A delegation from the World Bank is scheduled to visit Chicago this week to explore whether a partnership between the City Colleges of Chicago and leaders in high-growth industries could be duplicated around the world.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched the Colleges to Careers program in 2011 as an effort to ensure students received the skills they need to get a job and businesses would have a stable, properly trained labor market.
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He called the visit by more than a dozen economists and education specialists a sign of the program's success.
"Years ago, Chicago was known as having one of the worst community college systems. Now the World Bank is visiting," Emanuel said. "That's a big change."
More than 100 corporations and organizations have partnered with the City Colleges of Chicago on the initiative. The companies help design curriculum and students get access to industry experts as well as to internships and jobs.
Six colleges are participating, each with a focus on a different high-growth industry. They are: health care; business; information technology; culinary and hospitality; transportation, distribution and logistics and advanced manufacturing.
Companies that are part of the program include United Airlines, Allstate and Advocate Healthcare Systems.
The World Bank is an international organization that helps its partner countries with economic development.
The group is expected to be in Chicago Tuesday and Wednesday. Officials will visit training sites and learn about the experiences of employers and students.
"This will be a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience for the purpose of generating innovative solutions to this important global challenge," said Elizabeth King, education director for the World Bank.