BELLEVILLE – January 14, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $1.7 million state grant for the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network (ICCSN) to expand green educational and training offerings throughout Illinois’ community college network. Part of the funding will be used to establish Green Jobs Centers at three Illinois campuses, including Southwestern Illinois College’s (SWIC) Belleville Campus.
“Investing in green job training will ensure Illinois’ long-term success in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries and will allow us to build upon our position as a leader in sustainability,” said Governor Quinn. “This grant furthers our commitment to building a cleaner, greener Illinois and training a workforce that’s prepared to meet the demands of a green 21st century.”
The ICCSN is a consortium of community colleges geared toward advancing career development in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The state is providing $1.7 million this fiscal year to the 48 Illinois community colleges to develop innovative programs that will stimulate the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy practices in Illinois homes and businesses, and train people for energy efficiency and renewable energy jobs.
In addition to a Green Job Center at SWIC, the grant funds centers at the College of Lake County in Grayslake and Wilbur Wright College in Chicago. The centers will partner with educational institutions, businesses, community-based organizations, and building and trades organizations to implement programs to prepare individuals for careers in the green industry. The job training component of the program will focus on energy efficiency and conservation for homes and small businesses. Workers will be trained in weatherization, energy audits and other strategies that reduce energy consumption, utility bills and carbon emissions.
To date, over 18,000 Illinois residents have benefitted from programs being offered through the ICCSN. The initiative is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.