New Programs Will Help to Fill the Skills Gap and Prepare Chicagoans for Careers in Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and Culinary & Hospitality Fields
CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)–October 24, 2012. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman today announced the next three College to Careers programs that will train Chicagoans for careers in the high-demand industries of: Information Technology at Wilbur Wright College, Advanced Manufacturing at Richard J. Daley College, and Culinary and Hospitality at Kennedy-King College. Over the next decade, over 80,000 job openings are predicted in these three fields in Cook County alone, representing a wide range of opportunities for Chicagoans.
“Companies are continuing to look to Chicago as a city with top talent and a place where they can grow and develop in the coming years, and our College to Careers program is an innovative way to ensure Chicagoans have the skills and education they need for the jobs of today and the careers of the future,” said Mayor Emanuel.
College to Careers is a nationally recognized initiative that the Mayor launched in December 2011 that partners industry experts with City Colleges faculty and staff to develop current and innovative curriculum, directly preparing students for careers in high-demand and high-growth fields and working to close the skills gap that often keeps people from filling currently available positions.
“There are tens of thousands of jobs in our region going unfilled because many able Chicagoans lack the skills for these positions and the education system hadn’t kept pace with workplace demands – until now,” said Cheryl Hyman, Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. “City Colleges offers every Chicagoan an affordable means of building the skills employers seek or getting ready for a bachelor’s degree elsewhere while saving $40,000 in tuition.”
Information Technology hub at Wilbur Wright College:
Over the next ten years, Chicago-area IT firms are forecasted to have 24,000 job openings for positions such as database administrators and software engineers, all with high earning potential.
“Developing a local pipeline of technology leaders can have a far-reaching impact for the Chicago community,” said Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation. “As a technology company with an 84-year history of innovation, we understand the value of an education in science and technology, and are honored to partner with College to Careers.”
Students pursuing information technology at City Colleges will be able to focus in three pathways: computer science/software engineering and web development; computer science/database and cloud management; and networking, technology and security. Students will study for an associate or associate of science degree with a clear pathway for transferring to bachelor’s degree programs. Options exist for students in the CPS STEM high schools to connect with IT programs at CCC, shaving up to one year off a bachelor’s degree in computer science; CPS STEM high school partners include: Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, Verizon Wireless.
In addition to Motorola Solutions, other IT partners include Google, Comptia, and Cisco.
Advanced Manufacturing hub at Richard J. Daley College:
There are nearly 14,000 high-skill, high-wage job openings in manufacturing in the Chicagoland region annually. Through College to Careers, industry leaders such as Solo Cup, WaterSaver Faucet, Arrow Gear, GC America, Kay Manufacturing, Northstar Aerospace, UPS, and Lincoln Electric are working with Daley College manufacturing instructors to help align curriculum with new industry standards and ensure facilities provide the hands-on training needed to succeed on the job.
“We’re developing a unique approach to manufacturing education and training with Daley College that will help Solo continue to be a strong employer on Chicago’s Southwest Side,” said Tom Domasica, human resources manager at Solo Cup Company, which is now part of Dart Container Corporation. “We’re committed to helping Daley College develop a world class manufacturing curriculum that will grow the existing and future talent pool.”
Advanced manufacturing at Daley College will include two program areas: Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Machining and Factory Automation, both of which require substantial mathematics aptitude to direct and maintain computer-guided heavy machinery. Students completing certifications in these areas can earn between $10 and 23 per hour to start, and students completing associate of science degrees in manufacturing can up to $32 per hour. The certificate programs will be designed to empower students to advance into associate’s degrees and on to bachelors.
Critical investments that have been made over the past few years have made Daley College the only educational institution in Illinois with two high-tech welding machines that give students access to hands-on training. The college recently acquired the VRTEX 360 that allows students to practice welding virtually and a robotic welding educational cell including software to practice programming offline.
Culinary and Hospitality hub at Kennedy-King College:
The Culinary and Hospitality industry offers a wide range of opportunities for students and nearly 44,000 job openings in Chicagoland every year. CCC will focus on preparing students for the full spectrum of available jobs with an emphasis on the hundreds of higher wage management positions available each year.
Washburne alum and nationally recognized restaurateur Jimmy Bannos, Sr., the creative and business force behind Heaven on Seven and the Purple Pig, is one of a number of partners in the culinary/hospitality sector including Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, InterContinental Chicago, Aramark, and the Illinois Restaurant Association.
“My education at Washburne Culinary Institute allowed me to pursue my passion for food and build a successful culinary career. College to Careers is my opportunity to give back and to ensure the next generation of chefs gain relevant skills and make industry connections to launch their careers,” said Bannos. “The all-star approach under College to Careers is one that promises to launch many successful careers in the industry.”
City Colleges provides recognized culinary education through the Washburne Culinary Institute and its student-operated restaurants, the award-winning Parrot Cage Restaurant at the South Shore Cultural Center and the Sikia Restaurant & Banquet Facility. CCC will offer training in front-line management positions such as lodging management, which can command more than $18 per hour. With basic certifications, advanced certifications and associate degrees, the culinary and hospitality focus will offer students a variety of paths toward stable, well-paid jobs in this growing industry.
These three industry areas join three College to Careers programs announced over the last year, including: Transportation, Distribution & Logistics (TDL) at Olive-Harvey College, Allied Healthcare at Malcolm X College and Business, Professional Services, and Entrepreneurship at Harold Washington College.
The College to Careers program also helps maximize the impact of capital investments, and provides City Colleges students the opportunity to learn from guest lecturers, undertake internship opportunities and secure job interviews. To support these programs, Malcolm X College will build a new $250 million campus with Allied Health Academy and Olive-Harvey College will construct a $45 million TDL Center. This fall, Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Hyman announced the launch of nine new or enhanced CCC degree and certificate College to Careers programs in the healthcare and TDL fields which are attracting student interest.
The College to Careers program is aligned with the demand-driven workforce development strategy in the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, produced by World Business Chicago earlier this year at Mayor Emanuel’s request. This program will also directly advance other critical strategies in the Plan, including accelerating advanced manufacturing and growing the region’s innovation ecosystem. Additionally, two companies that just this week announced their commitment to expanding job opportunities in Chicago have subsequently signed on as industry partners, supporting the College to Careers program: Nokia and Presence Health.
The City Colleges of Chicago is the largest community college system in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation, with 5,800 faculty and staff serving 120,000 students annually at seven colleges city-wide. The City Colleges of Chicago is in the midst of a Reinvention, a collaborative effort to review and revise City Colleges programs and practices to ensure students leave City Colleges college-ready, career-ready and prepared to pursue their life’s goals.