Vienna High School Receives $1.4 Million Investment in Laborers’ High School Program

On December 1, 2023, the Southern Illinois Leadership Community, consisting of secondary, postsecondary, and industry leaders throughout the 17 southernmost counties, gathered to celebrate Vienna High School’s recent announcement of a 1.4M U.S. Department of Labor’s investment to advance the  Laborers’ High School Construction Craft Preparation Program. Awarded to Vienna High School in collaboration with Laborers’ Local 773 and extended to six area high schools, the program supports the group’s regional, collaborative approach to increasing capacity to train and retain local talent. A leader in this work, Vienna school superintendent Joshua Stafford shared program implementation details and noted ways this model has been and could be replicated to reach more students, support local employers, and strengthen career connections. Convened monthly by Southern Illinois Now (SI Now) and its Education and Workforce Development Task Force, the group also shared updates from recent meetings between employers and educators regarding internships and other experiential learning opportunities in the group’s identified industry focus areas as they pursue the Leadership Community’s two-year goals.

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