NEW REPORT FOCUSES ON REGION'S IT WORKFORCE
A comprehensive plan to support and enhance the Chicago area's growing high-tech sectors was presented in a new report titled "Building a World-Class Information Technology Workforce for the Chicago Region: A Framework for Action."
The report's findings are based on a study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Great Cities Institute and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, with support from the MacArthur Foundation.
The report is intended for use by business, education and policy leaders in promoting further growth and stability in the Chicago region's IT economy, according to Davis Jenkins, a researcher at the UIC Great Cities Institute and co-director of the study.
Judith Kossy, co-director for the study and director of policy at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, said the application of information technology across sectors - including government and non-profits - has been a key source of the region's vitality in recent years and will be crucial to its continued prosperity.
"That's why it is so important to take steps to build the region's IT workforce, even in the midst of the current downturn," Kossy said.
UIC and the council have presented the report's framework for action to workforce investment boards and other policymaking bodies throughout the metropolitan region.
Linda Kaiser, executive director of the Chicago Workforce Board, said what board members like about this study is that it presents concrete actions that will have a long-term payoff for Chicago and the region.
"We've already begun to take some of the steps recommended in the report," Kaiser said.
Dennis Sienko, executive director of the American Electronics Association's Midwest Council, which represents the region's major high-tech firms, said member companies have had long-standing concerns over sustained development of information technology workers.
"IT career pathway maps presented in the report are what high-tech firms in the region have been looking for," Sienko said.
The report is available on the UIC Great Cities Web site at www.uic.edu/cuppa/gci/. Hard copies can be ordered from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning by calling (312) 499-2675.
The Great Cities Institute serves as the University of Illinois at Chicago's focal point for new initiatives in interdisciplinary, applied urban research. The institute is part of the university's Great Cities commitment. Through Great Cities, UIC engages with civic, community, corporate and government partners to discover solutions to challenges facing cities, improve the quality of life in urban environments, and share new knowledge on urban issues with the Chicago metropolitan area and cities around the world.
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning provides colleges and universities, companies, labor organizations and state and local governments with the tools and strategies they need for creating practical, effective lifelong learning solutions.
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