This article was provided by Joliet Junior College, based in Joliet:
The Joliet Junior College Workforce Development has been awarded $47,000 for a “Deploy to Employ” grant through the WalMart Foundation.
The funds will be used for outreach and recruitment, job readiness and career counseling workshops, occupational training, and job placement assistance for veterans and their families. It will also provide them the opportunity to make use of the training and curriculum for basic employment skills, be assessed on those skills and receive the National Career Readiness (NCRC) Plus certification.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics from March 2012, in 2011, 21.6 million men and women in the civilian non-institutional population ages 18 and over were veterans. Young male veterans (those ages 18 to 24) who served during Gulf War era II had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent in 2011, higher than that of young male non-veterans (17.6 percent).
In light of these statistics, JJC Workforce Development will use this grant to address the high level of unemployment for returning Gulf War era II veterans, especially between the ages of 18 to 24 as well as the lack of a transition process from military to civilian employment.
As part of the occupational training offered, the program will pay for veterans to take Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) courses.
“We hope that by providing local veterans and their families with the ability to obtain the NCRC Plus and possibly a CDL license at no cost, we can assist them in improving their lives by making them more employable,” said Jami Trybom, workforce development manager.
The program goals include:
• Creating a one-stop resource for veterans located in Will and Grundy counties.
• Impacting 480 veterans and their military families and creating awareness of JJC's Veterans resources for workforce development and occupational training.
• Creating awareness of veteran resources and collaborating with businesses, chambers of commerce, non-for-profit and community-based organizations.
• Providing WorkKeys Assessments and the National Career Readiness Certificate for 100 program participants.
• Providing access to KeyTrain curriculum to prepare for the WorkKeys Assessments as needed for up to 50 program participants.
• Offering Career Readiness Workshops twice a month, or more as needed, to serve program participants.
• Assisting veterans and their military families with career readiness and job placement assistance as needed.