AURORA – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin visited Waubonsee Community College’s downtown Aurora Campus on Tuesday to announce a $2.8 million grant that allows the college to serve displaced community residents through programs for adult education transitions and laboratory technician training, according to a news release issued by the school.
The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which promotes skills development and employment opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing; transportation and health care; and science, technology, engineering and math careers through partnerships between training providers and local employers.
“Too often, I hear from unemployed workers struggling to make ends meet, yet at the same time I hear from employers who can’t find workers with the right training to fill vacant high-skill jobs,” Durbin said. “This grant will help workers who have seen their manufacturing or industrial jobs outsourced or off-shored get back on track by teaching them skills that will help them compete for high-wage, high-demand jobs in the 21st century workforce. The end result will be a stronger local economy thanks to the local workers paired with jobs that can’t be shipped overseas. Waubonsee Community College has built a solid reputation over many years of offering job training programs to the Aurora community. This grant gives the college the resources to build on that success.”
Waubonsee’s project, titled “Strengthening Transitions, Building Pathways and Improving Achievement for Disadvantaged Workers,” will enable Waubonsee to successfully transition students taking English as a Second Language and GED courses to health care, professional, scientific and technical service occupational programs. Under the grant, Waubonsee will also develop and offer a new program in laboratory technology that responds to local employers’ needs.