A combination of rigorous and high-quality education, training, and other services that aligns both vertically and horizontally across Secondary Education, Adult Education, Workforce Training and Development, Career and Technical Education, and Postsecondary Education systems, pathways and programs. It includes collaborative partnerships with these entities, business and industry, along with human services agencies, corrections and other community stakeholders, as a foundational structure for sustainability and high quality. Multiple entry and exit points are included to facilitate individuals building their skills as they progress along a continuum of education and training and advance in sector-specific employment.
The Illinois Workforce Innovation Board envisions ten success elements for serving opportunity youth. These elements demonstrate the principles, strategies, and criteria in the Illinois' Unified State Plan and how various funding sources may be blended for full regional ownership and sustainability:
1. Partnerships with education, employers, and workforce boards to plan and leverage resources;
2. Business engagement in developing and managing career pathway programs;
3. Credentials, certifications, and/or postsecondary access that result from career pathway programs;
4. High-demand industries and higher skill occupations that meet youth earnings and career goals;
5. Work-based learning opportunities to experience the work-place;
6. Individual career/employment plans for each youth participant;
7. Individual supports available to meet the unique needs of each participant;
8. Contextualized learning and work-based skills that prepare youth for employment;
9. Measurement of results and continuous improvement methodology to enhance program quality; and
10. Sustainability plans that connect the program to broader, long-term employment strategies.