EDA: $5.8 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Invested to Support Workforce and Entrepreneurial Development in Illinois

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $5.8 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to help the state of Illinois prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

“The Biden Administration is committed to unleashing the full power of the federal government to help regional economies recover from this pandemic and build back better,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “These EDA investments will bolster the skilled workforce in West Central Illinois and expand resources for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized businesses in the Chicago area, which will help make each region more resilient to economic disruption.”

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to supporting locally led efforts to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “These EDA investments will bolster workforce training and the development of online instruction to assist entrepreneurs, resulting in job creation and greater economic resilience.”

“Throughout the pandemic, Illinois has prioritized delivering our COVID relief funds directly into the pockets of small businesses, renters, homeowners, and other residents in need, and I’m so grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and Secretary Raimondo for doubling down on that commitment with strong jobs investments in Quincy and Chicago,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Community colleges like John Wood are the best engine for our workforce, and mHub has a proven record in supporting cutting-edge innovation – and together, the two institutions will support thousands of jobs thanks to these EDA grants.”

“The CARES Act sought to provide a lifeline to families during the COVID-19 pandemic, including helping communities recover from unprecedented economic challenges,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “I’m pleased that this EDA funding will support John Wood Community College in Quincy and mHUB in Chicago – two unique Illinois entities helping create jobs and strengthen the local workforce. I’m proud to support this federal funding and will continue advocating for strong investments in Illinois.”

“Our local communities and educational institutions have been hit hard by this pandemic,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “Federal investments like these help create opportunities that spur economic development and support the Quincy and Chicago-area workforces as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. I will keep working to help secure additional investments that strengthen communities across our state.”

“There remains a very significant unmet need for such training, especially in economically impacted communities,” said Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-07). “Our task now is to ensure that these precious dollars find their way into those small and medium business which are struggling to survive.”

“John Wood Community College (JWCC) in Quincy provides exceptional opportunities for students that prepare them to succeed in our 21st-century workforce,” said Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18). “The important CARES Act funding awarded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will not only strengthen workforce development programs available to JWCC students, but also spur job growth and encourage economic development in Quincy and the surrounding region.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • John Wood Community College, Quincy, Illinois, will receive a $3 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to remodel its Workforce Development Center and build a 14,300-square-foot addition, allowing the center to expand its training programs. The project, to be matched with $3 million in local funds, is expected to create more than 900 jobs, retain more than 430 jobs and attract $125 million in private investment.
  • 1871, MATTER and mHUB, Chicago, Illinois, will receive a $2.8 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to support the development of virtual and on-demand instruction designed to assist entrepreneurs and small- to medium-sized businesses navigate the pandemic. The project, to be matched with $775,791 in local funds, is expected to create more than3,960 jobs, retain about 2,764 jobs and attract $21.3 million in private investment.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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