Just as soon as I returned from the Hill after attending the 2014 National Skills Coalition Skills Summit and was beginning to settle back on to Central time, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin — fresh off a red-eye from the Hill — requested a visit on February 19 to meet some of our information technology professionals-in-training by touring our IT Career Lab.

During his visit, Senator Durbin visited our IT Career Lab classroom and got to experience our training firsthand. He asked the students about their employment status, how many had their degrees, and what they thought was holding them back from becoming employed. Senator Durbin spent some time in an open roundtable discussion with myself, Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Dan Seals, our Chief Information Officer Tom Jurlina, and our students. While my visits to the Hill last week were productive, having Senator Durbin sit in my office for an hour and talk with me about issues and initiatives affecting federal workforce legislation was absolutely  invaluable.

Each student was forthcoming about their challenges, but mostly, about how strongly they all believe that the opportunity to participate in our program would help them realize their value in the job market. All three of the students Senator Durbin met with during the roundtable are able to participate in IT Career Lab because of the assistance of the Workforce Investment Act.

To learn more about IT Career Lab, please click here