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More students receive free tuition after another round of Transform Lake County

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 01, 2022

College of Lake County (CLC) is actively recruiting students who will have their tuition paid for thanks to the third round of the college’s Transform Lake County program, CLC’s implementation of the $700,000 Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) Grant from the Illinois Community College Board. 

Jose Garcia working on a carThe WEI Grant focuses on expanding and providing equitable training opportunities for minority students in at-risk communities in high-demand fields. It allows individuals the ability to obtain full-time employment paying at least 30 percent above the regional living wage.  

CLC will recruit and serve minority, low-income and underemployed Lake County residents and students with workforce training, focusing on North Chicago, Waukegan, Zion and Round Lake. The fields of interest include Automotive Technology, Automotive Collision Repair and HVAC

“WEI funding allows colleges to remove barriers to student success, which may include free tuition, childcare, transportation and educational supplies,” said Lakeshore Dean Jesus Ruiz “Funds are used to develop new student services, in-demand training programs, outreach efforts and community partners.” 

Scholarship funds cover all tuition and fees, course materials and industry exam fees. Students also receive a stipend and are provided with free workshops. 

The goal of the program is to create more equity in the Lake County workforce by offering a no-cost education. 

CLC has already engaged nearly 200 individuals through this program. It has seen results with students finding good-paying jobs and some continuing their studies at CLC. 

Jose Garcia was one of the inaugural recipients in 2019 and completed the automotive collision repair program. 

“I don’t think I could have done it without the scholarship,” he said. “The program brought me hope for my future. It inspired me to continue studying at the College of Lake County and complete my associate degree. As a first-generation college student, earning my degree means a lot to my family.” 

To apply, click here. For more information, contact Crystal Overton, WEI Grant Career Programs Manager, at or 847-543-2127. 

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.