MALTA –Kishwaukee College’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program is helping local students bolster their employment skills and find new career opportunities.
The WIOAS Program offers out-of-school youth ages 16 to 24 an opportunity to participate in training that will assist them in obtaining employment.
The program is a federally-funded grant that helps qualified individuals gain the professional skills necessary to learn a new career. Through the grant, Kish can offer up to $10,000 based on eligibility. Funding can go towards books, tuition, supplies and other services to help with education. Mileage and child care reimbursement may also be available. Residents from the city of DeKalb may automatically qualify for the youth program due to the city’s overall poverty rate.
There is a list of more than 60 programs available at Kish covered by WIOA funding. Students can work toward a degree or certificate or enter the workforce right away with a short-term training program. Some popular programs include: basic nurse assisting, Google IT, truck driving training, pharmacy technician, and medical assistant.
For Erika Villalobos-Miller of Rochelle, assistance came in the form of financial aid for tuition and travel expenses.
“(WIOA) really got me through my first few semesters,” she said. “I had to drive to school every day, which was expensive but they really helped with those costs.”
Villalobos-Miller started with the basic nurse assisting program through WIOA because of her interest in medicine. She decided to continue to study nursing at Kishwaukee and plans on finishing her associate degree this year before transferring to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign to study molecular and cellular biology.
“It ended up being very supportive,” she said. “WIOA helped out tremendously.”
The support is not limited to the classroom. Students can gain real-world experience through job shadowing. Kishwaukee College also offers career counseling and support and the ability to match job-seekers with local businesses based on their skillset.
To learn more about Kish’s WIOA Youth Program, contact Phylicia Hampton, WIOA Youth Coordinator, at 815-825-9384 or firstname.lastname@example.org.