Education & Workforce Development


DeKalb County affords numerous comprehensive workforce development services and has initiated career development programs to recruit and train workers for current and future jobs.

Why job training? 10 Myths about Training Within Industry Job Instruction (IMEC)

Top of page

Northern Illinois University | Kishwaukee College | DeKalb Ogle Workforce Development Consortium | Kishwaukee Education Consortium | Illinois workNet Center | Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

***Current Courses/Development Opportunities***

DCEDC News & Media – Upcoming Events/Opportunities

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University (NIU) located in DeKalb, is a prominent economic engine in DeKalb County. NIU’s economic impact on the northern Illinois region is estimated to be $895 million. The university routinely partners with industry and national laboratories on cutting edge research and product development.

NIU is also partnering on community development initiatives, including the STEAM Center with City of DeKalb; enhancing arts, culture and entertainment with DeKalb Arts Council; and innovation & entrepreneurship initiatives with #ProudlyDeKalb.

NIU Career Services
Career Services professionals actively guide students in securing internships and job placements with local business, and in enhancing their work experience through the Job PLUS Program.

NIU Quick Facts
NIU Regional Campuses
Colleges, Schools, & Departments

Kishwaukee College


Kishwaukee College
(KC) is a two-year community college located approximately five miles west of DeKalb in Malta. KC offers five transfer degrees as well as occupational degrees and certificates. KC assists students with internships and job placement, while providing businesses with a well-prepared and capable talent pool.

KC also operates the DeKalb Illinois workNet Center, located off-campus on Peace Road in DeKalb. It assists job seekers by providing valuable guidance in career changes, job searches, and reemployment, as well as enrollment in education and training classes. Check out this month’s Services and Activities!

About Kishwauke College
Academic Divisions
Career Technologies
Adult Education & Transition Programs

DeKalb Ogle Workforce Development Consortium

The DeKalb Ogle Workforce Development Consortium (DOWDC) connects local students and businesses to build successful pathways to careers through hands-on learning experiences and exposure to a variety of career opportunities, including careers in manufacturing and building trades. The DOWDC prepares students for entering the workforce in the local community with specific, employable skills. Whether it is through an internship, job shadowing, or a job itself, the consortium offers countless resources to build your resume with applicable skills to connect you to a future career.

During 2016, over 400 students participated in company tours, industry trade shows, and career exploration activities. Additionally, 26 students were placed in summer jobs and internships and dozens enrolled in vocational training classes and degree programs at the Kishwaukee Education Consortium (KEC), KC, and NIU.

September 2017DOWDC Heavy Metal Tour Recap!

March 2017: DOWDC “Assemble ur Career” Tour Success!

2016 Annual Report from the Industrial Workforce Coordinator

Contact Gene Fogle, Industrial Workforce Coordinator, for further information.
Email: GFogle@dcedc.org
Phone: 815-754-2397 (Office) or 815-593-0865 (Mobile)

Kishwaukee Education Consortium

The Kishwaukee Education Consortium (KEC), located on the KC Campus in Malta, offers career and technical classes to more than 450 junior and senior high students, with dual credit available for no charge to students in 17 different award-winning classes. Classes include Automated Engineering Technology, Building Trades, Computer Information Systems, Diesel Power, Mass Communications, and Welding.

Current KEC Partners include DeKalb CUSD #428, Genoa-Kingston CUSD #424, Hiawatha CUSD #426, Sycamore CUSD #427, Rochelle CUSD #231, and Kishwaukee College.

Career & Technical Education Classes

Illinois workNet Center

The local Illinois workNet Center, located in DeKalb, provides job seeker and employer services in conjunction with Kishwaukee College. Job seeker services include computer access, job search assistance, on-site job placement, and financial aid for training. Employer services include assistance with finding qualified candidates, pre-employment assessments, customized training, and on-the-job training programs that provide hands-on training with up to 50% reimbursement to employers for as long as six months of the wages.

Illinois workNet Center

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides access to resources and services for individuals looking to develop skills for successful employment and to employers in need of skilled workers. Additionally, WIOA provides better access to education and workforce services for those who may encounter employment obstacles, such as veterans, individuals with disabilities, out-of-school, or at-risk youth.

Kane/Kendall/DeKalb Workforce Development Services
DCEDC partners with the Kane/Kendall/DeKalb Workforce Development Board, whose board members are appointed by the participating County Board Chairmen. The Workforce Development Board assists and advises local elected officials regarding the use of Federal workforce development funds. The Board provides services to ready the workforce for employment through federally-funded programs under WIOA.

KC WIOA Youth Program
Kishwaukee College students, who are residents of DeKalb County, can potentially qualify for services under WIOA to support and assist them with their education and training if they meet the income and eligibility requirements.

U.S. Dept. of Labor WIOA website