LLCC at Central Illinois Building Trades Career Day

LLCC recruitment and WEI staff attended the Central Illinois Building Trades Career Day Wednesday at the Bank of Springfield Center, speaking with high school students about careers in the trades. More than 70 students from Mt. Pulaski, Winchester and Triopia then came to campus and toured our Workforce Careers Center!

Visitors tour the auto tech lab on campus

Illinois community colleges boost local economies

Speakers, including Dr. Lazaro Lopez, at the ICCB press conference A new report was issued by the Illinois Community College Board at a press conference yesterday that shares how Illinois’ 48 community colleges boost local Illinois economies and are important sources of revenue and employment for the communities and regions they serve.

LaCrea Lott and Candace SilasLaCrea Lott, LLCC graduate, and Candace Silas, director, Open Door – Workforce Equity Initiative, attended the press conference. LaCrea spoke on her experience in the CNA to Medical Assistant Bridge and Workforce Equity Initiative programs and how the college and these programs impacted her life.

“It is clear that community colleges remain a solid return on investment for local communities and the students that use them.  Our system plays a vital role in meeting the needs of  Illinois’ workforce by providing quality training and education and gives students a greater opportunity to  earn higher wages in countless industries throughout the state,” said ICCB executive director, Dr. Brian Durham.

The report evaluates Illinois’ community college system on its ability to meet the needs of business and industry, equity, student outcomes, students’ return on investment, and the system’s overall economic impact to local economies and job growth.  The report also examines statewide trends including employment, population, race and ethnicity changes, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Community colleges remain a valuable resource for students of all walks of life.  We are committed to creating an equitable path to economic mobility no matter who you are or where you live through the Illinois community college system,” said Dr. Lazaro Lopez,  ICCB Board Chair.

The study found that more than 84 percent of students who earn a long-term certificate or associate degree in applied science programs are employed in solid paying career jobs within a year of graduation.

Investing in an Illinois community college long-term certificate or associate in applied science degree yields an average annual rate of return of nearly 27 percent, with an average wage increase of nearly 40 percent one year after graduation.

Annual earnings are even greater in specific areas of study. For students graduating with Long-Term Certificates in Architecture and Construction programs, the average annual earning five years after graduating is $60,552, while manufacturing program graduates earn $54,378 in the same timeframe.

The study also looked at Illinois community colleges’ impact on local economies. The total economic output of Illinois community colleges on the statewide economy in fiscal year 2020 is estimated at $3.5 billion and 43,316 jobs.

LaCrea Lott speaking at press conferenceThe Illinois Community College System and ICCB are committed to creating, supporting and expanding workforce training opportunities equitably in high-need communities. In 2019, Illinois started the Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) program, a grant program designed to increase workforce opportunities for African Americans which are severely underrepresented among Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. Over the last two years, the WEI program has granted nearly $40 million to address education and unemployment gaps in the African American and other minority communities throughout Illinois.

When examining earnings one year prior to completion compared to three years after completion, African American student earnings increased 47 percent while Latinx students increased their earnings by 57 percent.

To review the full study, please visit https://bit.ly/iccbEIS.

LLCC at Chamber of Commerce Job Fair

Representatives from LLCC Public Relations and Marketing, Workforce Institute and Workforce Equity Initiative attended yesterday evening’s Chamber of Commerce Job Fair in Springfield, sharing information on training opportunities and services available at the college.

Kim Wilson and Candace Silas

Kim Wilson and Candace Silas

David Pietrzak, Tom Spears, Curt Robinson, Nancy Sweet and Sheridan Lane

David Pietrzak, Tom Spears, Curt Robinson, Nancy Sweet and Sheridan Lane

 

Register for “Engaging With Equity” workshop on PDD

LLCC Inclusivity Speaker Series. Diversity, Inclusion, Identity, Community.The Inclusivity Speaker Series, with support from the Workface Equity Initiative, is proud to host a 90-minute workshop during the Spring Professional Development Day entitled “Engaging with equity: Identifying and applying inclusive practices in your role at LLCC.” This session will be held from 8:30-10 a.m. on March 30, 2021.

Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Pre-register to attend the “Engaging with equity” session.

Participants will explore practices, strategies, and action steps they can take to positively impact LLCC’s inclusivity and campus climate. The workshop will consist of a short presentation, a breakout session to engage in prompt-driven small group discussion, and a facilitated exercise designed to highlight and outline action steps and strategies faculty and staff can engage as they strive to utilize more equity-conscious and inclusive practices. This workshop will be facilitated by Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) at U of I Champaign/Urbana. Facilitated by: Dr. Marci RockeyDr. Chaddrick James-Gallaway, and Angel Velez.

We encourage all members of our faculty and staff to join us. You don’t have to be in a leadership or administrator role to impact real change at LLCC. This workshop will challenge participants to identify ways that we can be more inclusive in our everyday practice, regardless of your position. Space is limited, so make sure to sign up early for this session.

If you have any questions, please contact Jacob.deters@llcc.edu.

Equity focused workshop to be held during PDD

LLCC Inclusivity Speaker Series. Diversity, Inclusion, Identity, Community.The Inclusivity Speaker Series and Workforce Equity Initiative are proud to host a 90-minute workshop during Spring Professional Development Day entitled “Engaging with equity: Identifying and applying inclusive practices in your role at LLCC.” This session will be held from 8:30-10 a.m. on March 30.

Participants will explore practices, strategies and action steps they can take to positively impact LLCC’s inclusivity and campus climate. The workshop will consist of a short presentation, a breakout session to engage in prompt-driven small group discussion, and a facilitated exercise designed to highlight and outline action steps and strategies faculty and staff can engage as they strive to utilize more equity-conscious and inclusive practices. This workshop will be facilitated by the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Facilitators are: Dr. Marci RockeyDr. Chaddrick James-Gallaway and Angel Velez.

We encourage all members of our faculty and staff to join us. You don’t have to be in a leadership or administrator role to impact real change at LLCC. This workshop will challenge participants to identify ways that we can be more inclusive in our everyday practice, regardless of your position.

Early-bird registration has been sent an email to faculty and staff who work directly with our WEI students; sign up soon to ensure we save a seat for you! Contact Candace Silas (candace.silas@llcc.edu) for further questions about early bird registration.

Open registration will be available to all faculty and staff on Wednesday, March 17. A link to register will be sent out via LincIn. If you have any questions about open registration or this workshop, please contact Jacob Deters (Jacob.deters@llcc.edu).

Welding student to be featured in statewide WEI student spotlight

Wallace McCowanWallace McCowan was selected to be featured in a statewide Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) spotlight. Brandon Lewis, WEI program navigator, interviewed McCowan and took his photo for the spotlight. McCowan, 57, owned his own bricklaying company in Florida until 2019. After moving to Springfield, he joined the WEI at LLCC and chose the welding program. He admits he had times of doubt, not knowing if he was capable of continuing, but always kept a positive attitude. “This (program) is hard but you don’t run away … you have to challenge it, go at it,” says McCowan. He graduated with three stackable certifications: basic multi-practice, intermediate level and shielded metal arc welding. He was employed after graduation but unfortunately laid off due to pandemic issues. With extra time on his hands, he decided to reenroll and is now progressing toward advanced-level welding certifications. “I want to learn how to do the work because this is a good trade; once you get it, you will be set,” says McCowan.

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