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October 9, 2002

Governor Announces Funding for Workforce Development, Education

KANKAKEE – Governor George H. Ryan today announced $2.7 million in funding for the addition and renovation of the Kankakee Community College Arts, Sciences, and Applied Technology Building and $1 million for construction of a Kankakee One-Stop Center. Each of the projects will be funded through Illinois FIRST.

“Illinois FIRST has helped us complete some especially important projects right here in Kankakee,” said Governor Ryan. “We’ve worked together with community leaders to assess what needs to be done, and we’ve found the resources to make it happen.”

The Kankakee Community College renovation project will replace “temporary” classrooms constructed in 1969 and create new instructional space for fine arts and applied technology. In addition, new science labs will replace those constructed in 1972, which are not adequate to handle newly available instructional technology.

The new one-stop center will bring multiple education and workforce training programs under one roof. By becoming the primary resource in a community for workforce development, job seekers and employers alike will find comprehensive employment services in one location.

“From education to job opportunity, we are ensuring that the people of Kankakee have the resources available to aid in their success,” Governor Ryan said.

Governor Ryan also highlighted Kankakee’s new 911 center. Illinois FIRST provided $1 million in funding for that project, which is to be completed the last week in October.

Public safety agencies operating within Kankakee County lacked a common emergency communications channel and employed outdated, unreliable and incompatible communications systems. The grant has funded a new Wide Area Radio Network System, a ten channel countywide system that will allow all the public safety agencies within the county to communicate with each other effectively. As a result, the 102,000 residents of Kankakee County will receive more efficient response from public safety personnel.

An additional $500,000 in local matching funds will be provided through the Emergency Telephone System Board.


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