Parkland College Connects Students With Local Jobs

Isael Vasquez, Parkland College I-CAPS graduate

Isael Vasquez, Parkland College I-CAPS graduate

Mark Schultz/Illinois Public Media

Parkland College in Champaign is working to train and connect students with good-paying jobs. It’s called the Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System, or I-CAPS, program.

I-CAPS is part of a state-wide initiative to give students technical and academic training to fill needed jobs locally.

Parkland’s program is in welding.

Isael Vazquez from Paxton, got a welding job after going through the Parkland program and he says he was well-prepared.

"I knew what I had to do, step by step, inspecting, creating things, and making solutions when I had a problem," Vasquez commented.

He spoke at Parkland Tuesday, where the Illinois Community College Board announced a strategic plan to implement the I-CAPS program across the state.

Kelly Boykin is another graduate of the Parkland welding program. He added that when he started he knew nothing about welding, but now he's found a new career path.

"I want to become a motorcycle repairman and do independent fabrication because know I know I can do it," Boykin said.

Parkland officials hope to expand their job training program into the manufacturing, health care, transportation and computer sectors.

For more information about the I-CAPS program, visit the Illinois Community College Board website.

Story source: WILL