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June 25, 2003

Governor announces technology center training grants

DIXON, ILL. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced 55 training grants totaling nearly $2 million have been awarded to help establish, administer and expand 55 community-based technology centers throughout the state. The governor made his announcement at Sauk Valley Community College, 173 Illinois Route 2, during a three day tour of north west Illinois.


The Community Technology Centers (CTCs) provide computer access and educational services to assist residents to compete in the new economy and to fund related activities through the Eliminate the Digital Divide program. 


“We need to ensure that everyone in Illinois -- regardless of where they live -- has the opportunity to access these tools, improve their skills and make themselves available for the job opportunities that our economy is creating,” Blagojevich said. “Technology is one important way our citizens will move this state forward.”


CTCs serve a diverse population and provide technology access to individuals and communities that would not otherwise have access to computers and telecommunications technologies. 


“Having a well-trained and diverse work force is a key element in attracting new and expanding businesses to Illinois which then creates job opportunities for the people in this state,” the governor said.


CTCs recognize people who do not have regular access to computer and telecommunications technology are at a distinct disadvantage in the labor force.  CTC activities are targeted to low-income communities throughout Illinois.


This is the first year grants were made in conjunction with legislation passed last year, which established a new state fund to support the Eliminate the Digital Divide Program.  Telecommunication carrier SBC/Ameritech is required to contribute a minimum of $15 million in three equal installments to fund between now and July 2005. 


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