Joliet Junior College is one of 21 Illinois community colleges in an education consortium, known as the Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing (INAM), that received a $12.9 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support innovative job training and manufacturing programs.
As part of this program, JJC will receive approximately $525,000 in funding under the second round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (TAACCT) program.
JJC will use the funds to focus on expanding programs that prepare individuals for high growth advanced manufacturing occupations, institute strategies to increase student success, and implement program delivery strategies that ensure student completion.
The focus of the manufacturing bridge curriculum will be to educate and train workers for sustainable employment or postsecondary training in the advanced manufacturing sector.
“This is a statewide initiative and JJC is excited to be one of the 21 participating colleges,” said JJC Dean of Community and Economic Development Dan Kreidler. “We will focus our efforts to work with those individuals that have lost their jobs due to them being moved overseas, veterans to reintegrate into the civilian workforce and others individuals who are unemployed or underemployed who meet WIA eligibility requirements.”
Kreidler added that JJC will now be able to revitalize its manufacturing program and initiate a new robotics program with these grant funds. The initiative will provide participants accumulating credentials starting with the National Career Readiness Certificate, leading to MSSC certification and other manufacturing related credentials.
The consortium’s lead institution Harper College is joined by educational partners College of Lake County, College of DuPage, Daley-City Colleges of Chicago, Danville Area Community College, Elgin Community College, Illinois Eastern Community College, Illinois Valley Community College, John Wood Community College, Joliet Junior College, Kankakee Community College, Kishwaukee College, Lincoln Land Community College, McHenry County College, Oakton Community College, Prairie State College, Richland Community College, South Suburban College, Southwestern Illinois College, Triton College, and Waubonsee Community College.
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act amended the Trade Act of 1974 to authorize the TAACCT Grant Program. TAACCT provides community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less, are suited for workers who are eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program, and prepare program participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations.
For more information about the INAM project, please contact JJC Workforce Development Director Paige Vanderhyden at 815-280-1313.