Applications now accepted for free training to boost job skills, prepare for career

A $1 million U.S. Department of Labor Grant will provide free education and training to area residents who are unemployed or under-employed, and individuals may apply now. Illinois Central College collaborated with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and area businesses and manufacturers to apply for the grant that supports training in manufacturing specific to the needs of area employers.

This Workforce Innovation Grant offers tuition and other financial assistance to eligible individuals in the Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing (ATIM) Program which includes training in machining, mechatronics (equipment service and repair), welding, and logistics/inventory. Training providers include Illinois Central College, Heartland Community College, Illinois Valley Community College, and Carl Sandburg College.

Those interested in applying for or finding out more about the program should contact the case manager for their area:


Dona Nanney — (309) 827-1900 or


David Taylor — (309) 347-8492 or


Mike Pearman — (309) 343-9832 or


David Vaughn — (309) 495-8942 or


Carrie Folken or Sally Pflibsen — (815) 433-4550 or or

The $1 million grant was awarded to a regional consortium that includes four local workforce investment boards, seven community colleges, and a group of employers covering 25 counties in north central Illinois. ATIM is designed to provide accelerated manufacturing training tailored to specific needs of regional employers. Employer involvement in the program helps ensure that training is relevant and in response to regional demand and that those who successfully complete the program will be ready for work the first day on the job.

Financial support for ATIM is provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds.