Sen. Doris Turner

LITCHFIELD – State Senator Doris Turner joined Deputy Governor Andy Manar and community stakeholders Monday to announce the award of $8.6 million for a new South-Central Illinois Training & Innovation Center.

The funding will be used to redevelop a warehouse in the City of Litchfield’s Industrial Park and will create a regional training center, providing Career and Technical Training for school districts in Montgomery & Macoupin Counties. The center is expected to launch in fall of 2023.

“We are laying the groundwork for helping people in Litchfield and across Central Illinois meet their full potential and receive the training they need to land a good-paying job,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Ensuring that centers for career and technical education have state-of-the-art facilities is essential for us to build a vibrant economy in our own backyard. I am thrilled to support this amazing opportunity for Montgomery and Macoupin County families, businesses and communities.”

The Center will offer training to both high school students as well as displaced workers located in the region. In partnership with Lincoln Land Community College and Lewis and Clark Community College, students will have the opportunity to earn college credits and industry credentials while still in high school – helping them meet the needs of regional workforce demands while preparing them for postsecondary success.

“Providing students and displaced workers with training opportunities to prepare them for good-paying jobs is a key economic development strategy and focus of the Pritzker Administration,” said Manar. “Establishing a Training & Innovation Center will provide fantastic workforce opportunities for Litchfield and the surrounding region while solidifying the area as a training hub.”

The Center will offer training in auto technology, welding as well as an Illinois Laborers’ & Contractors apprenticeship program focused on the trades. The warehouse will be retrofitted to offer state-of-the-art facilities including a full-scale auto garage, welding center and separate modules different areas within the trades – all designed for hands-on learning.

“We are collectively excited and grateful for our $8.6 million DCEO grant that will allow us to partner with our neighboring K-12 districts, community colleges, and regional business partners to grow targeted skill development for students and displaced adult workers in the Montgomery and Macoupin Counties Region,” said Superintendent of the Litchfield Community School District, Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau. “The South-Central Illinois Training & Innovation Center will be used to train the next generation of career & technical workers and will be a great tool for growing our regional workforce and ultimately furthering our region's economic development.”

Located within the City of Litchfield’s Industrial Park, the Center is expected to add additional areas of training designed to meet the demands of the workforce, including Precision Machining, IT Certifications and Agriculture Technology.

“I am grateful for Deputy Governor Manar’s support and partnership in securing this funding to provide our children with the opportunity to be successful,” Turner said.  “Career Technical Education benefits all students and helps them learn skills, operational knowledge and essential training that will help them thrive as members of the workforce.”

This $8.6 million investment is part of the State’s commitment to supporting and growing Illinois’ workforce by providing capital grants for training centers, creating targeted training opportunities and building pipelines. This includes more than $15 million for the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship program, $15 million in capital grants for Advanced Manufacturing Academies, $20 million to boost equitable workforce recovery through the Training and Economic Development Program, and much more.

To learn more about job training and workforce development efforts and opportunities, please visit