Welcome to the Will Works Podcast, powered by the Workforce Center of Will County. Get ready to hear about all things workforce development in Will County. Your host is Patrick Hall, Employer Relations Coordinator for Joliet Junior College – Workforce Development. To learn more, visit will.works
E36: Advancing Disability Inclusive Employment: A Global Perspective
In this episode Patrick interviews Ricky Esterquest, founder of Towards Better, a social enterprise consultancy in Townsville, Australia. Ricky discusses the current workforce landscape in Australia, best practices for disability inclusion and success stories from partnerships between government, businesses, and people with disabilities. As former roommates turned international colleagues, Patrick and Ricky compare their experiences to identify both the progress made and work still needed in supporting inclusive employment.
E35: Community-Driven Commerce: How Local Owners Are Revitalizing Downtown
This is the third and final episode in a series focused on the revitalization and growth underway in downtown Joliet. Tune in for a conversation with several small business owners located downtown who discussed choosing to open up shop in downtown Joliet, the tight-knit community among local business owners, and their efforts to engage with and give back to the local community. Some of the businesses highlighted included a coffee shop, plant store, bistro, record store, and vintage shop. Discover the importance of shopping locally, visiting the diverse array of small businesses downtown, and supporting continued development in downtown Joliet.
E34: Downtown Joliet Spotlight: Tourism, Entertainment, and More
This episode is the second in a series on downtown Joliet, focusing on tourism, attractions, and events happening in the downtown area. Guests include Heather Mills from the Joliet Slammers baseball team, Ron Romero from the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum, Megan Millen from the Joliet Public Library, Wade Welsh from the Rialto Square Theater, and Vicki Sanchez and Priscilla Cordero from the City Center Partnership. They discuss local attractions like the library, theater, and museum, upcoming events, and how these offerings help drive economic growth for the downtown businesses.
E33: The Evolution of Downtown Joliet: Rich History Meets Exciting Future
This episode is the first in a series on downtown Joliet and provides an overview of the history and future economic development plans for the city center. Interim City Manager Rod Tonelli shares insights on Joliet's origins as an industrial hub, and the many historic buildings and landmarks downtown. Joliet City Center Partnership Executive Director Priscilla Cordero discusses current efforts to increase residential density, attract new businesses, and revitalize historic sites, along with future goals like a new city square and commercial kitchen. Tune in to learn about downtown's rich past and tremendous potential for growth.
E32: The Center for Academic Success in Healthcare: Supporting Healthcare Students at JJC
This episode features a conversation with Kwame Osafo, manager of the Center for Academic Success in Healthcare (CASH) at JJC. Kwame shares his unique journey from Ghana to education and how he's contributing to the vision of enhancing healthcare education through the PATH grant. Funded by the state of Illinois, this initiative provides financial aid, support services, and career development to healthcare students, including nursing, EMS, Radiology technology, and more. From eligibility requirements to the application process and benefits like tuition coverage and childcare, this conversation is filled with invaluable insights for anyone interested in healthcare certificates and degrees. Visit www.jjc.edu/path-grant to learn more and take the first step towards achieving your healthcare profession dreams!
E31: Making Diversity, Equity and Inclusion a Priority in Organizations
Jeri C. Perkins, CEO and Founder of Impact Action Network Advocacy Consulting Agency, joins the program to provide an overview of her organization and how companies can strengthen their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Jeri shares success stories and reveals some of the biggest challenges that exist to making DEI a priority. She also discusses the concept of "educating to liberate" and how communities and organizations can improve their DEI efforts.