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SPRINGFIELD – February 2022 may soon be Career and Technical Education Month in Illinois, thanks to State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood).

“Career and technical education is another tool to give our children real-world skills to excel in their future careers,” Loughran Cappel said. “CTE connects and creates a pathway for Illinois students to be prepared for the jobs of the future.”

Approximately 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE courses across the country. Advance CTE reports that the high school graduation rate for CTE concentrators is about 90%– 15 percentage points higher than the national average.

Loughran Cappel’s district is served by the Wilco Area Career Center, which works with area students to develop skill sets that provide a pathway to college and career readiness.

“On behalf of the nearly 1,200 hundred students at Wilco Area Career Center, the 30,000 CTE students in Will County and the additional thousands in the State of Illinois, we appreciate Senator Loughran Cappel’s recognition of Career and Technical Education month and her ongoing work to support College and Career Pathways in Illinois,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kaufman, executive director of Wilco. “Career and Technical education programs in the State of Illinois have worked tirelessly to prepare essential workers, connecting students to further education and employment opportunities. Along with the State of Illinois, Wilco celebrates Career and Technical Education month and the possibilities that CTE provides to the students, the employers, and the economic development of Illinois.” 

CTE offers education and advanced training to support high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand occupations, including in Healthcare, Information Technology, Agriculture, Finance, and Education.

Loughran Cappel is pleased to see that roughly 30,000 students successfully completed dual credit CTE courses in 2018 that earned them college credit, saving time and money toward their degree. Middle and high school CTE programs in Illinois serve more than 283,000 students. Illinois community college CTE programs serve more than 131,000 students.

“The hands on instruction provided by CTE programs like those offered at Wilco, offer residents early career exploration to help provide students the opportunity to explore different career paths and help match their interests and skills with an occupation they enjoy,” Loughran Cappel said. “The 49th District is lucky to have a partner to help our students be workforce ready and given a head start in achieving their dreams.”

Loughran Cappel passed Senate Resolution 698 with bipartisan support out of committee, and it now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.