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Learn a career quickly and tuition-free at CLC

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Dec 18, 2019

Looking for a rewarding career, but have very limited time and funding for schooling? You may be eligible to earn one of nine short-term career certificates at College of Lake County, with tuition and nearly all of your expenses paid, thanks to a new grant program called Transform Lake County.

This new opportunity provides full tuition grant in short-term programs. Nearly 200 residents of Lake County, Illinois with a specific emphasis on North Chicago, Round Lake, Waukegan and Zion are eligible to earn a certificate in: administrative management technology, Photo of CLC student Desira Danielautomotive collision repair, forklift operator, heating and air conditioning (HVAC), truck driving, certified nursing assistant, dental assistant, healthcare office assistant and phlebotomy (now full). Additional scholarships are also available to cover living expenses such as childcare, housing and transportation.

Transform Lake County creates more equity in the Lake County workforce by offering an education at no cost to the student,” said Jesus Ruiz, dean of the college’s Lakeshore (Waukegan) Campus.

One resident who sees the value of learning a career quickly is Beach Park resident Desira Daniel (right), who recently completed CLC’s phlebotomy program. “I wanted to enroll in a medical program with manageable classes while working full time,” Daniel said. “I was able to take all three phlebotomy classes required for the certificate in one semester and balance them with my working hours.” Attending college and working a job full time is no small feat, but she proves it’s worth the investment. 

Local truck-driving careers now offer more than long-haul positions, said Feleicia Nixon Gregory, career specialist for Lake County Workforce Development. “While many people still transition into ‘over-the-road’ truck driving jobs, I’ve seen a recent spike in local truck driving positions where you can go home after driving your route every day,” she explained. “Truck driving opportunities are trending high in Lake County with the expanding industries in the area. It’s a great time to get your license and a job.”

Besides truck driving, forklift operator positions are also available in Lake County, Nixon added. “Both forklift operator and truck driver are fast but challenging programs,” she explained. “We counsel people to focus and commit to the short program. When students dedicate themselves to their study, a world of opportunities opens to them.”

Through the leadership of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, Transform Lake County is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the State of Illinois through the Illinois Community College Board. To apply, complete the Transform Lake County interest form. For more information, visit or contact Gabe Nye at (847) 543-2115 or


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.