MARCH 16th MINUTES – Entire TASK FORCE Meeting


Members of the State Task Force on Developing Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults Who Are Jobless and Out-of- School and staff. The Public is welcome to attend.


March 16th, 2018

9:30 AM


James R. Thompson Center

100 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60601
16th Floor, Room 504

Conference Call: (712) 775-7031
Access Code: 792-934-887#


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Review of previous meeting minutes / edit and approval
  4. Review of the Committees’ work
    1. Data Committee
    2. Program, Policy and Finance Committee
    3. Professional Development Committee 
  5. Review Youth Employment Hearing at Malcolm X College on March 2, 2018
  6. Discuss Task Force Website – – Please review
  7. Schedule for next meetings
  8. Other
  9. Adjournment


  • In attendance or on call: Julio Rodriguez; Gretchen Lohman; Andrea Durbin; Reyahd Kazmi; Paul Vallas; Sheila Venson; Andrew Wells; David Whittaker; Kenneth Martin- Ocasio; Terri Lamb; Caitlyn Barnes; Molly Uhe-Edmonds; Anna Katter; Derek Cantu; Senator Dan McConchie; Senator Chuck Weaver; Katie with Senator Chuck Weaver; Representative Sonya Harper; Representative Keith Wheeler; Jack Wuest; Genessa Shultz; Grace Tran.
  • NOT in attendance or on call: Ricardo Johnson; Karina Ayala-Bermejo; Quiwana Bell; Senator Mattie Hunter; Senator Kim Lightford; Representative Fred Crespo; Representative Ryan Spain.
  1. Call to Order – Meeting called to order.
  2. Roll Call
  3. Review of previous meeting minutes / edit and approval
    1. Looking at previous minutes from January 18. No edits or changes. Andi Durbin moves to accept the minutes as presented. Sheila Venson seconds the motion. All in favor.
    2. Julio Rodriguez – Open Meetings Act. We have gotten all of the procedures for the Open Meetings Act.
  4. Review of the Committees’ work
    1. Data Committee
      1. Jack and Quiwana Bell are chairing the data committee. Jack has forwarded information from the hearing from March 2. 21 elected officials, young people, businesses – good discussion. Robin Robinson moderated. PR Newswire – connected with 16 million people nationally.
      2. Update membership list of Task Force. Anna – Governor can appoint three people from community groups to fill positions.
      3. Edwin from ASN has looked at a lot of data. If you look at enough counties, you get a reliable sample of joblessness/out of school (16-19); some samples big enough to break out by race.
      4. Review of lots of different type of data. We’ve looked at jobless-out- of- school that Great Lakes Institute has done. Data on kids with no diploma; ISBE – statewide dropout rate 2.2% snapshot in October; opiate crisis; Andrew with Urban League has done two studies (November and recently) about inner city and opiate issue. Gateway Foundation downstate.
      5. Alternative schools throughout IL – graduation rates?
      6. Truancy Program – attendance
      7. Safe Schools
      8. Regional Offices of Education – Jack wants to find out what association there is for ROEs – programs for dropouts. Downstate – may not have access to career & technical programs; not embedded as they are in Chicago.
      9. Effect of mobility on academic progress. Paul Vallas – tracked & evaluated students. Factor in mobility when assessing students’ performance.
      10. Center for Labor Market Studies – 2012 study – the cost for taxpayers is $290,000. REVEAL Podcast – looked at # of shootings in Chicago; they have not gone down.
      11. Molly will send report on graduation and mobility rates.
      12. Kenny & Molly – LGBTQ data. Not a lot of data bc youth do not want to identify. It bears mention that this is not a matter of the population not being represented – but rather the data gathering doesn’t lot allow us to capture it.
      13. Opiate use – consequences.
      14. Data committee meetings – happen on phone calls.
      15. U Chicago – study of millennials and the impact of automation/AI on the workforce. In the next decade – for the first time there is a switch, employers are more interested in stronger cognitive skills – creativity – you are working in much more technical environments and you must manage multiple things. We do not often expose young people to automation & these types of skills early enough. We need to look at the workforce trends that affect this population going forward. AI is moving very rapidly.
