November 02, 2023

Duckworth Announces More Than $400,000 in Congressionally Directed Spending to Boost Workforce Development in Illinois


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that $413,000 she secured through a Fiscal Year 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending Request will be sent by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to Kaskaskia College in Centralia for its development of a mobile manufacturing and training lab focused on workforce development and career training initiatives. This Duckworth-secured federal funding will increase Kaskaskia College’s efforts to offer skills training for good-paying jobs for Illinoisans.

“Our state and our nation are stronger when we invest in our communities and families—and that’s one of the things Congressionally Directed Spending allows us to do,” said Duckworth. “I’m so proud I was able to secure this critical support for Kaskaskia College, and I’m dedicated to ensuring Illinois continues to build upon our career training efforts. Investing in workforce development—and in students—is key to uplifting our state and building a better future.”

“We are incredibly thrilled to hear the news of the release of these funds,” said Kaskaskia College President George M. Evans. “The securing and implementation of a mobile manufacturing lab has been one of Kaskaskia College’s top priorities for many years.  It is exciting to see the initiative finally come to a reality.  We are so very thankful for the confidence from Senator Duckworth and her staff in trusting us with a project of this magnitude.  I am quite confident this mobile lab will impact hundreds if not thousands of lives within the next few years, as it will serve as an essential tool in providing an hands on, modernized experience to those who wish to pursue a career in the manufacturing industry or to provide a birds eye view to those who simply wish to become more familiar with the industry that serves as the backbone of the Kaskaskia College district.  A special thanks to all involved who helped to make this dream become a reality.”

The Mobile Manufacturing and Industrial Training Lab (MMITL) is an innovative project launched by Kaskaskia College to extend training and educational opportunities to the communities it serves. This project is designed to enhance access to training programs for employees of small to mid-sized rural businesses that may not have the financial resources or staff capacity to enable travel to off-site training facilities. The MMITL will serve as a platform for training new and incumbent workers and promoting student recruitment at schools, job and career fairs, local trade shows and community events. The trailer will be equipped with computer stations to help College staff guide students through career exploration, financial aid application and college program enrollment. The MMITL is poised to assist Kaskaskia College in recruiting a robust workforce and addressing the talent pipeline needs of the region.

In FY22, Duckworth and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) secured $211 million through Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) for Illinois and another $182 million for Illinois in FY23. A map detailing where funding has gone throughout Illinois can be found here. The CDS process does not represent new spending, rather it enables Members of Congress to allocate existing funding for specific local projects by units of government, nonprofit organizations and other organizations that meet strict eligibility requirements.