SPRINGFIELD – Youth Career Pathways, a new program led by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, recently awarded Southwestern High School grant dollars to expand access to training and support services for youth ages 16-24.

“This is a great opportunity for students, and something that will ensure lasting positive effects right here in Central Illinois,” said State

Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield). “We must commit to diversifying our strategies in programming, school curriculum and instruction, especially for at-risk students. We can eliminate these unfortunate risk factors that threaten students’ academic progress if we create more stimulating learning environments.”

This year, through the expanded program, the state will prioritize youth in disproportionately impacted areas and who are at risk for dropping out and falling behind on career preparedness. This includes youth who reside in minority and rural communities.

Grant money will assist workforce providers across Illinois in increasing training that helps youths obtain marketable skills that prepare them for their future careers.

Applicants eligible for the program include community colleges, community-based organizations, workforce agencies, school districts and other entities with a demonstrated plan to serve the target populations with postsecondary training and credentialing.

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Springfield Office:
108D Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0228

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