Rend Lake College Receives $5 Million to Support Advanced Manufacturing Workforce


Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5 million grant to Rend Lake College, Ina, Illinois, for development of the new Southern Illinois Manufacturing Academy. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This grant will expand advanced manufacturing workforce training opportunities in a region that has been impacted by the declining use of coal. The EDA investment will be matched with $1.2 million in local funds and is expected to create 750 jobs and generate $5 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to build a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide advanced manufacturing training that is critical to filling in-demand jobs in Southern Illinois, and will build a stronger, more robust regional economy and boost U.S. competitiveness on the global stage.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support locally-driven strategies to boost business recovery efforts in Illinois,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will support construction, renovations, and equipment at the new Southern Illinois Manufacturing Academy, which will bring new opportunities to the region and support the critical advanced manufacturing sector.”

“Our investments always go farther when we combine state and federal efforts, so I’m especially pleased by the White House’s funding for a new Southern Illinois Manufacturing Academy,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Workforce development is one of the best investments we can make to uplift communities, which is why my administration has created two downstate manufacturing academies to support the jobs of the future. I’m proud to welcome this third program to Illinois and thank our federal partners for making it happen.”

“When Democrats successfully passed the American Rescue Plan, we aimed to support every community rebuilding from the COVID-19 pandemic so they could invest in a more resilient future. Today’s announced $5 million grant to Rend Lake College undoubtedly will make a profound impact on Southern Illinois and our state’s energy economy,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “I am eager to see this federal investment put into action, generating hundreds of jobs and expanding workforce training opportunities in our region.”

“This support for workforce development and job training will help provide hardworking Southern Illinoisans at Rend Lake College with the tools they need to help secure a good-paying manufacturing job and support their family,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “I’m proud this investment was made possible thanks to Democrats’ American Rescue Plan and I’ll continue working with Senator Durbin to secure support like this to strengthen local economies.”

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
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.