The Illinois Community College Board’s Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) program has selected Joliet Junior College to give grant funding. JJC is part of 17 Illinois community colleges that will receive the grants. The program focuses on underserved and underrepresented populations to provide workforce training in high-demand, high occupations.
JJC will receive $1.2 million dollars. The purpose of the funding is to provide workforce training in several following occupations:
- commercial truck driver
- dental assistant
- heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) technician
- industrial maintenance technician
- phlebotomy technician
- process operator technician
- and warehouse associate.
The program helps the students learn the fundamentals of starting a career as well as providing the required textbooks and supplies. Individual’s transportation expenses will also be covered through gas card or bus card. The participants will also earn a stipend upon successful completion of the program. The training includes soft skills, resume development, interviewing techniques and job placement assistance.
A minimum of 60% of the population served through this grant must be African American. If the participants meet the grant’s eligibility requirements, the training is free of cost. The goal is for students to secure full-time employment in a career that pays 30% above the average living wage. In 2020, JJC had also received the grant funding from the first ever ICCB WEI program.
JJC had served 73 students from the $500,000 funding. In 2021, JJC is planning to serve 200 individuals. Amy Murphy, dean of applied arts and workforce education and training at JJC said, “The additional grant funds that we received this year will provide us with an opportunity to expand our career training program into seven pathways.”