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Castro announces funding boost for Education and Work Center

castro 041118HANOVER PARK – Local residents will soon have access to additional resources through the Education and Work Center thanks to added state funding, State Senator Cristina Castro (D – Elgin) announced this week.

The Education and Work Center is a joint venture of Harper College and Elgin Community College. During the budget impasse, both colleges were struggling to fund other responsibilities and nearly pulled out of the EWC, which would have been forced to shut down.

“I have a strong commitment to higher education in Illinois,” Castro said, “so I couldn’t sit idly by and watch the Education and Work Center close its doors while I had the power to do something in my role as a State Senator.”

Thanks to Castro’s hard work, the EWC will receive an additional $225,000 in funding. This money was originally appropriated in the 2017 budget vetoed by Gov. Rauner. The General Assembly overrode that veto to enact the budget, but Gov. Rauner refused to release the funds. The General Assembly again put the funds in the 2018 budget, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“I do wish the Education and Work Center would have received its funding over a year ago when it was originally given,” Castro said, “but nevertheless I am grateful that this important institution will finally have the funds to provide much needed services to the community.”

Because of the new funding, Harper College and ECC have an opportunity to work together to add new classes, including classes that offer college credit. In addition, the colleges will retain the ability to add classes in the future if they see a rising demand.

“The EWC does more than just provide education,” Castro said. “It provides jobs, it’s an important part of the local economy and it offers local residents the opportunity to learn how to be successful. I’m proud to have fought for its funding increase.”

Sen. Cristina Castro

Senator Cristina Castro

22nd Legislative District

Years served: 2017 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Committee of the Whole; Financial Institutions; Higher Education; Local Government; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson).

Associated Representative(s): Anna Moeller, Fred Crespo