Chicago, IL – October 18, 2019: In January of 2017, Calumet Area Industrial Commission (CAIC) accepted the call to action from IMEC and the Illinois Department of Labor to administer America’s Promise Grant (APG) to underemployed and low-income individuals, plus recent high school grads.
Case Study: Pay-it-Forward with America’s Promise Grant Featuring Skype
Meet Marvin Herrera, an APG recipient currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in advanced manufacturing and engineering. He is also a welding instructor at Richard J. Daley Community College (DCC) located in Chicago, IL. Herrera’s entry-level welding course is conveniently held on weekends for students who, otherwise, are unable to attend class during the week due to work and family obligations.
Herrera learned about APG from Julie MacCarthy, Ed.D Director of Career Planning and Placement at DCC. MacCarthy has been instrumental in the referral process for APG from DCC. As a gratified APG recipient, Herrera naturally recommends APG to students interested in fields in manufacturing. He contacted Edil Sandoval, a Career Planner at CAIC, to find out how his students could begin the APG application process— in an efficient and timely manner as the beginning of the semester approached.
Enters MacCarthy’s recommendation for Skype. As more DCC students shared their struggle to get to CAIC offices for enrollment, MacCarthy suggested Skype as an enrollment tool. Skype is an online software that enables face-to-face digital interaction via webcam, without the need for a physical meeting. After review and approval of this unconventional enrollment method, it was put into practice.
By way of Marvin Herrera’s act of “paying-it-forward”, MacCarthy’s dedication to student success, support from innovative communication systems, and a collaborative spirit shared by CAIC and Daley College, 6 students were successfully registered as recipients of America’s Promise Grant.
What did we learn from this case?
APG’s accessibility through CAIC is extensive, from Will County, Cook County, and Lake County in Indiana. Site-visits are not always possible. Dynamic tools like Skype make it more seamless to reach prime targets and provide a great channel for assisting with the enrollment process. As a seasoned workforce-development ally, CAIC is constantly learning and implementing ways to alleviate employment and education barrier. This story was a successful example of delivering APG to qualifying individuals with the collaborative efforts of CAIC staff, along with Daley College resources and staff.
Kristy Johns – Marketing Manager
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