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Waubonsee Commits to and Expands Sustainability Efforts

An instructor and a student work to separate a hubcap and a tire using a machine in Waubonsee's automotive technology lab.
Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education, Waubonsee Community College's innovative automotive recycling curriculum will be moved online, making this green job training program accessible throughout the state.

Waubonsee Community College recently reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability while also receiving a grant that will help it expand one of its most innovative “green” programs.

As part of its membership in the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), Waubonsee recently committed to the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact. In fact, because of its exemplary environmental initiatives, the college qualified at a gold participation level. 

The level of funding the college can use toward its “green” programs has increased thanks to a federal grant aimed at creating or expanding green job training programs to assist economically dislocated workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education awarded a $19.4 million grant to a group of 17 community colleges that participate in IGEN. Waubonsee’s share of the grant is more than $375,000, which will be used to move its innovative automotive recycling curricula online, making the program accessible throughout the state.

Having launched this past summer, Waubonsee’s automotive recycling program is the first of its kind in the nation. The coursework focuses on the environmental regulations for disposal of common substances found in automotive repair shops, as well as proper procedure when dismantling cars and repurposing parts.

The IGEN Career Pathways grant is one of 32 grants awarded nationwide as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative.