SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has granted $22.8 million to community colleges and other community based organizations throughout Illinois to help address education and unemployment gaps for African American and other minority communities. The funding will be used by 18 community colleges and nearly 20 other organizations that serve minority populations under Illinois’ Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) or the Innovative Bridge and Transition Grant program (IBT) which helps low income individuals remove barriers to completing their education and elevating career goals.
“The ongoing pandemic has disrupted education and employment opportunities for our hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, disproportionately affecting African American and other minority communities. Supporting and scaling effective and equitable education and career opportunities is critical for helping these targeted populations for post-pandemic recovery,” said ICCB executive director Brian Durham.
2021 WEI FUNDING
With the support of the Illinois legislative Black Caucus, Illinois’ Workforce Equity Initiative enters its third year helping participating colleges develop or enhance training and career pathway programs in high demand employment sectors such as health care, manufacturing and construction, transportation, information technology, and emergency services.
The development of the WEI Consortium was created to address an Illinois Community College Board report which found that minorities, particularly African Americans, were severely underrepresented among Career and Technical Education (CTE) program graduates. A list of the 2021 WEI grantees is below.
|WORKFORCE EQUITY INITIATIVE GRANT RECIPIENTS|
|College of Lake County||$700,000.00|
|Heartland Community College||$1,050,000.00|
|Illinois Central College||$1,200,000.00|
|Kaskaskia Community College||$599,539.60|
|Kenney King College||$1,000,000.00|
|Lincoln Land Community College||$1,200,000.00|
|Malcolm X College||$1,199,931.87|
|Oakton Community College||$768,379.44|
|Olive Harvey College||$1,200,000.00|
|Prairie State College||$1,000,000.00|
|Richard J Daley College||$1,198,230.00|
|Richland Community College||$600,000.00|
|Rock Valley College||$1,200,000.00|
|South Suburban College||$1,200,000.00|
|Southwestern Illinois College||$1,200,000.00|
|Wilbur Wright College||$1,145,030.20|
2021 INNOVATIVE BRIDGE AND TRANSITION (IBT) FUNDING
The ICCB is providing more than $4 million in grant funding to support innovative bridge and transition programs and initiatives that assist in the seamless transition of students between education systems as well as employment.
These initiatives improve student transitions to and through postsecondary education and into employment, support transitions for individuals with disabilities, and scale programs that promote equity and diversity among those served.
The IBT grant funds are intended to help colleges and community organizations meet four main objectives:
- Adult Education Bridge and Integrated Education and Training Programming: Create new and greatly expand bridge or integrated education and training programming, including basic reading, math, and language skills, occupational competencies, and employability skills.
- Seamless Transitions for College and Career Pathways: Implement programs that provide seamless transitions from high school to college or between postsecondary institutions.
- Wrap-around Support Services: Utilize transition/wrap-around services which provide students with the information and assistance they need to equitably access and persist along their career pathway.
- Seamless Transitions for Students with Disabilities: Create comprehensive programming for individuals with disabilities that provides vocational services, psychological counseling, transitional and educational services, and job placement activities in order for them to live and work independently in the community.
A list of the 34 IBT grantees are below:
|INNOVATIVE BRIDGE AND TRANSITION GRANT RECIPIENTS|
|A Safe Haven||$225,000.00|
|Asian Human Services||$200,000.00|
|Carl Sandburg College||$100,000.00|
|Chinese Mutual Aid Association||$80,000.00|
|City Colleges of Chicago||$300,000.00|
|Community Education Network||$200,000.00|
|Howard Area Community Center||$100,000.00|
|Illinois Central College||$150,000.00|
|Illinois Eastern Community Colleges||$50,000.00|
|Instituto del Progreso Latino||$110,000.00|
|Jane Addams Resource Corporation||$75,000.00|
|Kankakee Community College||$100,000.00|
|Lincoln Land Community College||$125,000.00|
|Love, Unity & Values (LUV) Institute||$150,000.00|
|Metropolitan Family Services||$180,000.00|
|Oakton Community College||$200,000.00|
|One Million Degrees||$279,400.00|
|Parents Alliance Employment Project||$40,000.00|
|Prairie State College||$55,000.00|
|Pui Tak Center||$80,000.00|
|Rock Valley College||$80,000.00|
|Sauk Valley Community College||$40,000.00|
|Shawnee Community College||$150,000.00|
|Southeastern Illinois College||$115,000.00|
|Township High School District 211||$70,000.00|
|Westside Health Authority||$110,000.00|
About the Illinois Community College Board
The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) is the state coordinating organization for the Illinois Community College System – the third largest in the country and the leading public workforce development trainer in the state. The ICCB has statutory responsibility for administering state and federal grants to community college districts and adult education providers and managing high school equivalency testing for Illinois. Illinois community colleges serve over 600,000 residents each year in credit, noncredit, and continuing education courses. Illinois is home to 48 colleges in 39 community college districts which provide high quality, accessible, cost-effective educational opportunities to the entire state.