Durbin visits Oakton to talk about federal science grant

By:  Kerry Lester
Daily Herald

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin paid a visit to Oakton Community College in Des Plaines Friday afternoon to speak with school officials about Oakton’s share of a National Science Foundation grant.

Oakton is one of five community colleges across the country to partner in a $3.5 million grant project to establish a National Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Technology. It joins Norco College in Riverside, Calif., Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Wash., and Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, Ky.

While receiving $160,000 over a four-year period, Oakton will work with National Center headquarters to increase the number of supply chain technicians to meet growing demands. Oakton Dean of Mathematics and Technologies Robert Sompolski will lead a project on communicating best practices in supply chain technology education. According to the college, supply chain technology facilitates the storage and efficient movement of large volumes of goods from manufacturer to consumer. Technicians can specialize in robotics, radio frequency identification, and geographic information systems, among other things.

According to Durbin’s office, Oakton has also received federal funding to expand science, technology, engineering and math opportunities for students and for workforce re-training programs.