MAY 10th MINUTES – Policy, Program and Finance Committee Meeting


Members of the State Task Force Policy, Program and Finance Committee and Staff. Public is welcome to attend.


May 10th, 2018

2:30 PM


Conference Call: (888) 330-9549
Access Code: 230540#


  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Review minutes from May 10 meeting.
  4. Discussion about key search words for program, policy, and financing areas (see attached).
  5. Other
  6. Adjourn


  • In attendance on call: Andrew Wells, Chicago Urban League, Kenneth; Martin Ocasio, Aunt Martha’s; Jack Wuest, Alternative Schools Network;
    Katie Kelly, Peoria Police Department for Senator Chuck Weaver, 37 th District; Senator Chuck Weaver
  • NOT in attendance on call: Karrie Rueter, IDHS; Karina Ayala-Bermejo, IDPL; Sheila Venson, Youth Connection Charter School; Demarr Smith – THRIVE; Paul Vallas, CSU; David Whittaker, CAP; Reyahd Kazmi, NYAP; Micaela Vargas – Commissioner Bridget Gainer; Caitlyn Barnes, ICCB
  1. Call to Order.
    1. Meeting was called to order by: Jack Wuest calls the meeting to order.
  2. Roll Call:
    1. Andrew Wells
    2. Kenneth Martin-Ocasio
    3. Jack Wuest
    4. Katie Kelly – Peoria
    5. Senator Chuck Weaver
  3. Review minutes from April 5 meeting
    1. Motion to approve the minutes – Katie makes motion to approve.
    2. Motion seconded – Andrew seconds the motion.
    3. All in favor
  4. Program areas for us to research and document best program practices that provide comprehensive services including:
    1. Education:
      1. Best practice schools for youth 16-20
      2. Adult high school programs for 20-24 year olds and older
      3. GED or similar competency-based high school programs
      4. Programs combining education and work directly, like YouthBuild, apprenticeship programs, etc.
    2. Employment:
      1. Summer employment programs – linked to education
      2. Year-round employment programs – linked to education
      3. Internships (paid or unpaid) leading to employment
      4. Job preparation and linkage to private sector jobs with ongoing support and follow-up
    3. Housing Support
    4. Addiction Prevention and Rehabilitation
    5. Re-entry Programs
    6. Ensuring that programs have LGBTQIA+ sensitivity
    7. Programs for youth and young adults with disabilities
    8. Transportation
    9. Other
  5. Discussion:
    1. Hearing taking place on May 14 in Granite City, set up by Reyahd Kazmi and Debra Valencia. Testimonies from this hearing will give us more ideas for areas to research.
    2. Report from UIC – Great Cities Institute – provides numbers for youth in metropolitan and rural areas.The release of this report is tied together with the hearing in Granite city.
    3. Jack will talk to Katie (Sen. Chuck Weaver) to discuss a hearing during the third week of July. Send materials to set up hearing.
    4. Next hearings – Mt. Vernon (Katie Lively, Julio Rodriguez) June 14 or 15; South Suburbs (Kenneth Martin-Ocasio) June 25.
    5. Labor shortages – Senator Chuck Weaver hears that people are struggling; most common is welding. “The difficult thing is we’ve always had a cyclical work environment based on global economy. Maybe it’s common everywhere, but we really feel it a lot.”
    6. Labor shortages, immigration rate and birth rates. Check out the Wall Street Journal article.
    7. Katie – Peoria Public Schools & Caterpillar. Successful shop classes for high-risk students; working 3 hours day/5 days a week, $12/hr. No one missed a day of work. All students are graduating: 2 were giving job offers, 2 are going to college. Katie will send information to Grace – good example of life skills and soft skills.
    8. Katie – talked to Director of Court Services – youth and adults on probation – AOIC requirements and structure for program. Validated risk assessment prioritizes what needs to be addressed first. Recidivism-based risk; so many of the things that are causing people to repeat offend also keep them from other opportunities (work, school). Katie will send it to Grace.
    9. Jack – ASN has 10 students in a culinary program– mixing work & education can really draw kids in.
    10. Senator Weaver – are we accumulating our top 3 or top 5 recommendations?
    11. Jack – it will come together in September and October, and we’ll file our report by December. We are collecting a lot of information now on best program ideas and policies that have supported them and what has financed it. Looking at what other states are doing – connecting the bridge between youth who are out of school/labor shortages; social skills; other skills to help kids get into advanced training programs. Working more on research during June & July. In 2000, a summer youth employment program was cancelled. Training; how to find a job; resume building; social skills.
    12. Resources from Andrew & Kenny for youth. Kenny – we can all share the tools to do some hard-core assessing of needs for youth population before placing into employment.
    13. Andrew – a pilot in 2015 that works with opportunity youth who are between 16 and 24. We are providing job readiness training and also have hard-skills training, technology certification, supply chain management, solar TV installation training, etc. Youth are going through 3-week modules where they receive soft skills, cognitive behavior therapy, and hard skills training. Out of the 61 youth since last July, 48 completed full modules and 46 have jobs and are still in jobs. For youth who did not complete the modules, there is continual contact. Staying strong with retention rates. Considering stipends. Support services provided: transportation, clothing, housing, etc. CBT – Angela Hamilton runs youth development department that focuses on social-emotional learning (SEL). We have a person who works with individuals and groups on traumatic events, why they don’t finish certain things, coping mechanisms, dealing with reality and home situation, etc. Services are provided after youth are placed in work – phone calls to make sure youth are following goals and are on task. Working with Black Lives Matter – two gangs that went through a cohort; one youth now works at Chase Bank. Other young people see the success and are now interested in joining the program. Youth as ambassador for the program. Amazon has been at the Chicago Urban League 3 days a week, recruiting. They have hired 522 people – through the CUL and the community.
  6. Policies – Discussion of policies, locally in Illinois and other areas across the country; discussion for areas to research as it relates to best program practices in the areas listed above.
  7. Financing for best practice programming – Discussion for areas to research. What are various ways being used through government level financing to fund these programs?
    1. New York General Assembly – financing
  8. Other
    1. Guidelines for state certification process for adult high schools
  9. Adjournment
    1. Motion to adjourn – Kenny makes a motion to adjourn.
    2. Motion seconded – Katie seconds the motion.
    3. All in favor
  10. Meeting adjourned.
  11. The next Program, Policy, and Finance Committee meeting will be a call-in meeting on Thursday, June 7 at 2:30 pm at this number – 888-330 9549, use code 230540#.