Joliet Junior College’s new “My Future” program will offer career scholarships, covering tuition, fees, and books, for associate degree and other training programs to eligible, low-income youth – and through the program, JJC will even help them land careers once they graduate.
The yearlong program, funded by the Workforce Investment Board of Will County, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and the United States Department of Labor, will accept 70 students between the ages of 17-21 who have either a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Scholarship recipients must choose a career that’s in high demand in Will County.
These careers include, but are not limited to, veterinary technicians, firefighters, police officers, automotive body repairers, machinists, computer programmers, construction managers, truck drivers, certified nurse assistants, and graphic designers.
The program’s goals are to keep local youth in the Will County workforce, promote higher education, create skilled workers for in demand jobs, and to retain those workers. These goals, and the outcome of the “My Future” program itself, are much like the college’s own goals of increasing student success and completion, preparing students for in demand careers that respond to the labor market, addressing the needs of minorities and underrepresented students, and increasing resource development for students.
Paige Vanderhyden, director of workforce development at JJC’s City Center Campus, said eligible applicants should apply as soon as possible.
Students must meet the low-income requirements of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) eligibility guidelines in order to apply for the “My Future” program. Information on WIA eligibility can be found at www.jjc.edu/continuing-education/workforce-development/Pages/job-training.aspx.
“JJC cares about our youth and our workforce here in Will County,” Vanderhyden said. “We’re always looking for ways to make sure our workforce is prepared and can enter into high growth, high demand occupations to be self sufficient, and that’s exactly what the ‘My Future’ program aims to do.”
To apply for the program, students must fill out an application, found at www.jjc.edu/continuing-education/workforce-development/Pages/MyFuture.aspx. Then, they must set up an appointment for an orientation by calling 815-280-1509. Orientation sessions will be held on Fridays at 10 a.m.
After attending orientation, students will take a basic skills or career assessment test, which will help them choose an area of study, appealing to their interests. The last step in the application process is setting up an appointment with a Workforce Development employee to go through the paperwork and financial guidelines.
Once accepted into the program, students will meet regularly with Case Management Specialist Karlie Cooper so that she can help them choose their classes, make sure they’re succeeding and stay in the program.
Tammy Tschida, employee relations coordinator, is currently making connections with Will County companies so when the “My Future,” applicants graduate, they’ll have a place to start their careers, and Cody Dailey, career specialist, is working to increase awareness of the program.
“We’re very happy to have the opportunity to provide these services for youth in Will County and to be able to give them the chance for training or college,” said Vanderhyden. “JJC’s accessibility, reputation, and the quality of our instruction that we provide, will prepare students for the workforce.”
For more information about the “My Future,” program, e-mail Cooper at email@example.com, call 815-280-1509, or visit www.jjc.edu/continuing-education/workforce-development/Pages/MyFuture.aspx. For more information about JJC’s Workforce Development, visit www.jjc.edu/continuing-education/workforce-development/Pages/default.aspx.
Career Options for “My Future” Students
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Licensed Practical Nurse
Medical Records/Health Information Technician
Nursing Aide/Home Health Aide
Occupational Therapist Assistant
Patient Care Tech/Medical Assistant
Physical Therapy Assistant
Computer-Controlled Machine Operator
Food Production Worker/Machine Operator
Industrial Machinery Mechanic
Industrial Maintenance/Repair Worker
Computer/Information Systems Manager
Computer Software Engineer (Applications/Software)
Computer Support Specialist
Computer Systems Analyst
Network Systems/Data Communications Analyst
Automotive Body Repairer
Diesel Engine Technician/Mechanic
Heavy Equipment Mechanic
Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations Manager
Correctional Officer and Jailer
Police/Sheriff Patrol Officer