Congressman Krishnamoorthi presents Elgin Community College with $936,000 for new program
Elgin Community College's new manufacturing center got a boost in funding on Thursday, March 16, as Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi presented the college with $936,000 in federal funding for the mechatronics and automation program, one of several new programs to be housed in the $55 million facility planned for 2024.
"Today, I am very proud and pleased and honored to announce $963,000 in funding for the mechatronics and automation program that you are starting at Elgin Community College," stated Krishnamoorthi. "ECC is one of the jewels in the crown of community colleges that bless our state and one of the finest in the country."
Before the check presentation, ECC hosted a breakfast for local manufacturing employers and key community stakeholders.
Attendees discussed current workforce capacities, strengths, employment trends, and areas of concern.
"As the demand for skilled manufacturing workers continues to boom in our region, ECC continues to expand and grow to meet the needs of local employers," said Gina de rosier-Cook, Ph.D., dean of workforce development. "We rely on feedback from you, our manufacturing partners, to inform programming decisions for the future."
Cathy Taylor, dean of sustainability, business, and career technologies, emphasized ECC's ability not just to educate the next generation of manufacturing employees but reskill and upskill current employees, stating, "You don't have to wait for the next generation of workers to take your manufacturing to the next level. We can partner with you to train your existing workforce for tomorrow's technology."
Krishnamoorthi praised ECC for its commitment to developing a technologically strong workforce. "I am so pleased that this is going to be invested in a STEM program," he said. "What you are doing here is creating the next generation of folks who will enable America to take increased leadership in STEM fields. We know we have a shortage in this area, and you are helping to fill the vacancies that exist today in the mechatronics and automation workforce."