RPC Helps Lead the Way in Apprenticeship Expansion; Hires Apprenticeship Specialist
In 2022, the RPC was awarded an Apprenticeship Illinois grant with the purpose of acting as a Navigator for Economic Development Region #2, which consists of Iroquois, Ford, Piatt, Champaign, Vermilion, and Douglas counties.
As Navigator, the RPC was to mobilize a coalition, analyze system capacity, and provide an Apprenticeship Specialist to the region who would identify opportunities in new sectors, advance DEI strategies with employers, conduct community outreach events, and support the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships through sector strategies and technical assistance.
Led by Workforce Development Director Dr. Justin Arnold, that coalition was formed, which included representatives from Kankakee Community College (KCC), Danville Area Community College (DACC), Vermillion County Works, Parkland College, and East Central Illinois workNet.
A survey was sent out, the data was analyzed, and a representation of the data was described in the recently completed Apprenticeship Navigator Report. The report, written by Dr. Arnold, was reviewed by members of the Coalition and made public.
In addition, Taylor Black (pictured above) was hired as Apprenticeship Specialist to support the three community colleges and two workforce areas. The RPC has a partnership with Parkland College, where Taylor is located on site and works with the Parkland team.