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April 15, 2000

Budget To Fund Worker-Training Facility At Illinois Central College


SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the urgently-needed Skilled Trades and Manufacturing Technology Center at Illinois Central College in Peoria will become a reality.

Ryan said the budget passed today by the General Assembly includes a $7 million appropriation for the 96,000 square-foot facility

"This facility will solve a ‘critical-job skill’ shortage anticipated in the Peoria area, and save jobs in Illinois," Ryan said.

"There are two urgent reasons why this project is so important to our state and to Central Illinois. First, with the impeding retirement of skilled trades and technology workers over the past five years at Caterpillar and other companies, we must act now or face a serious dislocation of manufacturing capacity at Caterpillar and elsewhere.

"Second, highly skilled workers are desperately needed at Advanced Technology Services (ATS), Advanced Information Services (AIS) and other engineering and technical firms who maintain, repair and develop the manufacturing and business infrastructure necessary for our state to remain competitive."

Ryan allocated $2 million to Illinois Central College last year to design the facility. The college has worked with employers to teach critical-shortage job skills for which there is immediate job demand.

Caterpillar has permanently loaned $1.2 million worth of training equipment for skilled trades instruction in leading edge manufacturing technologies.

Illinois Central College also recently received a $1.7 million title Illinois federal grant to expand its information technology program.

"Simply put, Governor Ryan has just saved the future of manufacturing and technology in Peoria," said Rep. David Leitch (R-Peoria).


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