COD Awarded DEI Grant to Assist Students with Disabilities

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By Mike McKissack

College of DuPage recently received a grant through the Disability Employment Initiative designed to provide training and employment skills to individuals with disabilities. Open to District 502 community members aged 14 to 24 who disclose that they have a disability, the DEI program is designed to help students explore IT pathways and careers, complete an IT pathway program at College of DuPage and become gainfully employed.

“The DEI project brings together agencies throughout DuPage County to help students successfully complete an Information Technology (IT) program pathway and become employed in the IT field,” said College of DuPage DEI Grant Coordinator Jacqulyn Weaver. “Students will have opportunities to participate in job readiness boot camps, workshops, one-on-one career counseling, job shadowing, internships, special IT related events hosted at COD, and employer round table events, as well as a chance to receive grant funding for occupational training at College of DuPage.”

Weaver said that the DEI program at College of DuPage is a team effort consisting of a variety of organizations throughout DuPage County.

“We are thrilled to partner with AutonomyWorks, CompTIA, Downers Grove District 99 High School, DuPage County’s Workforce Development Division, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services to be able to offer help to underserved individuals who will make a wonderful addition to the workforce and the local economy,” Weaver said. “Students at College of DuPage are exposed to the different services that each partner agency has to offer and the partners then form a team for the student to ensure that he or she is on the path to success.”

A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration and the Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Disability Employment Initiative brings together local, state and Federal agencies, as well as community-based agencies and organizations to create effective and meaningful participation of individuals with disabilities in the workforce. From 2010 to 2015, the Department of Labor has awarded over $100 million to 43 initiatives within 27 states through six rounds of projects. Recent DEI cooperative agreements incorporate a Career Pathway focus and are fully aligned with the goals and objectives of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

For more information about the DEI program at College of DuPage, contact Jacqulyn Weaver at or (630) 942-2258.

College of DuPage is an accredited community college that serves more than 29,000 students each term. The College, which grants nine associate degrees and more than 170 certificates in 100 areas of study, is the second largest provider of public undergraduate education in Illinois.

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