Kankakee, IL – Kankakee Community College (KCC) is celebrating a major win with $250,000 in funding secured through the efforts of Illinois Senator Patrick Joyce. This legislative appropriation will power STEM education and workforce development in Kankakee County and the region.
Dr. Michael Boyd, KCC’s President, stressed the urgency of bridging the workforce skills gap. “We are going to use these resources to bridge this gap,” said Boyd, aiming to align local skills with economic opportunities. The funding will significantly bolster Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, benefiting local manufacturers like Kensing, Valspar, MilliporeSigma, and CSL Behring who need skilled workers.
KCC offers a diverse range of 11 STEM programs, spanning Engineering, Biological Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, and more. Training durations vary from a few weeks to 24 months, ensuring accessibility. Senator Joyce praised KCC’s commitment, acknowledging its role in fostering collaboration between academia and local manufacturing.
With Kankakee County ranking third among small manufacturing hubs in the US, this funding comes at a critical time. “As we lay the groundwork for expansive manufacturing facilities locally…it becomes imperative to align our efforts,” Joyce affirmed.
The impact of this investment will resonate in the skilled workforce prepared for STEM fields, propelling both individual careers and regional economic growth. KCC’s partnership with local employers and high schools sets the stage for a prosperous future, strengthening the connection between education and industry.