RPC Helps Birkey’s Apprenticeship Program Secure Over $200,000 Grant for Future Service Technicians
Birkey’s Farm Store proudly announced a grant awarded to Birkey’s CNH Service Technician Apprenticeship Program at Parkland College in October. The grant, supported by the East Central Illinois Workforce Board with RPC funding, will cover tuition and other additional costs for freshman students.
“This grant is key to providing continued education to future service technicians in our surrounding communities. It is remarkable for these students to be able to attend college without the financial burden of tuition,” said Travis McClure, Birkey’s Education and Recruitment Specialist.
The grant funding for the apprenticeship program totals over $200,000 and will be dispersed over the next three semesters. The grant was a one-time, competitive grant awarded to the East Central Illinois Workforce Board by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The grant is managed by the RPC.
“This was a great opportunity for us to expand our support for apprentices in the agriculture industry. We are excited to help these students focus more on their education and less on taking out loans or accruing debt,” said Cassandra Dunham, Talent Development Specialist at the RPC, a partner organization at East Central Illinois workNet.
Birkey’s CNH Service Technician Apprenticeship Program provides over $6,000 in tools for students to achieve an Associate in Applied Science degree while completing a hands-on, paid apprenticeship alongside skilled Birkey’s technicians.
“It’s encouraging to see so many people partner together to invest in my future. This grant and the assistance from Birkey’s are making my career goals possible,” said Dane Shrimplin, a freshman in the apprenticeship program.
Birkey’s is excited for this partnership with the East Central Illinois Workforce Board, the RPC, and Parkland College to open more opportunities to those pursuing a career as a service technician.
East Central Illinois workNet is the local consortium of public workforce development programs.
Article and photo used with permission from Birkey's.