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Lt. Governor Simon to tour Midwest Technical Institute
Simon continue efforts to increase career credentials, job placements
SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is visiting the Midwest Technical Institute (MTI) today in an effort to learn more about how for-profit schools can benefit students looking for a quick entry into the workforce.
“It is essential to prepare our students to succeed in today’s job market,” said Simon. “It is my hope that by visiting vocational schools I can help foster academic success and promote job creation in rural areas and across the state. Illinois is fortunate to have a range of schools ready to meet those needs.”
During Simon’s visit, she will speak with MTI students, view classes in progress and tour facilities. Established in 1995, MTI is a vocational school providing course offerings in busy career fields that include: welding, heating and air conditioning repair, nursing, dentistry and medicine. According to its web site, MTI has a 100 percent job placement rate in its Dental Assistant Program. The United States Department of Labor reports the median pay for a dental assistant is over $33,000 while MTI notes a median loan debt for the program being $5,474.
“I am aware of concerns about the default rates and questionable credentials of some for-profit schools and believe the best way to learn more about a topic is to go straight to the source,” Simon said. “I hope to count MTI as a partner in our state’s college and career readiness movement.”
Previously, Simon has visited the state’s 48 community colleges and 12 public universities to see how the schools are working to improve completion rates and workforce development, and gather ideas on how the state can help schools overcome barriers to completion goals. Affordability is the most significant non-academic barrier to students seeking career and college credentials, Simon said.
As the chair of the Joint Educational Leadership Committee, Simon is working to increase to 60 percent the proportion of working-age adults in Illinois with meaningful college degrees or certificates by 2025.
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