In 2016, Governor Rauner signed into law HB5729, also known as the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act. The Act implements strategies identified through a multi-year process led by the P-20 Council’s College and Career Readiness Committee to better align the transition from high school into college and careers.
To support implementation of this effort at the local level, Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University, on behalf of the Illinois 60 by 25 Network, has awarded ten Leadership Communities grants of up to $14,000 each over two years. Consistent with the provisions of the PWR Act, this funding is to develop a plan and begin initial implementation of the coursework and systems to support at least two college and career pathway endorsements relating to locally prioritized industry sectors, including organizing or expanding at least one professional learning activity for students (e.g., career expo or internship program). These communities include East Side Aligned on behalf of East St. Louis School District 189, Enlace Chicago on behalf of Little Village, Health Professions Education Consortium of Lake County, the McLean County Chamber of Commerce on behalf of McLean County, the Regional Office of Education #47 on behalf of Making Opportunities Real for Everyone (MORE) in the Mississippi and Rock River Regions, Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS) on behalf of the Northwest Suburbs served by Harper College, OAI Inc on behalf of Rich Township District 227, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council on behalf of Peoria Pathways to Prosperity, Alignment Rockford on behalf of Rockford, and Vermilion Advantage on behalf of Vermilion County. You can learn about the focus areas for each community here
Four 60 by 25 Leadership Communities will also receive an additional $5,000 to continue implementing transitional math instruction delivered to high school seniors to avoid remediation, which they began working on last year. The communities that received these grants include East Side Aligned on behalf of East St. Louis, the Regional Office of Education #47 on behalf of Making Opportunities Real for Everyone (MORE) in the Mississippi and Rock River Valley, Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS), and Alignment Rockford on behalf of Rockford.