JWCC gets $3 million in CARES Act money for Workforce Development Center


John Wood Community College will receive a $3 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to remodel its Workforce Development Center and build a 14,300-square-foot addition, allowing the center to expand its training programs.

The project, to be matched with $3 million in local funds, is expected to create more than 900 jobs, retain more than 430 jobs and attract $125 million in private investment.

“After a year-long Campus Master Planning process, John Wood Community College’s number one capital project was the expansion of our Workforce Development Center,” JWCC President Michael Elbe said. “We continue to make investments for workforce training in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, transportation/logistics, health sciences and many other career technical programs. The College is expanding our career education programs, and these training programs all require physical space to conduct hands-on training.  Leveraging these federal grant dollars is an excellent opportunity to provide expansion of programs and facilities for this region to support the workforce needs of the Tri-State area.  We are honored and grateful for the investment from the Economic Development Administration and to our federal legislators who supported this project.”

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo made the announcement today.

“These EDA investments will bolster the skilled workforce in West Central Illinois and expand resources for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized businesses…” Raimondo said.

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to supporting locally led efforts to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said  Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “These EDA investments will bolster workforce training and the development of online instruction to assist entrepreneurs, resulting in job creation and greater economic resilience.”

“Throughout the pandemic, Illinois has prioritized delivering our COVID relief funds directly into the pockets of small businesses, renters, homeowners, and other residents in need, and I’m so grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and Secretary Raimondo for doubling down on that commitment with strong jobs investments in Quincy…” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Community colleges like John Wood are the best engine for our workforce.”

“John Wood Community College (JWCC) in Quincy provides exceptional opportunities for students that prepare them to succeed in our 21st-century workforce,” said Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18). “The important CARES Act funding awarded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will not only strengthen workforce development programs available to JWCC students, but also spur job growth and encourage economic development in Quincy and the surrounding region.”

“The CARES Act sought to provide a lifeline to families during the COVID-19 pandemic, including helping communities recover from unprecedented economic challenges,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “I’m pleased that this EDA funding will support John Wood Community College in Quincy … helping create jobs and strengthen the local workforce. I’m proud to support this federal funding and will continue advocating for strong investments in Illinois.”

“Our local communities and educational institutions have been hit hard by this pandemic,”said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “Federal investments like these help create opportunities that spur economic development and support the Quincy and Chicago-area workforces as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. I will keep working to help secure additional investments that strengthen communities across our state.”

These projects are funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some information in this piece was provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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