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3 City Colleges to prepare students for jobs in growth industries

Updated: November 26, 2012 7:11AM



Three more City Colleges will prepare students for 80,000 jobs over the next decade in three growth industries — culinary and hospitality; information technology and advanced manufacturing — in the latest chapter of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s colleges-to-careers makeover.

Companies that specialize in those areas will help write the curriculum, teach and mentor students and, hopefully, place them in jobs when they graduate.

“I want the adults and the kids who are going to our community colleges to be able to compete and win for the jobs of tomorrow and the jobs of today,” Emanuel said.

“Too often, companies are searching for employees, employees are searching for employers and the missing ingredient has been our educational system and, in particular, our City Colleges. … That resume, that school, has got to have economic value in same as Sarah Lawrence [College] has for me.”

Earlier this year, Emanuel announced plans to build a new $251 million Malcolm X College near the United Center to create a state-of-the-art facility to train students for careers in health care.

That was followed by plans to build a new $42.2 million Transportation, Distribution and Logistics center to prepare students at Olive-Harvey for 28,000 jobs over the next decade in those fields.

Now, Daley, Wright and Kennedy-King will join the colleges-to-career makeover.

Daley will focus on advanced manufacturing with help from such private sector partners as Solo Cup, Arrow Gear, Northstar Aerospace, UPS and WaterSaver Faucet.

Advanced manufacturing students will be trained in two disciplines that rely heavily on math to direct and maintain computer-guided heavy machinery. After completing certification, they can earn anywhere from $10 to $23 an hour. Students graduating with associates of science degrees in manufacturing can reach $32 an hour.

Daley is the only school in Illinois with two high-tech welding machines that give students access to hands-on training and recently acquired another machine that allows students to practice welding virtually.

Kennedy-King College will train students for 44,000 jobs openings in the culinary and hospitality industry with help from Washburne Culinary Institute alum Jimmy Bannos, owner of Heaven-on-Seven and Purple Pig restaurants.

Other private sector partners include Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, InterContinental Chicago, Aramark and the Illinois Restaurant Association.

Wright College will train students for 24,000 job openings in the burgeoning field of information technology, with help from Motorola Solutions, Google, Cisco and Comptia.

IT students will follow three career paths: computer science/software engineering and web development; computer science/database and cloud management and networking, technology and security.

“They’ll go on, if they choose, to get another education, another degree. But, they’ll have a job while they’re doing it so they don’t have to take too much [money in] student loans out. It works out for them economically,” Emanuel said.

After joining the mayor for Wednesday’s news conference at Daley College, Bannos said he “owes everything” to the training he got at Washburne trade school.

The third-generation restaurateur said he plans to give back to the next generation of students by offering them three-to-six-month internships and chef-for-a-day experiences at Heaven-on-Seven and Purple Pig.

“My parents had diners. I brought it to a whole ‘nother level. Now, my son is bringing it to another level. That’s what you want to do: give that opportunity to young adults who need a chance. I want to teach ‘em passion because you need passion. And you can’t be afraid of hard work,” Bannos said.

That’s not always an easy sell in these days of “celebrity chefs” on shows like, “Top Chef,” Bannos said.

“We see a lot of kids trying to go into the restaurant business for the wrong reason. They see Emerill [Lagasse], Mario Batali and everybody on TV. But, they don’t understand that they worked in the trenches since youth, and they’re accomplished chefs,” Bannos said.



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