July 08, 2022

Duckworth, Durbin Announce $2,000,000 for WIU’s New Emergency Operations Center

The Senators also secured $200,000 to expand WIU’s efforts to help local grocery stores


[MACOMB, IL]– U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced $2,000,000 in new Congressionally Directed Spending they secured in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 omnibus appropriations bill for Western Illinois University’s (WIU) new Emergency Operations Center. The federal funds will renovate WIU’s library to add a permanent emergency operations center (EOC) for the region. The center will also train public safety professionals and provide apprenticeships for the next generation of first responders and emergency managers, including from WIU’s undergraduate and graduate programs in emergency management, law enforcement, justice administration, and fire protection. The project is supported by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

 Duckworth and Durbin also secured $200,000 in Small Business Administration (SBA) funds to expand WIU’s efforts to provide technical assistance to help community grocery stores to stay open, or help re-establish retail grocery, both rural and urban. Grocery stores, already with thin profit margins, increasingly are closing in rural areas, forcing residents to travel long distances, or shop at the proliferating “dollar stores” with limited offerings.

 “I’m proud to have helped secure federal support for WIU projects that will improve quality of life for Illinoisans including its Small Business Development Center,” said Duckworth. “With these resources, WIU will be able to help new entrepreneurs and small businesses run by hardworking Illinoisans—especially those run by women and people of color—receive the tools and guidance they need for long-term business plans, which will help keep local economies strong and growing.”

“During the pandemic, Western Illinois University rose and met an important need, by establishing a temporary emergency center on its campus, to assist local first responders and emergency professionals,” said Durbin. “The University has also supported local grocery stores, an essential service to get through the pandemic. I’m happy to be able to assist with federal funding for those efforts, which not only helps McDonough County to be better prepared, but also helps the communities located throughout all of western Illinois.”

The Senators also secured $400,000 to WIU for their Small Business Development Center on their Quad-Cities campus. This infusion of federal support will strengthen local economies by assisting new entrepreneurs in starting their small businesses, help existing small businesses grow and help older small businesses develop transition and succession plans, with a focus on empowering women and entrepreneurs of color. The Senators secured $2,600,000 in total for WIU.