Shawnee Community College receives donation to start cannabis industry program

Shawnee Community College receives donation to start cannabis industry program

ANNA, Ill. (KFVS) - The Shawnee Community College received a $70,000 donation from aerīz, a cannabis cultivation company, to start a cannabis industry work force training program.

“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.”

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

“At Shawnee Community College, partnering with our community is one of our core principles. Our new partnership with aerīz is very exciting for a number of reasons,” said College President Dr. Tim Taylor. “First, the college’s primary purpose is to help our community residents improve their life and lifestyle by acquiring jobs that pay at or above a living wage. As we all know, new jobs that pay above a living wage are at a premium here in Southern Illinois.”

For the Naysayers, President Taylor said, “They’ll be a lot of folks that question our relationship with aerīz because of the product. But in our view as a college, this is just another agricultural product.”

For those who are interested, just give both Shawnee Community College and aerīz some time to work out the fine details.

“People do want to know more about it, just give us a couple weeks to kind work out the details with aeriz, but once we start announcing the jobs that are available feel free to just deluge us with information requests and we will be more than happy to work with them and get people in these jobs.”

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