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Lincoln Land Community College will expand training for in demand jobs

LLCC news conference
Speaking at a press conference today about LLCC’s $5 million training grant were L-R: Don Schaefer, executive vice president, Mid-West Truckers Association; Dan Smith, vice president of product support, Roland Machinery Co.; Charlotte Warren, Ph.D., president, LLCC; Ken Elmore, chair, LLCC Board of Trustees; and Christopher McDowell, M.D., associate professor and chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, SIU School of Medicine.

Lincoln Land Community College officials are touting a $5 million federal grant as a response to the need to fill certain jobs.

The college said the money will go toward renovation and expansion of training facilities that will allow for more students to be trained as paramedics, emergency medical technicians, truck drivers, diesel mechanics and agriculture specialists.

The jobs are considered in demand.

“Every time an ambulance arrives late to a call, the urgent need for additional paramedics and EMTs becomes more apparent,” said Christopher McDowell, M.D., chair of emergency medicine at SIU School of Medicine. “Expanding LLCC’s emergency services program is critical in increasing the supply of EMS providers to serve the citizens of our communities.”

“We applaud the expansion of LLCC’s truck driver training program to address the continuing shortage of workers to fill positions in our industry,” commented Don Schaefer, executive vice president, Mid-West Truckers Association. “There are currently more than 1,700 good-paying jobs open for truck drivers in the LLCC district, and quality training is the first step toward filling them with safe and dependable drivers.”

There is a significant need for diesel technicians in our field, which includes the construction, agriculture and trucking industries,” said Dan Smith, vice president of product support for Roland Machinery Co., headquartered in Springfield. “Last week there were 427 open positions within 100 miles of Springfield for diesel technicians. These are high wage positions that can also lead to career advancement in parts and service management. We’re pleased and excited that LLCC will be training new diesel technicians and look forward to hiring their graduates.”

LLCC President Charlotte Warren, Ph.D., announced that the funds will be used to:

*Renovate the east wing of Logan Hall for an expanded emergency services training facility, purchase a working ambulance and state-of-the-art equipment and simulators, allowing more than 400 students to enroll each year in EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic training programs.

*Expand the truck driver training lot and purchase a new tractor and trailer, allowing for an additional 90 new students for a total of 251 students annually

*Renovate a lab in the Workforce Careers Center to house and equip a new diesel technologies program. The first class will admit 20 next fall for this two-year program, adding cohorts after that. 

*Construct a large storage facility adjacent to the truck driver training lot to house heavy equipment for agriculture and diesel technologies programs, along with the new ambulance for emergency services. As these programs grow, the college will continue to offer the latest from the industry for students.

The grant was awarded to LLCC by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

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