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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 1999

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES $203,000 IN ITP GRANTS
SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced more than $203,000 in Industrial Training Program (ITP) funds to upgrade the skills of approximately 240 Illinois workers.

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced more than $203,000 in Industrial Training Program (ITP) funds to upgrade the skills of approximately 240 Illinois workers.

The grants have been awarded to three companies that will use the funds to train employees in Downers Grove, East Dubuque, Rosemont, Bridgeview and Fairview Heights.

"These grants are an investment in our future," Ryan said. "Having a highly-skilled and well-trained workforce will help Illinois companies remain competitive in the global marketplace. "Upgrading the skills of Illinois workers is an important part of our economic development and job creation efforts."

Under the governor's proposed Fiscal Year 200 budget, ITP funding will increase by $7 million, to more than $24 million. The increase would allow an estimated 450 additional Illinois companies to provide training and job skills to nearly 12,000 workers.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) administers the Industrial Training Program and awards grants on a competitive basis.

"The high demand for job training assistance exemplifies the important link between employee performance and the success of a company," DCCA Director Pam McDonough said. "If we want our economy to continue to thrive, we must maintain and enhance our strong commitment to helping Illinois workers upgrade their skills."

A list of ITP grants is attached.

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ITP GRANT RECIPIENTS

Novartis Seeds, Inc.
Downers Grove, Illinois
$56,325
The company is installing a SAP R/3 system, which is expected to increase production. All training is centered around the SAP R/3 computer system and will be provided by Cap Gemini SAP consultants, SAP America and one internal instructor.

Shepherd, Inc.
East Dubuque, Illinois
$71,769
As part of Shepherd's expansion plans, the company recently relocated from Iowa to a larger facility in East Dubuque, IL. Training will include editing, communications, computer software, typesetting, print buying and illustration. Training will be provided by vendors and internal instructors.

Sprint Spectrum L.P. and Affiliates
Rosemont, Bridgeview and Fairview Heights, Illinois
$75,450
The company is expanding its cellular services operations in Illinois. Training will consist of orientation, system applications, sales and support operations, promotions and price structuring. All training will be provided by internal instructors.


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