Danville Area Community College has won a $225-thousand dollar ‘Bridge and Innovation’ grant from the Illinois Community College Board. The grant will fund DACC’s Innovative Transitions Program.
‘’The primary focus will be on unemployed and underemployed adults. But the program will also assist incumbent workers who need to upgrade skills to remain employed, as well as student veterans,’’ said Operations Vice President Kerri Thurman.
Thurman adds the grant will fund ‘life-skills’ educational training for three different types of students. The first are those who are simultaneously earning their high school equivalency as well as job credentials, such as in a certified nursing assistant program. The second group is job seekers who need short-term technical skills training prior to employment. And the third group is College graduates who need to be prepared for success in the working world.
The program addresses what has become the chief concern among local employers – namely that too many of today’s job-seekers lack a practical understanding of how to be successful employees. ‘’What many employees today really lack is what we call ‘soft skills’ – or should I say ‘life skills’, said Lori Russell of DynaChem during a DACC-hosted breakfast meeting last month with manufacturers. ‘’We can teach them the fundamentals of the job, but too many of the people we hire are not adequately prepared when it comes to how to hold and keep a job, or to advance in a job to a supervisory level,’’ added Russell.
The grant will fund a new two-hour Corporate Education program that Director Stephanie Yates recently developed in collaboration with business leaders. The program addresses both the personal ethic and the work ethic, and crosses all industry sectors.
Danville Area Community College Executive Vice President Dave Kietzmann, Dean Laura Williams, and Assistant Vice President Brian Hensgen teamed with Operations Vice President Kerri Thurman to design the winning program and successful grant application.
[Our thanks to DACC’s Marketing Department for information contained in this story.]