SOUTH HOLLAND – February 21, 2013. As part of his commitment to create jobs and grow the Illinois economy, Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by community leaders to announce a major state capital investment at South Suburban College (SSC). The $52.5 million project for an allied health addition at SSC will be supported by $41.6 million in funding from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program and will create an estimated 750 jobs. Once complete, the addition will dramatically expand opportunities for students in the south suburbs to pursue essential professional training for good-paying jobs in fast-growing medical fields.
“South Suburban College has become the premier school in the southland for students who are preparing for 21st century jobs,” Governor Quinn said. “This project will create hundreds of jobs now and lay the foundation for thousands more to get the training they need to become the next generation of nurses and medical technicians. By working together now, we can drive more economic growth in the future.”
More than 17,000 students attend SSC annually, and about 90 percent are low-income, living with a disability or a first-generation student. More than 25 percent of SSC students are choosing career pathways in nursing and allied health professions such as pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostics and medical administration. But demand for space in these programs is outpacing available slots, leaving more than 1,000 students on waiting lists for different classes and administrators scrambling to fill that need. The new addition, which will exceed 100,000 sq. feet, will help SSC meet this growing demand by expanding classroom and laboratory space and other support facilities designed to help students receive the training they need to get a job in the medical field. Many of such positions are available in the South Suburbs.
“On behalf of South Suburban College, I would like to commend Governor Quinn for his commitment to education and innovation. He shares our belief that our state’s future will be improved through the progress of the people,” Frank Zuccarelli, Chairman of the South Suburban College Board of Trustees said.
This project is part of two of Governor Quinn’s top priorities: Effectively implementing the federal Affordable Care Act, which is expected to create thousands of healthcare-related jobs across the country in the coming years as more people gain access to health insurance, and for 60 percent of Illinois adults to earn a college degree or career certificate by 2025.
Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! program includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges. The overall $31 billion program, which began in 2009, is expected to support an estimated 439,000 construction jobs over six years.