Rock Valley College Announces New Initiative for Career Training

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Hundreds of Stateline students are about to get hands-on career training while still in high school and some will graduate high school, with credentials to get a job.

Malik Minor is a junior at Auburn High School. He wears a uniform as part of his ROTC training. Minor says he's preparing for his future now.
"I probably plan on going to a two-year community college and I'm looking into business and marketing," said Minor.

A new partnership called Advance Now is helping students like Minor, offering career training at Rock Valley College's Stenstrom Center, for high school juniors and seniors, in ten local school districts.

"All of our students will be able to achieve national certification and some of them will be able to achieve that by the time they're done with high school,” said Dr. Dennis Harezlak, Winnebago Schools Superintendent.

Students can also earn college credit or dual credit while in high school.

The initiative is being called a community partnership because the goal is to address community issues like unemployment.

All of this equipment and training costs money, so education leaders are calling on local businesses to help.

"We look to philanthropy, we look to companies to provide equipment and this is going to be no expectation,” said Dr. Jack Becherer, President of Rock Valley College.

"They can learn the needed job skills for the area and then it produces a workforce for the area that doesn't exist right now.”

Although there have been other school-career partnerships in the past, this prom is different. This is the first time that all ten school districts are working together to provide this career training, and they'll also be training in one area, of course we've heard of the career academies in District 205 for them, this is an extension.

Again this training is for juniors and senior, it is free, and it will start in the fall. There is a morning and afternoon session. If you're interested in enrolling your child, contact Rock Valley College’s High School Connections office at 815-921-4080 or the CEANCI office at 815 921-1650.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rock Valley College President Dr. Jack Becherer and CEANCI Board President Dr. Dennis Harezlak have announced a new partnership initiative today, called Advance Now.

Advance Now will offer centralized career training courses for junior and seniors enrolled in high schools in the Rock Valley College District. Students enrolled in this program will be awarded dual or articulated credit and the programs offered align with the Illinois Pathways Initiative, College and Career Readiness Standards, and Rockford Area Economic Development Council studies. The initial programs offered will be in high growth-high demand careers including manufacturing, health science, fire science, automotive technology, aviation maintenance, and business. Advance Now programs will be offered at RVC’s Stenstrom Center for Career Education and will be administered by Rock Valley College staff and aided in recruiting efforts and funding by CEANCI. Advance Now students will not pay for tuition or transportation (to be provided by CEANCI member school districts).

Further information for students and parents of current high school sophomores and juniors will be available by contacting high school counseling offices, Rock Valley College’s High School Connections office at 815-921-4080 or the CEANCI office at 815 921-1650.

Centralized training opportunities will also be available for adult learners who have interest in these specific career areas.

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