A new $609,000 federal grant will allow Southwestern Illinois College to expand training opportunities for students seeking careers in the field of manufacturing technology.
The grant is part of a $500 million program announced Wednesday by the Obama administration to assist community colleges in job training.
The majority of the award will go toward the purchase of electrical automation equipment and software and will allow SWIC to develop an advanced manufacturing certificate in the area of electrical automation, said Dean of Technical Education Brad Sparks.
SWIC is one of 21 colleges in a consortium led by Harper College of Chicago, which will administer the $12.9 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant among its partners. The new grant is the second installment of a $2 billion, four-year education initiative.
Last year, the college received nearly $1.4 million in the first round of training program grants.
The first round of funding is being used to expand the Precision Machining Technology and Welding programs through new machinery, technology, curriculum and improved facilities, Sparks said.
The grant program promotes skills development and employment opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care, science, technology, engineering and math. It calls for partnerships between educators and local employers.