Career Connects Launched for Will and Grundy Counties

Joliet Junior College is partnering with other groups in Will and Grundy Counties to offer students and job seekers of all ages a contemporary way to connect with the local business community.

The initiative, called Career Connects Will and Grundy, is a new online program that links students and job seekers to occupations and job opportunities offered by local businesses.

JJC hosted a kickoff event for the initiative on April 29, which hosted over 70 representatives from the Joliet Housing Authority, Hollywood Casino, Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell, Local 176, Three Rivers Education Partnership, the Workforce Investment Board, and more.

After opening remarks by JJC President Gena Proulx, Will County Executive Larry Walsh shared the benefits of the Career Connects Will and Grundy program to the community, adding it would help men and women be prepared to meet the demands of an ever-changing world.

“I applaud JJC for putting together this program,” Walsh said. “They have always been innovative in helping students be prepared to find jobs.”

Career Connects Will and Grundy is a tool produced by Career Cruising, an interactive career resource that connects students and job seekers with businesses through a virtual environment.

Highlights of Career Connects Will and Grundy County include:

  • Links job seekers and students to careers they are interested in with local companies through online career discussion boards
  • Takes education out of the classroom by giving students the opportunity to participate in work-based career activities, i.e., company tours, job shadowing, summer internships, mentors
  • Allows local businesses the opportunity to attract top talent for their organizations
  • In addition to helping business and industry play an active role in connecting with their future workforce, Career Connects also allows students and job seekers to see that the Will and Grundy region is a great place to live and work.
  • Participation in the program is free.

Caroline Portlock of the Grundy County Chamber said the benefits are not just for the students and job seekers—businesses benefit as well.

“It increases your company’s visibility in your community and highlights your company’s involvement,” she said.

JJC Career Cruising Specialists Tammy Tschida and Jeremy J. Ly said training is available to help businesses get started with the program, noting the importance of broadening the relationship between businesses and the community through education.

“Let’s come together to make sure that Will and Grundy Counties are the best places to work,” Ly said.

In addition to JJC, other partners in the initiative include the University of St. Francis, Community Foundation of Grundy County, Three Rivers Education Partnership, Workforce Board of Grundy, Livingston, and Kankakee, and the Will County Workforce Investment Board.

For more information about the Career Connects program for Will County, call Tammy Tschida at (815) 280-1501, or e-mail her at ttschida@jjc.edu.

People in Grundy County can contact Jeremy Ly at (815) 942-0566, or e-mail him at jly@jjc.edu.

To access the Career Connects information on the JJC website, visitors can go to www.jjc.edu/info/career-connects.

In the photo above, L to R: Caroline Portlock, Grundy County Chamber Executive Director; Larry Walsh, Will County Executive; Jim Glasgow, Will County State’s Attorney; Gena Proulx, Joliet Junior College President; Paul Nordstrom, Grundy-Kendall County Regional Schools Superintendent; Dan Kreidler, Joliet Junior College Dean of Community and Economic Development.

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