Washington, D.C. – Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded Illinois College in Jacksonville with a grant of $237,000 to support the new clinical nursing program at the college. The grant from the EDA is anticipated to create over 1,000 jobs in the area. In July, Congressman LaHood sent a letter to the U.S. Economic Development Administration to advocate on behalf of Illinois College.

“Creating a new nursing program near the Passavant Area Hospital is great news for Jacksonville and Morgan County,” stated Rep. LaHood. “The training of registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, and licensed practical nurses in this area will not only help in the fight against COVID-19 but will also provide a strong medical base in central and west-central Illinois. This funding will provide Illinois College and Lincoln Land Community College the opportunity to partner and establish a critically needed clinical nursing program in the Jacksonville area.”

"This grant will provide crucial support for the growth of the new clinical track in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Illinois College. The equipment funded through the grant will be critically important to the education of nursing professionals ready and able to provide high-quality healthcare. We are thankful for the partnership of Lincoln Land Community College, Memorial Health System, Passavant Area Hospital, Illini Community Hospital, the Two Rivers Economic Development District, and the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation. With their support and collaboration, this initiative will provide workforce development for well-qualified healthcare professionals in west-central Illinois," added Illinois College President Barbara Farley.

The grant will help combat the negative impact to the region caused by the closure of MacMurray College last year. The grant funding will allow for the creation of a state-of-the-art nursing lab at Illinois College.  Passavant Area Hospital anticipates hiring healthcare professionals from programs supported by the grant. The collaborations supported by the grant will provide students a path to employment, further supporting job development in the district.