Regional Career Center Collaboration
The Collective is six Illinois school districts located in the south suburbs of Chicago. This Collective proposes the development of a Regional Career Center (RCC) to provide career, credential, license, and certificate options to their students and communities. Six superintendents embarked on this collaboration conversation in 2019 to address an unmet need in the south suburbs for young people seeking preparation for the jobs and technical careers of the future. No RCC project has been proposed in Illinois in more than 45 years and no such Career and Technical Education-focused secondary training has been offered or been in operation in the south suburbs in 32 years. The Collective have embarked upon a collaboration to address an unmet need in the south suburbs for young people seeking to be prepared for the jobs and careers of the future.
The Collective is proposing that a facility be constructed to make vocational education available to all students served by the aforementioned districts. Please note that no such project has been proposed in the south suburbs in more than 45 years, and no comprehensive vocational training has been in operation in the last 25 years. All of our school districts have been focused on providing an educational experience that prepares our students for college and the workforce. We believe a program of this type would help our young adults discover viable options for a career without amassing large amounts of debt. The regional vocational facility being proposed would house vocational training in the following areas: aviation, advanced manufacturing, construction trades including electrical plumbing, carpentry and other construction areas.
The facility being proposed will be more than 130,000 square feet and the training facility will be made available to students enrolled in these very school districts as well as being available to individuals enrolled at our local community colleges, Prairie State and South Suburban College, as well as four-year institutions like Governors State University.
This ambitious project will be successful with the collaborative efforts of the school districts, private sector employers, unions, educational community, the general assembly and governor’s office. The estimated cost for this project is $92 million and we believe that the return on investment will be many times greater than the cost of instruction and ongoing cost of operations. We would like to schedule briefings with all relevant stakeholders as soon as possible so that we might be able to present this project for consideration in this spring session in the 102nd general assembly.