      16. Look into fields that will also require humans. Education, early childhood education, etc. Begin work early.
      17. Early childhood – Cradle to the Classroom – the prenatal to the classroom – it was the only program that eliminated all of the gaps. We hired parents who were on welfare and trained them to be parent advocates to go into the homes and target prenatal teens. Get everyone into prenatal care and were provided with early childhood/daycare services.
      18. Data committee is looking at the issues, the cost of doing nothing, what we save if we DO something, benefits of people receiving a diploma. College graduate.
      19. Industries that are looking to hire.
      20. Review state, city, county.
    2. Program, Policy and Finance Committee –
    3. Professional Development Committee – Andi Durbin. “Our committee has met twice. We have notes from the first one…we have not approved minutes from the second meeting yet. In the first meeting, we reviewed what we thought the charge was of the committee. We thought about who our audiences were – and we agreed audiences were both organizations that serve young people as well as employers. We talked about was collectively needed to bring employers to community.” – Higher risk population – pregnant and parenting youth; justice child welfare system, trauma. Second meeting in Springfield – had a fascinating presentation given by Young Invincibles – research on apprenticeship programs. Talked about barriers identified and support that has been successful. Looked at research reports that have come out. Trauma and mental health and the barrier that poses for employment. Next meeting: mid-April, looking at LGBT issues and teen parenting. Trauma/child welfare/employment.
      1. Andi – Trauma response – typically fight or flight/ or disengage. Coping strategies for trauma are terrible in the workplace – likely to be frustrating for employers who are unfamiliar with trauma response. Lots of education & awareness on the provider side of the general good workplace management skills when working with millennials – being clear and calm.
      2. Providers – how do you identify and recognize trauma as non-clinicians and support young people through it. Resources to refer young people to help. Oprah did a piece on 60 Minutes with Melissa Harris Perry – accessible way to learn more about the topic.
      3. Chuck Weaver – thought on employers – recruited a lot of employers over the years and they seldom say no. Employers do want to do the right thing for people, but we need the right balance. How do employers find value in employing young people? What are the kinds of support employers need? What is the onboarding process? How do we prepare young people for employment? Help young people identify what things trigger them, what their coping mechanisms might be. Helping young people rewire, recognize, take a deep breath, relax, etc.
      4. More trainings with HR and supervisors – get ahead of this without stigmatizing population of young people.
      5. Identifying and referring young people for additional treatment if they are not ready. We do not want to set up young people for failure. Emotional availability to work, get supervision, receive feedback.
  5. Review Youth Employment Hearing at Malcolm X College on March 2, 2018
  6. Discuss Task Force Website – – Please review
  7. Schedule for next meetings
    1. May 11, Friday
    2. July 13, Friday
    3. September 14, Friday
    4. October 26, Friday
    5. November 16, Friday
    6. December – couple of meetings
    7. Data Committee – meets next Thursday @ 2pm.
  8. Other – Future Hearing Dates
    1. Reyahd – can we set a time to do a hearing in the south? End of April most likely. Swift College – Granite City, community college. Near E St. Louis. May 7 or 14. Reyahd will talk to Swift & email everyone once he finds out.
    2. Mt Vernon Area – June 8 or 11. Julio Rodriguez.
    3. Kenny Martin-Ocasio, Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness – hearing in South Suburbs. June 18 or 19? Kenny will get back to the Task Force on sites.
    4. July 18-19- 20 – Chuck Weaver – Katie Johnson will send to other legislators. Perhaps late afternoon to accommodate WIOA schedule.
    5. Aurora – late July – July 23-27. Keith Wheeler.
    6. Rockford – mid-September 17-21?
  9. Adjournment – Move to adjourn – Andi; Julio seconded.