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$4 million in federal funding aims to strengthen manufacturing skills of Illinois workers


CHICAGO – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $4 million to the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center to help develop and grow regional partnerships between workforce agencies, education and training providers and employers in manufacturing.

The funding is provided through DOL’s H-1B America’s Promise Grants, which are funded through fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the U.S. under the H-1B temporary visa program. These grants are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers and, over time, help businesses reduce their reliance on temporary visa programs.

“This funding will increase opportunities for Americans through tuition-free training for middle-to high-skilled occupations and industries. Investments in job-training programs will diversify and expand our nation’s workforce, and help grow our economy from the middle class out,” said Durbin.

Nationally, more than $111 million of H-1B America’s Promise Grants were awarded to 23 regional workforce partnerships providing services in 28 states.

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