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December 2, 2020

Triton College receives $1 million Workforce Equity Initiative grant

Triton College received a $1 million Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) Grant for the second year from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) to provide no-cost job training to in-district residentsThe grant allows residents to enroll at Triton to receive a tuition-free, industry-recognized certificate.  

Qualified prospective students can apply to one of 13 pre-selected career-focused certificate programs, most of which can be completed in a year. The programs prepare students for in-demand and high-skill professional job roles. As WEI Grant Program participant, students will receive application and enrollment guidance, admission support services, an assigned completion and transition specialist (CTS), resume-writing support and career counseling. 

The grant allows the college to provide access to education for those that have the desire to upgrade their skills, but have limited resources,” said Mary-Rita Moore, Triton College president. “We are committed to serving the community and strengthening the local workforce. The grant renewal helps to close the education gap and makes access to earning higher wages more equitable. 

Triton was among 48 Illinois community colleges invited to apply for funds from $18.7 million earmarked by the Illinois General Assembly to support raising achievement and closing the skills gap in African-American communities in Illinois, driven by an Illinois Legislative Black Caucus initiative. 

Triton will use the grant to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies for qualified students from the following communities: Bellwood, Broadview, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park, Oak Park, River Grove, Rosemont and Stone Park. Financial support for transportation and childcare will also be available in some instances. 

As a recipient institution for the second year, the WEI team at Triton remains committed to helping individuals achieve their dreams,” said Lee Jackson, Ed.D., executive director of the Workforce Equity InitiativeThe grant renewal comes at time when unemployment rates are high. This program presents an opportunity for students to switch careers or advance in their current role. 

“I have had the pleasure of witnessing an individual go from the point of interest in a certificate program to becoming employed in their desired industry. There is no better feeling,” Jackson said.  

The college has selected 13 short-term certificate programs related to professional occupations in the health care, automotive, business and information technology, and horticulture industries.  The certificate programs include:  

  • Sterile Processing Technician.
  • Emergency Medical Technician.
  • Phlebotomy Technician.
  • EKG Technician.
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist.
  • Nurse Assistant.
  • Dental Assistant.
  • Pharmacy Technician.
  • Commercial Vehicle Technology (CVT) Diesel Brake and Suspension Repair.
  • Windows Programming.
  • Bookkeeper.
  • Commercial Pesticide Applicator.
  • Contact Tracing.  

Residents, current and prospective students, employers or community leaders interested in learning more about how the Workforce Equity Initiative Grant can provide no-cost training should call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3016,  email wei@triton.edu or visit https://www.triton.edu/wei for more information.