EAST ST. LOUIS – Local libraries throughout the Metro East will receive over $150,000 in grants thanks to Secretary of State Jesse White, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) announced Thursday.library

“Libraries are an outlet for people of all ages to enhance their knowledge,” Belt said. “The pandemic has brought an immense amount of challenges to libraries, such as limiting access and having enough staff, but this funding will help our local libraries recover.”

Six Metro East libraries are set to receive a total of $154,509 to respond directly to difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant provides nearly $6 million in funding for libraries to modify services, transform spaces and develop resources for their local recovering workforce and to ensure all operations can be provided safely and effectively as the pandemic continues.

Read more: Belt announces funding for six Metro East libraries

Category: Press Releases

EAST ST. LOUIS – To support construction pre-apprenticeship programs, Southwestern Illinois College will receive nearly $250,000, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) announced Friday.Senator Belt

“Women and people of color are often underrepresented in the construction industry,” Belt said. “This funding opens the door for many people in the Metro East who want to pursue a job in construction and creates a new light for these individuals to have a career in other trade jobs.”

A total of $9.6 million awarded to 23 organizations will provide pre-apprenticeship training and wraparound supportive services to more than 1,000 participants. Southwestern Illinois College’s Belleville Campus will receive $240,000 to increase diversity in the construction industry for those who are underrepresented.

Read more: Local college awarded pre-apprenticeship funding to diversify construction industry

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Service members and their spouses are receiving their professional licenses at a faster rate, thanks to a law championed by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea).Senator Belt

The new law makes transitions easier for people whose jobs depend on having a professional license and whose living arrangements are often changed by a deployment or cross-country transfer. An airman's spouse who works as an optometrist, for instance, would have an easier time receiving their license to practice in Illinois after transferring to Scott Airforce Base under the plan.

“Many people who serve at Scott Airforce Base have relocated from other states,” Belt said. “It is essential that these brave service members and their families can begin working in our communities in a timely fashion. This means addressing lengthy reviews for their professional licenses.” 

Read more: New Belt law expedites professional licenses for military families

Category: Press Releases

EAST ST. LOUIS – To boost economic vitality, East St. Louis will receive nearly $1 million to improve the area while increasing economic opportunities for impacted businesses, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) announced Tuesday.Senator Belt

“Improving the economy by providing resources to communities that need it the most is essential,” Belt said. “Not only will this funding uplift the East St. Louis community, it will also prioritize the safety of residents.” 

The final round of Rebuild Distressed Communities program provides $976,000 to 26 small businesses and $7.45 million to help revitalize seven commercial corridors located across the state, including $900,000 for East St. Louis.

Read more: East St. Louis to receive community funding, Belt announces

Category: Press Releases

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