More students receive free tuition after another round of Transform Lake County

  • Jose Garcia working on a car.

    Jose Garcia working on a car.

Updated 2/2/2022 11:23 AM

College of Lake County (CLC) is actively recruiting students who will have their tuition paid for thanks to the third round of the college's Transform Lake County program, CLC's implementation of the $700,000 Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) Grant from the Illinois Community College Board.

The WEI Grant focuses on expanding and providing equitable training opportunities for minority students in at-risk communities in high-demand fields. It allows individuals the ability to obtain full-time employment paying at least 30 percent above the regional living wage.


CLC will recruit and serve minority, low-income and underemployed Lake County residents and students with workforce training, focusing on North Chicago, Waukegan, Zion and Round Lake. The fields of interest include Automotive Technology, Automotive Collision Repair and HVAC.

"WEI funding allows colleges to remove barriers to student success, which may include free tuition, childcare, transportation and educational supplies," said Lakeshore Dean Jesus Ruiz "Funds are used to develop new student services, in-demand training programs, outreach efforts and community partners."

Scholarship funds cover all tuition and fees, course materials and industry exam fees. Students also receive a stipend and are provided with free workshops.

The goal of the program is to create more equity in the Lake County workforce by offering a no-cost education.

CLC has already engaged nearly 200 individuals through this program. It has seen results with students finding good-paying jobs and some continuing their studies at CLC.

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Jose Garcia was one of the inaugural recipients in 2019 and completed the automotive collision repair program.

"I don't think I could have done it without the scholarship," he said. "The program brought me hope for my future. It inspired me to continue studying at the College of Lake County and complete my associate degree. As a first-generation college student, earning my degree means a lot to my family."

To apply, visit For more information, contact Crystal Overton, WEI Grant Career Programs Manager, at or 847-543-2127.