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Shawnee Community College receives $70,000 to establish cannabis industry workforce training program

marijuana cannabis
shawnee community college, scc

(WSIL) -- Cannabis cultivation company aerīz, which has a production facility in Anna, Illinois, has donated $70,000 to Shawnee Community College to establish a cannabis industry workforce training program.

The college will begin developing an education and training curriculum aimed at preparing individuals for entry level employment with the company.

According to aerīz, the company will provide equal employment, entry-level opportunities for individuals completing Shawnee's cannabis industry training programs and will work with the college to develop internship opportunities as well.

Shawnee will develop curriculum to support the program, including coursework in cannabis horticulture, logistics and inventory.

“When I talk to community leaders the conversation always turns to jobs, and aerīz is bringing almost 300 of those jobs to Union county this year with more to come,” said aerīz general manager Steve Bundy. “We reached out to Shawnee Community College because we want to make sure we have a supply of skilled local workers to fill our positions, and we found a willing partner. Shawnee is committed, as is aerīz, to giving the local residents the tools needed to succeed in the fastest growing business in the United States, legal cannabis cultivation.”

“We are extremely excited about working with aerīz to create nearly 300 new sustainable jobs for our community. Part of the college’s mission is to help local businesses with strategic development of their workforce goals,” College President Dr. Tim Taylor said. “The opportunity to help aerīz expand their workforce in ways that will increase their revenue, become more profitable, and eventually provide additional expansion opportunities is good for our community and Southern Illinois. As you can tell, we are thrilled by the potential of this partnership.”

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Kenzie Dillow

Kenzie Dillow is the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at News 3 WSIL. She joined the team in 2016 as a video editor, moved into a Producer role in 2017 and took over the SMDCM position in 2021. Kenzie graduated from SIU Carbondale in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Sports Broadcasting and a minor in Advertising.

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