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March 8, 2000

Governor Ryan Announces $25 Million Grant For East St. Louis "One Stop" Community Center

EAST ST. LOUIS - Governor George H. Ryan today a $25 million grant to open a "one-stop" service center at the site of the former East St. Louis Community College, part of the state's new Illinois Workforce Advantage program.

The governor was joined by Sen. James Clayborne, Jr., D-East St. Louis, and Rep. Wyvetter Younge, D-East St. Louis, at the former Metropolitan Community College in East St. Louis to announce the release of funds for the new center. Ryan also announced an Illinois FIRST grant for development of the St. Louis National Stockyards.

Ryan said the new "one-stop" center is part of the Illinois Workforce Advantage Program, that will bring education and workforce training programs to local communities. "As we strengthen the presence of additional agencies that help people learn, earn and prosper in these community facilities, we can achieve a true Illinois Workforce Advantage," Ryan said.

Through funding from the Illinois Capital Development Board, East St. Louis received a $25,473,000 FY00 grant for construction and renovation of the East St. Louis College Center, which will be used by the Community College and Southern Illinois University. Full-service one-stop centers such as the East St. Louis facility provide:

  • job development and placement
  • job search skills workshops
  • testing and career counseling
  • on-going case management
  • supportive services
  • on-site recruitment of prospective employees

Ryan said CDB received a FY 2000 appropriation of $25,473,000 and previous appropriations of $400,000 in FY98 and $1,179,000 in FY99. This year's $25,473,000 appropriation will pay for extensive renovations of an existing 129,000 square foot and construct a new 51,000 square foot building. The Capital Development Board is managing the construction and the facility will be shared by Southern Illinois University, East St. Louis Community College and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Currently in the design phase, the work will be bid early summer of 2001 and scheduled for completion in fall of 2003.

"These new renovations will allow programs currently offered at three separate sites to be consolidated into the new East St. Louis Center to provide 'One-Stop' shopping for a very wide variety of state and local services," Ryan added. Traditional Community College courses will be offered as well as job training and social services including day care. The Katherine Dunham Center for the Performing Arts, an alternative school and a computer lab/distance learning center will also be moved into the new facility.

"While the one-stop concept is federally-mandated by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, I am committed to making our one-stop delivery system the best in the nation," Ryan said.

The governor also announced that a $200,000 Illinois FIRST grant will pay for demolition of numerous buildings and for site cleanup work related to environmental concerns. The stockyards site has not been occupied in recent years. This project will make the site more appealing for economic development. Founded more than 125 years ago, the St. Louis National Stockyards were the largest single employer in Southern Illinois in the 1930's. Today, farmers sell directly to beef and pork producers, virtually eliminating the need for stockyards.


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