In the State of Illinois, the public and private sector alike are conducting a broad number of efforts pertaining to education, workforce development, and economic development through a lens of career pathways. In 2015, Bloomington-Normal-McLean County formulated a strategy to advance the region's vitality and foster growth , the BN Advantage. This initiative was formed from a comprehensive economic development analysis that identified target sectors for the region that have the highest potential for business retention, recruitment, and startup activity. The four orginal identified key industries included Advance Business Serivces, Information & Communicaitons Technologies, Agribusiness and Food Processing, and Transportation and Logsitics. The career cluster list was expanded to also include Health Sciences and Enterpreneurship since initial report was released.
While this page highlights only six career clusters, in total there are currently 16 Career Clusters in the Naitonal Career Clusters Framework, which represent more then 79 Careetr Pathways aimed to help student nativate their way to greater success in college and career. In Illinois, this college and career pathways approach envisions that residents will be enabled to progressively build toward college and career success through aligned education, training, and employment opportunities over their lifetime. Career pathways in Illinois are administered by a variety of private, state, and local entities; and thus several state education and workforce committees, including an extensive base of stakeholders, developed agreed-upon definitions to ensure alignment across agencies, legal frameworks, and initiatives. To learn more about Illinois Pathways and the Illinois' Unified State Framework for College and Career Readiness and Success check out the Career Pathways Dictionary or view the Illinois State Board of Education's Career Guide for more information about career options.