Kennedy King College’s Dawson Technical Institute (DTI) celebrated female inclusion in the trades with its annual Mentoring a Girl in Construction (MAGIC) event. Sixty four students from local Chicago Public Schools participated in a free, one-day, workshop designed to introduce school aged girls to exciting careers in construction. MAGIC offers young ladies the opportunity to learn about countless avenues of employment available to women in the construction industry and to engage them via hands on demonstrations. Students toured DTI and dialoged with a panel of industry professional women sharing their experiences about the construction trades and offered advice to help young women become more informed and successful with their respective career paths. Current female Dawson Tech students joined the conversation with the panelists centered around involvement, empowerment, and valuing women’s contribution to the workplace and the recognition of female worth in non-traditional jobs for women.
Students toured DTI’s Carpentry, Welding, Plumbing, Gas Utility and Overhead Electrical Line Worker labs, participated in hands on demonstrations and ate lunch with the female construction students and industry professionals. Schools participating in the event included Woodson Elementary School, Al Raby High School, and Christian Fenger High School. Volunteers from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Kiewitt Construction, FH Paschen Construction, Antionette Mitchelle Consulting LLC, and Dawson Technical Institute worked in partnership to make this event a success.
At the ICCET Conference in October, the Board presented the Exemplary Program Award to Pat Kallaus (Coordinator of Shah Center Operations) from McHenry County College. From one concept in 2018, Pat worked with Catherine Jones (Associate Vice President of Workforce Development) and a number of local organizations to develop a total of three programs. Starting with Step Forward (Stateline Transforming Employment Potential), five session (two hours/week) workshop was developed focusing on work readiness for job seekers with a non-violent, criminal background. The program allowed participants who are newly released from jail, gain basic skills to help address the felony with employers and gain confidence to interview, obtain and sustain employment.
Upon completion, participants are given a certificate of attendance and strongly encouraged to complete a WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) application at the workforce network to access more programs and resources. Working in partnership with the courts, four workshops have now been held with increased participation at each workshop. Following the success of the workshops, it was evident that the participants who were applying for manufacturing apprenticeships were not equipped with basic skills.
Because of that, the Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program was developed for WIOA clients including this re-entry population. This six-week, 180-hour program provides training in both soft skills and industry basics. The first program in April/May 2019 started with nine participants with four completions. Another date is scheduled for this fall.
The ICCB and IBHE jointly released the Illinois Postsecondary Profiles tool on October 10, 2019. The data and accountability website provides stakeholders with a powerful but user-friendly platform to access pertinent information on Enrollment, Affordability, Progress, Advancement, and Completion for 2- and 4-year Illinois higher education institutions.