Youth Services




The Workforce Connection provides opportunities for  young people to access programs to complete their education, receive training and build a foundation for future employment success.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity (WIOA) Youth Programs
The Workforce Connection offers access to federally-funded programs that provide education and job training opportunities for young people between the ages of 14 – 24.  

            The Workforce Connection Elevate Program for young people in Boone and Winnebago Counties

            Elevate-Stephenson Program for young people living in Stephenson County

The goal of all programs for in-school youth is to help the youth be successful in school, enabling them to graduate and continue their education/training and/or gain unsubsidized employment. In addition to tutoring youth in school subjects and counseling/mentoring the youth, all in-school programs provide career awareness and work readiness activities.

Programs for youth who have dropped out of school emphasize the importance of youth returning to school or obtaining a GED as a basic step on their road to success. Programs provide basic skills, GED instruction, tutoring, counseling, mentoring, career exploration, work experience, and job placement assistance. The programs also provide follow-up mentoring for at least one year after the youth exit the program.

* Programs for the In-School Youth serve youth 14-21. Programs for Out-of-School Youth serve youth 17-24.


Job Corps
Job Corps is the largest residential education and training progoram in the US for disadvantaged youth between the ages of 16 and 24.  Its mission is to help disadvantaged young people become responsible, employable and productive citizens by providing them with opportunities to develop the vocational, educational and social skills to suceed.

For more information, call Bonnie Mabie, the local Job Corps representative, at 815-395-0535 or email .

Click here for more information about Job Corps.


YouthBuilid is a community-based alternative education program that provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24. Youth learn construction skills while constructing or rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in their own neighborhoods. Youth split their time between the construction site and the classroom, where they earn their GED or high school diploma, learn to be community leaders, and prepare for college and other postsecondary training opportunities. YouthBuild includes significant support systems, such as a mentoring, follow-up education, employment, and personal counseling services; and participation in community service and civic engagement. There are over 220 DOL funded YouthBuild programs in 43 states, including the Rockford area.  

For more information, contact YouthBuild Rockford  
email    phone- 815-963-6236.

Click here for more information about YouthBuild Rockford


Hire the Future
Hire the Future, a program sponsored by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, is designed to facilitate the transition of high school students to adulthood and the workplace. The program provides students with exposure to the workplace environment, including an understanding of work requirements and necessary education and skills.

Hire the Future works to develop positions with area businesses.  In the past, the program has helped to place students in retail, restaurant, fast food, health care, distribution, banking, child care  and business positions.