CHICAGO (CBS) – It used to be that community college students would learn the basics: reading, writing, ‘rithmatic.
Chicago’s City Colleges have been going in a different direction by preparing students for careers in manufacturing, information technology and hospitality.
Richard J. Daley College, for example, is specializing in advanced manufacturing skills that are in demand in the work force, with UPS and Solo Cup as partnering companies. Wilbur Wright College focuses on IT, with the help of companies like Motorola and Google.
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Kennedy-King College focuses on hospitality and culinary arts, with Heaven on Seven owner Jimmy Bannos serving as a mentor.
“Myself and my other partners in the industry are going to do everything we possibly can to get these young kids and whoever’s in the program into our restaurants and teach them and show them what exactly it is to succeed,” Bannos said.
One Daley student Mayor Emanuel chatted with Wednesday, who’s graduating in six weeks, made a critical connection with the HR director of Solo Cups.
“It’s very encouraging and it’s very exciting to know there are so many possibilities,” Pedro Corniel said as the Emanuel administration gave a status report to the media.
Emanuel said the partnerships with industry will help students get in the door.
“The most important thing — to get the interview,” he said.
Previously announced city college alignments include Macolm X and health care, and its ties to Rush Medical Center; Harold Washington’s business and professional services curriculum, created by Aon, among others, and Olive Harvey’s relationship with United Airlines for transportation and distribution logistics.