SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Looking to spur interest in trade schools that can lead to good-paying career opportunities, state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, has proposed creating a Task Force on Illinois Trade Schools.

“Trade schools used to play a larger role in training individuals for long-term careers,” Ford said. “Particularly in Chicago, we need to get back toward giving people an opportunity to pursue stable, high-earning careers that will be in demand. College is not the only successful path for many.”

Ford on Sunday introduced House Resolution 796, which would create the Task Force on Illinois Trade Schools to:

  • Study the benefits of expanding trade schools throughout the state,
  • Review how high school districts in Illinois handle trade curriculum and courses, and
  • Examine the level of interest among students in Illinois high schools on attending a trade school or beginning work versus attending a four-year college or university.

Task force participants would include representatives from industry trades, higher education members and students. A final report would be scheduled for delivery to the General Assembly before the end of the year.

“There’s a lot of demand for high-skill jobs, and I believe we have an incredibly talented workforce that just needs to be connected to these opportunities,” Ford said. “In particular we need to make sure our youth understand what options they have. This task force can help us make sure we’re unlocking our workforce potential, helping to drive our economy in the days ahead.”

Rep. La Shawn FordRep. La Shawn Ford

8th District

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