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Kankakee Area Career Center Granted Funding for Technology Upgrades, New Counselor

MATTESON, IL – This week, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) traveled throughout the Second Congressional District of Illinois to present checks to recipients of her approved Community Project Funding requests. Photos of the visits are available here.

This week I had the pleasure of visiting four of the outstanding projects that I was able to secure funding for in the FY22 Appropriations law,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “This money is going to help residents and provide services from the South Side of Chicago all the way to Kankakee County.”

On Tuesday, Congresswoman Kelly visited 4343 Ascending House in Matteson. Ascending House is part of the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation. This project was awarded $200,000. Funding will go towards creating a video conference center, a podcast studio, and an advanced 3-D printing lab, providing the E-Commerce Entrepreneurs training program, operating the InternMatch Illinois program (which is a match-making platform for small businesses to find the right interns), and building a commercial kitchen. 

“We would like to thank Congresswoman Robin Kelly for her support for 4343 Ascending House. 4343 is working with regional groups such as the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce, the Village of Matteson, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, the College of Business at Governors State University, Will County, Cook County, I-57 Enterprise Zone, the Regional Development Corporation, Amazon, Comcast, Nicor Gas, and others,” said Reggie Greenwood, Executive Director of the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation. “We seek to support entrepreneurship and innovation in companies through providing shared office space supportive services such as a 3D printing center, podcast studio, and instructor-led training in E-Commerce.”

On Wednesday, Rep. Kelly was in Kankakee County to visit two of the sites approved for funding. The first was Pembroke Township, which will be receiving $3 million to bring broadband and internet services to approximately 850 residences, businesses, and community anchor institutions.

“As Pembroke Township Supervisor, and on the behalf of the Pembroke Township Board of Trustees, we thank the Honorable Congresswoman Robin Kelly,” said Pembroke Township supervisor Samuel Payton. “Since her first election as our Congresswoman, she has strived to bring Pembroke into the 21st century. As an elected official her mission has always been to give public service. We thank her for presenting Pembroke Township with a check for $3 million. This will enhance the growth and services for our community.”

“The Village of Hopkins Park and Pembroke Township residents are grateful to Congresswoman Robin Kelly for being our advocate and understanding the needs of this community,” said Mayor of the Village of Hopkins Park Mark A. Hodge.  “These funds and this internet project will make a huge difference in the lives of our residents and particularly our children who lack quality internet service.”

“I thank and applaud Congresswoman Kelly for securing these funds to bring broadband access to Pembroke Township. I look forward to the state acting as a partner to bring high speed internet to an area that has long needed it. This will be a game changer for businesses, students and residents in Pembroke Township,” said Illinois State Representative Patrick Joyce.

“Bipartisanship is something that both myself and Congresswoman Kelly highly value,” said State Representative Jackie Haas. “Pembroke is a community that I’ve known my whole life, having grown up right next door, and is an integral part of the 79th District. It has been great to work with Congresswoman Kelly and her team to bring needed resources to the Pembroke community.”

Congresswoman Kelly also visited the Kankakee Area Career Center on Wednesday to present a $175,000 check to the Center and Director Matthew Kelley. The funding will be used to upgrade equipment and technology and add a professional counselor.

“Kankakee Area Career Center is so thankful for the grant provided by Congresswoman Kelly and FY2022 Labor, Health and Human Services & Education Appropriation Community Project Team,” said the executive director of the Kankakee Area Career Center Matt Kelley. “With the funds Kankakee Area Career Center will be able to update equipment, technology and curriculum enhancements to meet today’s workforce training needs.”

This morning, Congresswoman Kelly visited Franciscan Health Olympia Fields to present a $625,000 check that will go towards enabling the emergency room to treat and diagnose behavioral health patients at the time of admission to the emergency room. Currently, Franciscan Health does not have 24 hour a day 7-day coverage for behavioral health patients- causing a delay in diagnoses and treatment. Behavioral health physicians are difficult to recruit and utilizing telehealth is a cost-effective option and allows patients to be treated in real time.

“Franciscan Health Olympia Fields appreciates Congresswoman Kelly’s support and advocacy for Community Project Funding to develop a behavioral health telemedicine program in the hospital’s emergency room,” said Allan M. Spooner, President and CEO of Franciscan Health Olympia Fields. “The investment helps Franciscan Health provide safe 24/7 behavioral health patient treatment and timely inpatient care placements for this growing and vulnerable patient population. We are grateful for Congresswoman Kelly’s tireless efforts to champion this program that addresses the community need for behavioral health services in south suburban Chicago.”

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact these projects will have on the institutions that received them and the constituents they are intended to help,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “These type of investments in our communities are so vital and are made possible when elected leaders work together for the people.”

In total, Congresswoman Kelly secured 10 Community Project Funding request approvals totaling more than $6.78 million.