Southwestern Illinois College receives $1.4 million in grants to fight equity |

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Southwestern Illinois College received two grants for a combined $1.4 million to address equity in trades.

The Illinois Community College Board awarded SWIC a $1.2 million Workforce Equity Initiative Grant that will be used to pursue one-year job training programs in East St. Louis, SWIC announced last week.

These programs include certificates in welding, nursing assistant, food service, forklift training, bloodletting, practical nursing, and heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. Starting in the fall, a certificate in web design will be offered.

One hundred and thirty students have graduated since 2019.

Governor JB Pritzker on Thursday announced $9.6 million in grants for construction pre-apprenticeships. SWIC is one of 23 organizations receiving grants and is receiving $240,000 to provide pre-apprenticeship training and comprehensive support services to participants.

Between the 23 organizations — which include community colleges, nonprofits and industry associations — Pritzker’s office said there will be more than 1,000 attendees, most of whom are underrepresented in the industry. .

Pre-apprenticeship programs aim to help candidates gain admission into an apprenticeship program. Participants receive a stipend and work experience.

In Illinois, 4% of Illinois apprentices are women and 29% are people of color, according to a 2020 report from the Illinois Department of Labor. The two grants received by SWIC are aimed at serving underrepresented populations.

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