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Parkland Board Hears Report on SWFT Program

Parkland Board Hears Report on SWFT Program

Board of Trustees General Meeting, October 20

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At their regular meeting Wednesday, Parkland College's Board of Trustees heard updates from department leads, including a report on the college's Support for Workforce Training (SWFT) program.

Alicia Beck, director of the SWFT program, gave an update regarding the program, which is supported by a $1.2 million grant from the Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI), a consortium of Illinois community colleges providing free short-term training and student supports through an equity lens.

Since 2019, the SWFT program has served nearly 350 students in short-term certificate programs across a variety of in-demand industries, including healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and technology. The grant program, championed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and locally by State Representative Carol Ammons, aims to move African-American residents into career pathways that pay family-sustaining wages. To date, Parkland has exceeded its goals for enrollment and participant diversity. Students obtaining employment in their career area have reported average starting wages between $19-$21 per hour.

Dean of enrollment management Kristin Smigielski provided the board with enrollment reports from Summer 2021 and Fall 2021, and Josh Birky, program manager of grants and contracts, gave an annual grants report.

Next, trustees reviewed and approved the re-submission of a capital improvement project to the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) under the Resource Allocation Management Program (RAMP). With the local growth of health professions and STEM fields, the project would build a new Physical Sciences Training Center, a 27,000 sq. ft. construction addition to campus primarily used as chemistry and biology labs and classrooms, to allow for expanding enrollment in these courses.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • the purchase of:
    • services from ProTrain, $30,000
    • elevator service and maintenance from Kone, Inc., $30,879
    • employment services contracting with Manpower, $275,000
    • bid for Phase 1 of upgrading exterior and interior door locks from Bodine Electric, $1,995,261
    • two-year pricing agreement for services from Rock Gate Capital, DBA 160 Driving Academy
  • the filing of the following grant applications:
    • Illinois Community College Board: Governor's Emergency Education Relief Funds (GEERF II)
    • Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN): Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund (IEPA funding)—Energy Efficiency Internships
  • the acceptance of funds from external sources:
    • NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education: 2021 First-Generation College Celebration Grant
    • U.S. Department of Education: Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS)
    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Apprenticeship Grant: Customized Apprenticeship Programming—Information Technology (CAP-IT) (DOL-ETA, Year 3 funding)
  • personnel appointments: 
    • Kim Pankau, Associate Dean, Health Professions
    • Sarah Hartman, Interim Associate Director, Admissions
    • Jason Maldonado, HR Specialist, Human Resources
    • Katherine Neal, Employment Coordinator, Human Resources
    • Martha Jacobson, Employment/Employee Relations Manager, Human Resources
    • Anita Taylor, Department Assistant, Arts and Sciences
    • Eddie Walker, Custodian, Physical Plant
    • Kenyatta Whitfield, Custodian, Physical Plant
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