding for the ITP program to $24.8 million, an increase of $7 million over the current fiscal year.

A list of ITP grants is attached.

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Del Monte Foods
Mendota, Illinois
$36,960
The Mendota facility is expanding to include the addition of new equipment and the integration of new technology. Training will include use of the new technology, team building and processes and procedures relevant to a specific piece of equipment. Training will be provided by external vendors.

Fellowes Manufacturing Company
Itasca, Illinois
$40,110
Fellowes is replacing its old computer systems with a new system which requires training for key staff. Training will be provided by professional trainers.

Highland Community College
Freeport, Illinois
$184,000
This year's ITP grant will allow this sole provider of post-secondary education within the district to continue to provide training courses to 14 client companies. Training will consist of various computer topics, industrial electricity, blueprint reading and OSHA compliance topics.

Illinois Manufacturers' Association
Springfield, Illinois
$2,495,804
The Illinois Manufacturers' Association is proposing a training program for its member companies. Among areas to be covered are total quality training, technical skills training and manufacturing resource planning. The training will be provided by Northern Illinois University/Business and Industry Services and 23 Illinois Community Colleges.

Weber-Stephen Products Co.
Huntley, Illinois
$84,110
Weber-Stephen has completed the construction of a new facility in Huntley and is in the final stages of staffing the plant. Training will include supervisory and management training and safety. Training will be provided by Elgin Community College and training vendors.


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