Prairie State College Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council

CHICAGO HEIGHTS—(ENEWSPF)—December 9, 2014. Prairie State College (PSC) recently received a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for its 2014 project in the category of Special Purpose Print Brochure for communities with populations of 25,000 – 200,000.

The award recognized the “Steelworker for the Future” career pathway brochure, and was presented during the IEDC Annual Conference in Fort Worth Texas.

In a region where the demise of local manufacturing has had devastating consequences, convincing students to enter the industrial workforce previously was a challenge. The “Steelworker for the Future” career pathway brochure meets that challenge by highlighting a vibrant, high-earning career opportunity. PSC, along with the marketing staff of ArcelorMittal USA, the world’s largest steel company, has demonstrated how academia and industry successfully work together to build qualified employees. 

Industrial technology students in PSC’s 2.5 year associate degree program are prepared through classroom learning and hands-on training for ArcelorMittal employment opportunities that pay more than three times the U.S. median salary. Using compelling visuals provided by ArcelorMittal’s marketing department, concrete salary information about steelworkers’ earning potential (with entry-level positions topping out at $90,000 per year), and course sequence information, PSC’s brochure has become the model for other colleges in the “Steelworker for the Future” cohort. This pathway brochure is now the model for other PSC career programs as well. 

As a result, Industrial Electricity enrollment has increased dramatically. ArcelorMittal actively recruits qualified PSC program graduates to its workforce, illustrating PSC’s tagline: Start Near, Go Far.

“PSC’s Steelworker for the Future career pathway brochure effectively draws students’ attention to a high-paying career opportunity with ArcelorMittal, while clearly outlining the program’s degree requirements,” said Cathy Kloss, director of development and special projects, who submitted the nomination.  “PSC is proud that our brochure successfully recruits students to the program and has become a model for other colleges in the cohort.”

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

“Economic development efforts have long been a keystone in the quest to bolster the economy and improve quality of life in every locality across the country,” said Bill Sproull, IEDC chair. “As the nation continues to tackle challenges in the midst of global uncertainty, these efforts have taken on an even greater significance. With this award, we laud trendsetting organizations like Prairie State College for leading the charge.”


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