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Aerīz Donates $70,000 to Shawnee Community College to Establish Cannabis Industry Workforce Training Program

ANNA, IL – Cannabis cultivation company aerīz, which has a production facility in Anna, Illinois, has donated $70,000 to Shawnee Community College to establish a cannabis industry workforce training program that will provide employment opportunities for southern Illinois residents.


“When I talk to community leaders the conversation always turns to jobs, and aerīz is bringing almost 300 of those jobs to Union county this year with more to come,” said aerīz general manager Steve Bundy. “We reached out to Shawnee Community College because we want to make sure we have a supply of skilled local workers to fill our positions, and we found a willing partner. Shawnee is committed, as is aerīz, to giving the local residents the tools needed to succeed in the fastest growing business in the United States, legal cannabis cultivation.”

aeriz General Manager Steve Bundy, left, and Shawnee Community College President Dr. Tim Taylor in the grow room of the aeriz state of the art cannabis cultivation facility in Anna.

Shawnee and aerīz have signed a memorandum of understanding under which the company will donate $70,000 and the college will begin developing an education and training curriculum aimed at preparing individuals for entry level employment with the company. aerīz will provide equal employment, entry-level opportunities for individuals completing Shawnee’s cannabis industry training programs and will work with the college to develop internship opportunities as well.

Shawnee will develop curriculum to support the program, including coursework in cannabis horticulture, logistics and inventory.


“At Shawnee Community College, partnering with our community is one of our core principles. Our new partnership with aerīz is very exciting for a number of reasons,” said College President Dr. Tim Taylor. “First, the college’s primary purpose is to help our community residents improve their life and lifestyle by acquiring jobs that pay at or above a living wage. As we all know, new jobs that pay above a living wage are at a premium here in Southern Illinois.”

“We are extremely excited about working with aerīz to create nearly 300 new sustainable jobs for our community. Part of the college’s mission is to help local businesses with strategic development of their workforce goals,” Taylor said. “The opportunity to help aerīz expand their workforce in ways that will increase their revenue, become more profitable, and eventually provide additional expansion opportunities is good for our community and Southern Illinois. As you can tell, we are thrilled by the potential of this partnership.”

aerīz is a national medical cannabis brand that provides patients with the purest tasting, burning, and feeling aeroponically cultivated cannabis. Aeroponic growing is a revolutionary grow process that uses a recyclable grow medium instead of soil. Clean white roots are suspended in a custom-fitted table and misted with the precise amounts of nutrients and water. aerī the only aeroponic medical cannabis brand in both Arizona and Illinois.

Established in 1967, Shawnee Community College offers more than 40 associate degrees, diplomas, and certificate programs, including specialties in Health-care, Business, Accounting, Agri-Business, and Information Technology. Located in Southernmost Illinois, Shawnee has expanded throughout its history to include four extension sites serving the five counties district and beyond.

Shawnee Community College now serves an annual unduplicated headcount of 3,344 students in both credit and non-credit programs across all locations in the communities of Anna, Cairo, Metropolis, Ullin, and Vienna.

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