KANKAKEE, Ill. – T-Mobile has some exciting news for Kankakee residents! The wireless giant has just named the city one of its latest 25 Hometown Grant recipients. Thanks to a proposal submitted by Kankakee’s Economic and Community Development Agency, T-Mobile is granting $50,000 to install touchscreen technology and video content at The Co.LAB @ Station Street business incubation facility.
The funding is expected to be a huge boost to local entrepreneurs and startups, helping them to innovate and grow in the years to come.
The center is set to open sometime in the second quarter of 2023.
The Co.LAB @ Station Street aims to help small to mid-sized business entrepreneurs, emerging apparel designers, and CEO program student associates. The incubator facility will be housed within a rehabilitated 30,000 square foot property located at 310 S. Schuyler Ave, downtown Kankakee. The property is a contributing building in the Kankakee Downtown Historic District, and its historic materials and features are being preserved in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
T-Mobile Hometown Grants is a $25 million, five-year initiative launched in April 2021 to support small towns across America’s growth and development by providing funding to kickstart vital community development projects. Since the program’s start, T-Mobile has given over $7.8 million dollars to 175 communities across 41 states, including Kankakee. The initiative has provided more than $300,000 in funding across seven cities in Illinois, including Kankakee, in March 2023.
Several communities across the United States have been awarded grants from the T-Mobile Hometown Grant Program, and they have used the funds to enhance their public spaces and promote the health and wellness of their residents. Recipients of the grants have used the funds to revitalize downtown areas, improve parks and playgrounds, and create new community spaces. For example, the City of Wickenburg in Arizona is using the grant to refresh and expand its library’s Kid’s Corral Play to Learn Space, while the City of Choteau in Montana is using the grant to create a dog park.
Illinois has had several recent recipients of note, including Dixon in September 2021, Rock Island and Dekalb in March 2022, Galesburg and Mattoon in September 2022, Sterling in December 2022. Kankakee is the first to receive the award in Illinois this year.
T-Mobile has committed $25 million for community development projects in rural America through 2026. In 2020, the wireless company launched Project 10Million, a $10.7 billion initiative aimed at closing the digital divide in education, providing critical access to students who need it most, especially those in rural areas where nearly one-fourth of the American population lacks access to broadband internet, according to the FCC.
A check presentation will be held next Thursday, March 23, at 5 p.m. CT at the future Co.LAB business incubator space located at 310 S. Schuyler Ave, Kankakee, IL. The public is invited to attend the event.