Rauner signs Weaver bill to create career-focused apprenticeship program

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High school students will soon have another option to help prepare them for their future careers, thanks to a new law sponsored by State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria).

Signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday, House Bill 5247 requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to adopt rules that would allow students 16 years and older to participate in industry-based occupational apprenticeship programs.

“Illinois has a lot of challenging and interesting jobs that require training beyond high school, but not necessarily a college degree,” Weaver said. “This new law will help students prepare for these jobs after high school graduation, giving them a boost as they work toward successful careers.”

The standards of the programs will be reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. The ISBE rules will allow students to waive certain non-academic graduation requirements that would otherwise stop them from being able to take part in the apprenticeship programs.

The new law is part of a push by Weaver to improve K-12 education in the state.

The bill has an immediate effective date.

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