Community Colleges Step Up for Workers
For all the tough times this recession has brought, few have been hit harder than thousands of suburban workers whose jobs have been cut.
The livelihood that put food on the table and paid for the roof overhead is gone, in many cases forcing a career change in a tight market. Making things worse is the fact technology is causing upheaval in some business models. Job descriptions that once made for a good living are disappearing right before our eyes. And, for anyone facing the prospect of starting a new career at midlife, it has to be downright scary.
One port in the storm has been suburban community colleges, which Daily Herald staff writer Matt Arado found have stepped up to provide some creative programs designed to help displaced workers get back on their feet.
True, community colleges usually see an increase in interest during tough economic times, but this year that interest is off the charts.
A job fair hosted by College of Lake County saw roughly 1,500 job-seekers, double the usual number. Harper College, McHenry County College and Elgin Community College have each seen big increases in returning adults. College of DuPage reports double the usual number of people are inquiring about workshops explaining what the school offers to adult learners.
This reliance on higher education comes at a time when colleges and universities in Illinois face their own economic woes. …