The Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) was formed in 2008 through an intergovernmental agreement with support from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Governor’s Office, and the Illinois Community College Board. Funds are utilized to support the consortium of all 39 Illinois community college districts (35 active members). A Presidents’ Steering Committee governs IGEN.
IGEN’s mission is to provide a platform for collaboration among all Illinois community colleges and their partners to drive the growth of the clean energy economy and green workforce. Our vision is to ensure that the Illinois community college system serves as a global leader in transforming the economy and education for a sustainable future. Our funds help support community colleges in eight focus areas: building sciences, energy, food, manufacturing, natural resources, transportation, waste, and water.
Presently, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency funds IGEN through a $2.5M grant. These funds were appropriated from the Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund through Public Act 100-0586. The purpose of these funds is to support education and training for renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, and for the operations/services of the network.
Since 2018, IGEN has been awarded over $11M in funding from grants through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Most of our funding, $9M, has been reallocated to 35 colleges for more than 150 projects related to energy and sustainability.
Additionally, IGEN has successfully managed the implementation of numerous other grant-funded sustainability-related initiatives, programs, and projects at Illinois community colleges statewide, totaling over $30 million.