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Heartland Community College awarded $1M Workforce Equity Grant

December 14, 2021

Heartland Community College has received a $1M grant to engage African American, Latinx, and low-income learners to get career training that can move them quickly into the workforce. 

The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has awarded Heartland with a $1,050,000 Workforce Equity Initiative Grant to support programs and services.

The Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) was established in 2019 as an innovative partnership with ICCB, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, and 17 community colleges. The WEI consortium works to create, support, and expand job training opportunities for areas with identified workforce skills gaps. The grant will support short-term training opportunities, career and technical education certificates, and stackable credentials at Heartland. 

High impact programs develop and foster the skills of individuals that are looking to retool their job skills or directly entering into the workforce. Heartland certification programs such as EV Maintenance, Medical Assistant, Office Assistant, Truck Driver Training, and more are designed to create a quick pathway to occupations earning 30% above the area living wage. 

The Workforce Equity Initiative grant will serve a maximum of 145 learners in 2022, 60 percent of whom must be African American.

“Heartland continues to expand our programs to ensure every resident in the district can come and discover,” said Terrance Bond, Assistant to the President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “This grant will give Heartland the opportunity to devote immediate resources to engage adult, underemployed, or unemployed learners who may be cautious about higher education.”

The grant will fund not only tuition for learners accepted into the program, but also a series of services including success coaching and career navigation support, fees and technology support, transportation, and childcare needs.

Heartland offers 42 Workforce stackable certificates and credentials leading to immediate careers and building towards an Associate degree. Prospective learners who are interested in workforce programs may be eligible for a number of scholarship opportunities. Visit heartland.edu for more information.

Written by: Steve Fast