DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College's Accelerating Opportunities program will hold an orientation session at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Prairie Hall, Room 106, at the main campus, 2000 E. Main St.
The program is for people 16 and older, and the orientation is for fall classes that begin Aug. 12.
Accelerating Opportunities is a grant-funded initiative that pairs adult basic education with career instruction in health care and automotive technology areas, allowing students to simultaneously earn a high school equivalency certificate and a CNA or automotive repair certificate in about 1 1/2 years.
The initiative is funded through a partnership of five of the nation's leading philanthropies — the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Open Societies Foundations — so there's no cost to students. Tuition is waived and books and most certified nursing assistant and automotive repair course expenses are covered.
The program was established to assist the more than 1.8 million adults in Illinois who lack a high school diploma.
By 2018, 64 percent of all jobs in the state will require workers with some form of post-secondary training, according to a study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
The goal is not only to get people jobs with family-sustaining wages, but also to encourage them to further their education. Students who complete the program will have 12 hours of college credit toward an associate degree.
For information, call program coordinator Kathy Leary at 443-8585.