City (Vocational) Colleges of Chicago | Bleader

City (Vocational) Colleges of Chicago


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In a speech at the Economic Club of Chicago last night, Mayor Rahm Emanuel touted the first steps in a "College to Careers" effort that—if it's more than just window dressing—will push the City Colleges of Chicago further into industry-driven job training.

Under this plan, experts from "industry partners" will help design certificate programs and individual courses that they or other "industry experts" may also teach. In addition, they'll provide "access to internships, on-site training, and job interviews."

Actual jobs? No promises there, but Emanuel claims that by "2020 Chicago will need approximately 75,000 more health care practitioners." And between now and then we'll also need "4,000 new truck drivers," he says. Accordingly, the first two programs are a healthcare partnership at Malcolm X College, with partners like Rush and Stroger Hospitals, and a "transportation and logistics industry" partnership at Olive-Harvey College, with partners that include the CTA and UPS.

Of course, relationships with institutions like local hospitals aren't a brand-new idea: the colleges already had some of them. At best, "College to Careers" will expand and build on that. At worst, it'll transfer job training costs from industry to students and taxpayers, without any assurance of employment to follow. And you don't need to go to college to be a truck driver. Here's the Mayor's press release and speech, and here's our story about the overall "Reinvention" under way at CCC.