Community/Region of Focus
March 2018 — Vermilion Advantage has taken steps to strengthening the career advisor process. For the past six years, Kim Kuchenbrod the Workforce Development Consultant at Vermilion Advantage has been providing career advising at Danville High School. Each year the organization learns more and refines the process to serve more students by connecting them to job shadowing, internships and full-time local jobs. This year, Vermilion Advantage began expanding the process to county high schools. An executive for a local manufacturer has been on loan to Vermilion Advantage for two days a week to “advise” at Georgetown and Hoopeston High Schools. In just a short time, this approach has proven fruitful and they are eager to continue to grow the process. Vermilion Advantage is now bringing someone new to phase into Kim’s role and to continue to grow out in the county.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grant — Danville Area Community College and Vermilion County Works secured a WIOA grant in the amount of $358,665 to create short term training opportunities to prepare individuals for employment in manufacturing. Their vision is to offer a program that is driven by input from local manufacturers with the flexibility to create a unique training environment to meet individual employer needs. They are implementing this employer-led, short term competency-based training to meet the regional demand for qualified, work-ready employees in the manufacturing sector. The Industrial Career Pathways (ICP) program will include 70+ hours of training. Upon successful completion, the individuals will be awarded the ICP Certification from Danville Area Community College which includes the competency based SMT training (40 hours), nationally recognized certificates from ToolingU (20 hours), and OSHA certification (10 hours). Upon completion of the 70 hours, students will complete the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate. The ICP grant targets 75 individuals and will pay for training costs, supportive service costs, on-the-job training for individuals wanting to work in manufacturing as well as incumbent worker funds for skills upgrading of your current workforce.
September 2017 — In Vermilion County, the dual credit Career and Technical Education program known as College Express started on August 21st. To date, 419 high school juniors and seniors have enrolled in 15 different programs and will have the opportunity to take over 60 different courses during their potential 2 years of attendance at Danville Area Community College (DACC). The goal of the program is to have each of these students earn an industry recognized certificate by the end of the year, and have a clearly defined college or career plan. The Vermilion County 60 by 25 Network team hopes to inspire many of these students to continue with their education at DACC where a vast majority of students are first generation. One way the team works to make students comfortable on campus is to have them take part in campus community events like the welcome back kickoff. In the picture below, College Express automotive students are ready to give the minivan a good “whack” as a fundraiser for their program during the campus-wide kickoff. You can learn more about College Express here.
PRIORITIZED STEM INDUSTRY CLUSTERS
· Advanced Manufacturing
· Transportation/Distribution/Logistics (TDL)
· Information Technology/Tech Services
KEY ACTIVITIES FOR UPCOMING YEAR
· Identify the most critical career needs in the region and the appropriate learning pathways and talent pipelines for those jobs.
· Create processes that support the use of a multiple approaches for each targeted sector.
· Continue to support the development of learning exchanges for manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation/distribution/logistics, as well as information technology.
· Develop marketing campaigns that promote targeted manufacturing, healthcare, transportation/distribution/logistics, and information technology careers to job seekers.
· Increase the talent pipeline of qualified workers to meet the personnel needs of our current employers and retain these employers in our region.