Illinois Governor's Office issued the following announcement on Oct. 1.
Hundreds of business and workforce leaders met today with Gov. Bruce Rauner, Illinois education officials and state agency representatives for a first-ever Governor's Summit highlighting work-based learning initiatives statewide.
Rauner hosted the summit, entitled WORK LEARN GROW: Pathways to the Jobs of Illinois' Future, at Illinois Central College in East Peoria. The Greater Peoria area was among communities featured for its successful initiatives.
"Internship, apprenticeship and other work-based learning programs provide Illinoisans with the hands-on training that leads to greater economic security and prosperity for individuals, and a steady flow of skilled, ready workers for businesses," Rauner said. "The importance of efforts on this front cannot be overemphasized. I applaud the leaders whose successful programs are being featured today, and I implore everyone to continue to expand this great work."
The summit is one result of a $80,000 grant awarded to Illinois by the National Governors Association to expand work-based learning programs. Throughout the day, successful programs were highlighted, including the apprenticeship program established by Aon and City Colleges of Chicago and the collaborative business and educational initiative to establish a sustainable talent pipeline in Greater Peoria.
In addition to featuring the great work already under way, a new website was launched during today's summit to provide K-12, higher education and adult learners and employers with streamlined information and resources, https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/wlg/Pages/default.aspx.
Deputy Gov. Leslie Munger, recently named interim director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said today's summit reflected the forward thinking that Illinois needs to grow and prosper.
"It is through programs like these that we will build a pipeline of talent for the jobs of the future," she said. "This is best accomplished through early education and supporting Illinois businesses."
Martin Simon of the National Governors Association also applauded today's summit and Illinois' ongoing work-based learning efforts.
"Through our policy academy on scaling work-based learning, the National Governors Association is supporting states, including Illinois, in expanding high-quality, work-based learning programs such as apprenticeships and internships," said Simon, who is interim director of the NGA's Center for Best Practices Economic Opportunity Division. "By integrating work-based learning into the state's talent pipeline systems, Illinois can establish clear career pathways for young people and develop a workforce with the skills and credentials to meet the needs of the state's economy today and into the future."
Today's gathering was a joint effort of the governor's education team and the DCEO, in addition to several other state agencies, external partners and the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Youth's Workforce Readiness through Apprenticeships & Pathways (WRAP) Committee.
Original source can be found here.