SPRINGFIELD – The SIU Board of Trustees in Carbondale is among 10 recipients that will receive a share of $2.5 million in grant funding through the Illinois Economic Empowerment Centers (EEC) Grant Program.

That announcement was made Tuesday by Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The board will receive $250,000. The money will go toward providing training and resources to individuals and entrepreneurs from historically disinvested communities pursue job opportunities.

The EEC Grant Program was developed to help create an inclusive business ecosystem within communities that have historically faced systemic barriers to entry and growth through dynamic partnerships, targeted outreach, and tailored programs and initiatives.

EECs will provide business advice, technical assistance, education, and cohort training, including resources and training tailored toward start-ups, existing businesses, and dislocated workers. Selected EECs will provide a variety of services, including management analysis and counseling, business planning and financial planning assistance, market analysis, referrals to educational programs and more. More information about these economic empowerment centers can be found on DCEO’s website.

Funding for the EEC program was made available through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity. Eligible applicants included career education agencies and non-profit organizations that serve individuals from historically marginalized communities including minorities, women, individuals with a disability, dislocated workers, veterans, and youth entrepreneurs.