A request from the Evanton Rebuilding Warehouse for a grant of up to $15,000 for its workforce training program is among the items scheduled for review by the city’s Economic Development Committee tonight.

The organization’s application indicates the grant will help five employees receive training and certification in environmentally sustainable deconstruction methods.

The program, launched in 2014, focuses on deconstruction of buildings for reuse, repurposing and recycling as a way to provide career training and to keep waste from landfills.

The seven-month program, combining classroom learning and on-the-job training, is designed to provide a path to employment for community members who have had “challenges and have difficulty obtaining traditional employment.”

Under the grant, the organization would be reimbursed by the city for training costs after a participant is placed in a job for at least 90 days. Participation in the program is limited to Evanston residents.

Approval of the grant would require addition of “construction” to a list of eligible industries for the city’s small business workforce development program, which now includes information technology, sales, business and financial, healthcare, office and administrative, transportation, food service and manufacturing as eligible career fields.

The committee is also scheduled to review two storefront modernization 50-50 cost sharing grants.

One would provide up to $3,442 for awnings at the new Squeezebox Books site at 743 Main St. The other would provide up to $824 for a new awning at Stepping Out on Faith, 1632 Orrington Ave.

And the committee is also scheduled to consider entrepreneurship grants of $2,501 for Eric McLoyd of Hubris Wealth Management; $2,500 for Salina Roberson of Eye Boutique Kloset, 817 Main St.;  $2,500 for Clarence and Wendy Weaver of C&W Market, 1901 Church St., and $1,805 to general contractor Eric Dingle of Best 1 Built, Inc.

Update 4/26/18: All the grant requests were approved by the committee. They’re still subject to final approval by the City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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