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Nicor Gas announces $100,000 in funding for career readiness, educational programs

NAPERVILLE, IL. – Feb. 23, 2024 – Expanding on its commitment to enhance opportunities and engage a qualified and diverse workforce in the communities it is proud to serve, Nicor Gas is announcing $100,000 in grants awarded to organizations supporting educational and career readiness programs.

“We know that access to educational and workforce development opportunities is critical to ensure our communities are not only strong, but thriving places to live and work,” said Jackie Nagel, manager of Community Affairs at Nicor Gas. “As the largest natural gas provider in Illinois, we are committed to doing our part to develop a qualified workforce through the support of secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities, as well as technical and vocational programming.”

Through the 2023 program year, Nicor Gas awarded 21 organizations with grants to support their educational and career readiness programs:

Cook County:

  • Bridge Teen Center: Supports job readiness program to introduce students to potential career paths.
  • Illinois Science and Technology Institute: Supports a school-based science and engineering program and competition for students to design hydrogen fuel cell-powered remote-control vehicles.
  • Inscite Illinois: Supports the FIRST Tech Challenge regional and state robotics championships.
  • Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs: Supports summer manufacturing camps that provide youth in Cook and McHenry counties with hands-on experiences to strengthen their technical, analytical and communication skills.
  • Youth Job Center of Evanston: Supports workforce development and job placement programs serving individuals 14-25 years old.

DuPage County:

  • DuPage Children’s Museum: Supports science learning labs that supplement K-5 students’ science, art and math education.
  • Literacy DuPage: Supports one-on-one personal literacy tutoring programs for adults.
  • KidsMatter Foundation: Supports the annual community and student job fair to prepare the next generation’s workforce.

Kane County:

  • GCAMP: Supports an outreach program to engage students in the manufacturing industry through school presentations and on-site and hands-on experiences.

Kankakee County:

  • Grundy Livingston Kankakee Investment Board: Supports a Career Pathways program, bringing together high school guidance counselors, the local workforce board and local employers to connect students with career opportunities.
  • Kankakee Area YMCA: Supports a career readiness program for teens, including workshops on creating resumes, interview practice and professional development.

Kendall County:

  • Sybaquay Girl Scout Council, Inc.: Supports a STEM Career Fair featuring workshops on career readiness including hands-on learning opportunities in robotics and 3D printing.

Livingston County:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Livingston County: Supports after school academic enrichment programs including comprehensive science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) programs and learning opportunities among traditionally underserved groups.

McLean County:

  • Heartland Community College: Supports a “Skills USA” program for students to showcase their achievements in trade, technical and skilled service disciplines.
  • Illinois State University Foundation: Supports the university’s “Business Week” series focused on professional and workforce development training.

Tazewell County:

  • Junior Achievement of Central Illinois: Supports programming for high school students to learn about local employers through an online interactive expo.

Will County:

  • African American Business Association of Will County: Supports a comprehensive outreach and training program to hire and train interns to become effective members of the workforce.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Joliet: Supports a comprehensive academic, career and work-readiness program.
  • Lewis University: Supports programming to engage high school girls in STEM through a summer camp experience.

Winnebago County:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Rockford: Supports the club’s career readiness program including digital literacy, STEM enrichment and its virtual career exploration technology.
  • Regional Access & Mobilization Project (RAMP): Supports education and advocacy services, including career education and counseling, for students with disabilities.

To learn more about Nicor Gas’ commitment to educational initiatives and career readiness programs, visit

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.3 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.3 million natural gas customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit 

Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz