Citing the potential creation of more than 450 jobs, Congressman John Shimkus of the local 15th Congressional District has announced a $142,500 Economic Development Administration investment in a commercial driver’s license truck driving course in Noble to be operated by Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, which is a community college district headquartered in Olney.
“The community colleges serve an area that certainly can use an economic boost, and I believe this grant will provide just that,” Shimkus said. “As a matter of fact, EDA anticipates 458 jobs will be created as a result of this project. It comes at a time when truck drivers are in high demand.”
The funding will go toward the acquisition of truck driving equipment and a tractor trailer to develop and implement an operational CDL course. A training program and job-placement assistance will be offered to area residents to address the need for additional and alternate job opportunities in the region.
“IECC is very excited to receive this grant,” said Jervaise McDaniel, grant administrator, who noted the community college district partnered with the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission to apply for the EDA investment. “The funds from this grant will allow our instructors to use the latest technology and provide the highest quality training.”
The total project cost is expected to be $285,000, with exactly half provided by the Department of Commerce in Economic Adjustment Assistance through EDA’s Regional Logistics Training Program. EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon an application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds.