Illinois Governor JB Pritzker recently signed legislation that will allow students in IT fields to receive a grant amount up to the total cost of attendance starting in the next school year.
The Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce (iGROW) Tech Act aims to get more higher education students majoring in technology fields into the state’s workforce by administering tuition grants.
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will oversee the iGROW program, which will be open to students enrolled in associate or bachelor’s degree programs at public or private colleges and universities.
“The talent, creativity, and innovative capabilities of tech leaders in this state has propelled Illinois to the forefront of international tech success,” said Gov. Pritzker.
“Our best asset is our top-tier workforce, and that’s why we’re taking steps every day to push the bar higher and deliver new opportunities for every student. I’m proud to sign this legislation that will train and recruit the next generation of tech leaders and continue growing Illinois’ thriving tech sector,” he added.
The program, initiated by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, is intended to help increase, foster, and retain Illinois’ tech workforce. Pritzker’s office noted that the Illinois Fiscal Year 2024 budget includes an appropriation to ISAC of $2 million to pay for iGROW.
“Providing an incentive for this field will help grow our economy, retain our workforce and train our next generation of leaders for the jobs of the future,” said State Sen. Javier Cervantes.
“Students and their families invest so much into their education – this law lets them know Illinois has their back and is investing in their future too,” he added.
The program is set to begin for the 2024-2025 academic year.
“The future of our state depends on how well we prepare our students for opportunities in the field of technology. That is why the Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce Tech Act (iGROW) is a fundamental piece that will create a path to impactful and sustainable jobs,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton.
She continued, “As we look at the workforce of tomorrow, we are confident that Illinois students will have the skills to succeed.”