KANKAKEE, IL – June 12, 2015 – In an effort to build awareness about Kankakee County’s plentiful available job opportunities and associated career pathways, 20 local educators will take part in a first-ever local industry familiarization course. On June 16 and 17, the Iroquois-Kankakee Regional Office of Education is providing “Advanced Manufacturing in the 21st Century; Connecting Students to Local Industry” as a professional development option.
The event, offered in partnership with the Coalition for Hope & Excellence in Education (CHEE), will provide educators with a unique and valuable look into advanced manufacturing and health care, with the goal of better preparing those educators to share local career opportunities and pathways with their students. The course will be facilitated by Susette Cole, CHEE project manager.
“One of the ultimate outcomes of a quality education,” explained CHEE Director Dr. Susan Emmerich “is a workforce with skills that are well aligned with the needs of today’s business community.”
I-KAN Regional Superintendent Dr. Gregg Murphy added, “The I-KAN office and our course partners recognize that awareness among our educators of the breadth and depth of local career opportunities is the very first step in meeting our shared goal of preparing a dynamic and skilled future workforce.”
During I-KAN’s “Advanced Manufacturing for the 21st Century Course,” educators will travel to leading industrial and health care sites for presentations on the companies, their products and processes, positions currently available with average salaries, and future workforce needs. Participating local companies and institutions include Dow, Sears Logistics, Riverside Healthcare, Presence St. Mary’s Hospital, ONU Catalyst Innovation Center, CSL Behring, Heartland Harvest and Exelon.
The course may become a regular offering, and will be recorded to share with the larger community at a later date.
In May 2015, there were more than 3,000 unique posted openings for employment at all skill levels in Kankakee County, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area is currently ranked the #1 Small Metro in Illinois by global economic think tank the Milken Institute in its Best-Performing Cities index, which measures economic vitality vis-à-vis growth in jobs, wages, salaries and technology output.
A collaborative initiative directed by Dr. Susan Emmerich and chaired by Kankakee Community College President Dr. John Avendano, the Coalition for Hope and Excellence in Education (CHEE) is tasked with preparing a college and career-ready, skilled workforce, and increasing student persistence and graduation rates in Kankakee County. This workforce imperative was identified and codified as a high priority in Kankakee County’s 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which was certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration in April 2014. The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County and Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley administer the CHEE. Inquiries about the initiative may be directed to Dr. Emmerich, firstname.lastname@example.org or 708.717.4648.
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base by improving the local business climate. For more information, visit kankakeecountyed.org or phone 815.935.1177.
The purpose of the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley is to enhance the quality of life in Greater Kankakee County and adjacent areas today and for future generations. A vehicle for charitable giving that builds over time, the Community Foundation brings together individuals and organizations to identify and understand community issues and grant-making opportunities. For more information, visit endowthefuture.org.