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Press release: Thanks!

YWCA of the University of Illinois Receives Grant from to Provide Free Digital Skills Training

Champaign, IL, July 13th, 2020 –YWCA of the University of Illinois has received a grant to implement a free digital skills and workforce development training, the Strive Program, for women in the local Champaign-Urbana community as part of a partnership with YWCA USA. YWCA of the University of Illinois is proud to be a member of the inaugural cohort of five YWCA locations around the country.

As part of YWCA of the University of Illinois’s ongoing mission to eliminate racism and empower women, the Strive Program will provide free digital skills and workforce development training to traditionally underserved populations, such as low-wage workers and people who experienced interruptions in their schooling. YWCA will couple this programming with technology access, case management, flexible schedules, peer mentoring, and online learning to reduce barriers to participation and ensure each participant’s success.

"Providing pathways for women to receive the necessary workforce training and digital skills to access competitive jobs in the digital economy is more important now than ever," said Jacquelline Fuller, President of

“YWCA is thrilled to partner with as we work to create innovative approaches to workforce development and forge new ways to bring the future of work and skills development to women and communities of color across the country,” added Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA.

“The ‘digital divide’ means people without access to technology and digital skills are at a real disadvantage in today’s workforce. We aim to change that,” enthused Andrea Rundell, Executive Director, YWCA of the University of Illinois. YWCA of the University of Illinois is excited to provide this investment in our local economy and address the employment needs of underserved women in Champaign-Urbana.”

STRIVE is a free workforce development program, created by YWCA McLean County (Bloomington, IL), with a goal of increasing vocational opportunities for women through digital skills training. The program will launch in Champaign-Urbana in Fall 2020 and enroll up to 10 women per six-month session. For more information, please email


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