Litchfield, IL – Gov. JB Pritzker recently joined state leaders to announce the grand opening of the South Central Illinois Training and Innovation Center in Litchfield, which was funded by an $8.6 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The new training center will provide more opportunities for students in Montgomery and Macoupin counties, among others.
“These are the types of strategic investments that build our workers’ skills to take the jobs available right now in high-growth industries of the future,” Pritzker said. “It’s an exciting time for jobs and economic growth across downstate Illinois and for the first time, students here in south-central Illinois will have access to 21st-century career paths that can begin upon high school graduation.”
EARN COLLEGE, INDUSTRY CREDITS
The center offers training to high school students and displaced workers in partnership with Lincoln Land Community College and Lewis & Clark Community College, which is based in Godfrey. Students will be able to earn college credit and industry credentials while still in high school.
The center will offer training in auto technology, welding, and an Illinois Laborers and Contractors apprenticeship program focused on the trades. Built in a redeveloped warehouse, the center offers a full-scale auto garage, welding center and modules for different areas within the trades, all designed for hands-on learning.
‘INVESTING IN OUR WORKFORCE’
“Investing in our workforce is an investment in Illinois’ success and this first-of-its-kind training and innovation center will greatly expand opportunities in Montgomery and Macoupin Counties,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “Giving students and displaced workers the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the trades will prepare them for future success in the workforce while promoting economic development across Illinois.”
This center is part of a wider effort in local and state government to encourage more workers to enter the trades. That includes a $1.35 million federal grant announced last week to support women going into infrastructure and construction careers and a $20 million, 33,000-square-foot manufacturing training center under construction at Southwestern Illinois College, slated to open to students in August 2024.