Southwestern Illinois College has received more than $609,000 in federal grant money to expand training facilities for people interested in the field of manufacturing technology.
"This funding only serves to further Southwestern Illinois College's commitment to advancing the local workforce, and in turn, improving our local and national economy," SWIC President Georgia Costello said.
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, according to Brad Sparks, dean of technical education.
SWIC spokesman Mike Fleming said this is the second consecutive year that the school has received the U.S. Department of Labor grant. It has received a total of about $2 million to improve its manufacturing technology programs.
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.
"In combination with the first round of grants, this defines the SWIC Technical Education Division as the leader in advanced manufacturing training regionally, statewide and among the best in the nation," Costello said.
The Labor Department is administering the program in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education. In total 297 institutions in 25 states will receive funding as individual grant applicants or as members of a consortium.
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 created by the administration of President Barack Obama.
Dominic Baima, of Collinsville, was the recipient of the 2012 Italian Fest Scholarship. Baima, a freshman at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston received $2,000.
Baima is the son of John and Annette Baima of Collinsville. He graduated from Collinsville High School last spring where his extracurricular activities included Honors Society, Christians In Action, the National Technical Honors Society, the student newspaper and the yearbook.
"I'd like to work for National Geographic in their marketing department, and do photography for them, too," Baima said of his career plans.
Jesus Nebot, an award-winning Latino filmmaker and motivational speaker, is the keynote speaker for Hispanic Heritage Month at McKendree University. He will give a brown bag lunch presentation at noon Wednesday in Piper Academic Center, Room 222. The focus will be illegal immigration in the United States and how to help combat this problem.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nebot will screen his 2001 film "No Turning Back" (98 min.) at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, with a question-and-answer session following.
In the film, a Mexican English teacher seeks a better life for himself and his young daughter after losing his wife in a hurricane. It has won 23 awards, including an Alma Award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. Nebot demonstrated his versatility of talent by writing, directing, producing and starring in the film.
He has lectured in more than 30 states and 10 countries for educational and cultural organizations. For more information about Nebot, visit his website, jesusnebot.com.
The discussion is free and open to the public.
A U.S. Army Chinook helicopter made two trips from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's campus Friday to Fort Leonard Wood in south central Missouri.
Nearly 80 SIUE Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets took part in training exercises during the weekend, and about 60 made the trip via helicopter.
Lt. Col. Dave Motes, commander of the SIUE ROTC program and Major Ken Wilson led the cadets through the weekend. The training included running the confidence course, managing both day and night land navigation and rappelling.
The group of cadets consisted mostly of freshmen and sophomores. A Chinook can carry 30 passengers and the helicopter made one trip at 9 a.m. before returning to take the second group at noon.