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CLC awarded $1.5 M state grant for Transform Lake County

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 09, 2019

Nearly 200 Lake County residents will have the opportunity to advance their education thanks to a new grant at the College of Lake County. The Workforce Equity Initiative Grant, administered by the Illinois Community College Board, will serve residents throughout Lake County, with special emphasis on North Chicago, Round Lake, Waukegan and Zion.

Grant funds will cover all tuition and fees, course materials, textbooks, industry exam fees and a scholarship to assist with living expenses such as childcare, housing and transportation. The funding allows eligible students to earn a certificate in one of nine programs:

  • Administrative management technology
  • Auto collision repair
  • Forklift operator
  • Heating and air conditioning (HVAC) engineering technology
  • Truck driving
  • Certified nursing assistant
  • Dental assistant
  • Healthcare office assistant
  • Phlebotomy

“CLC is very excited to be a part of the Workforce Equity Initiative grant to address the skilled workforce shortage in Lake County and address the educational needs of traditionally underrepresented students, so they may engage in family sustaining careers,” Photo of Angela Norwoodsaid CLC President Lori Suddick. “The short-term certificate programs can be completed quickly in high workforce need areas that will allow graduates to achieve career goals and benefit local employers.” 

Photo: Angela Norwood, a CLC phlebotomy instructor, leads a class session. Phlebotomy is one of nine career certificates that nearly 200 Lake County residents can learn tuition-free, thanks to a $1.5 million Workforce Equity Initiative Grant.

In addition to scholarship monies, the students will receive tutoring and preparation for taking industry certification or licensure exams to secure employment. Career services available to the students include resume writing, mock interviews, job site visits and job fairs. The college also will work with area employers to transition students seamlessly from their CLC program to full-time employment. Additionally, a case manager will help students into the first month of their employment to ensure that graduates are successful in their new career.

To apply the grant funding, CLC will work with community partners, including the Lake County Job Center and The Community Works, a nonprofit agency providing free, lifetime career coaching and support services.

“This program will prepare our youth to enter the workplace with skills sets that are vital to our community. I am dedicated to providing every educational opportunity,” said state Rep. Rita Mayfield, who represents District 60 and is a member of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. She worked with other state legislators to secure funding for the Workforce Equity Initiative.

Under the grant requirements, a majority of the recipients will be African American and from underrepresented populations. Additionally, the grant stipulates that by September 2020, grant recipients will successfully complete their program of study and either be employed in a full-time job paying at least $17.34 per hour (30 percent above the regional living wage), or be registered for continued training or education.

For more information on the grant, complete this interest form or contact Ashley Ward at or (847) 543-2390.           

For information about flexible-starting courses this fall and how to apply and enroll, visit


About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes,provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.