State Task Force on Developing Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults Who Are Jobless and Out-of-School


That the purpose of the Task Force is to examine policies, programs, and other issues related to developing a variety of successful approaches using best program practices for out-of-school and jobless youth students, with the goal of improving their education, work-related, and social development skills, so that they can successfully enter the workforce and become productive adults.

  1. The Task Force will conduct a series of public hearings and listening sessions throughout the State to discuss the issues of jobless and out-of-school youth including youth without a high school diploma and low-attending high school students who need opportunities to become successful adults.
  2. The Task Force will examine their impact on various regions of the State and complete a review of data regarding out-of-school and jobless youth comparing Illinois with other states in the region and nationally.
  3. The Task Force will complete a review of various financing and funding mechanisms used by other states, counties, cities, foundations, and other financial funding sources.
  4. The Task Force will submit a final report with recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 31, 2018, on ways to address these challenges.

Youth and young adults, ages 16 to 24, who fall into two groups need opportunities to become successful adults: (1) those who are neither working nor in school, including those without a high school diploma, and (2) those who are low-attending, jobless high school students; these individuals are in need of opportunities to succeed as adults; according to a recent study by the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  In 2014, there were 190,945 youth and young adults (16 to 24 years old) who were jobless and out-of-school in Illinois; of those, 46,501 were between 16 and 19 years of age and 144,444 between the ages of 20 and 24; and of these 190,945 jobless and out-of-school youth and young adults, 73,130 were white, 39,712 Hispanic, and 78,103 were African American.  The vast majority of these youth and young adults who are neither working nor in school, including those without a high school diploma and those who are low-attending jobless high school students, come from low-income areas in both Chicago and downstate; and many of these youth and young adults need opportunities to become successful adults and would benefit from education and employment opportunities if these opportunities are structured using evidence based/best program practices of smaller, more flexible, and more structured comprehensive programming to address their education, work, and social development needs. 

Board/Commission/Task Force Requirements

Training Requirements

Please visit the link above to view the training requirements for this Board/Commission/Committee/Task Force.

The enabling legislation can be found here: Legislation SJR10 



Governor Bruce Rauner, represented by  Anna Katter
Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti represented by Derek Cantu 
Majority Caucus Whip 3rd District Senator Mattie Hunter, Task Force Co-Chair 
Assistant Majority Leader 4th District Senator Kim Lightford
26th District Senator Dan McConchie
37th District Senator Chuck Weaver
Representative 6th District Sonya Harper, Task Force Co-Chair
Representative 44th District Fred Crespo
Representative 50th District Keith Wheeler
Representative 73rd District Ryan Spain
2 Legislators appointed by the Senate Majority Leader TBD
Associate Director of Assessment and Testing Illinois
Community College Board
Caitlyn Barnes
Principle Consultant Illinois State Board of Education Terri Lamb
Associate Director Division of Family & Community Services
Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)
Karrie Rueter
Deputy Director of Education and Transition Services Illinois
Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) 
Molly Uhe-Edmonds
Career and Tech Education Director, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
Ricardo Johnson
Deputy Director, Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity (DCEO) 
Julio Rodriguez
Assistant Director for Academic Affairs Illinois Board of Higher Education
Dr. Gretchen Lohman
Representative from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC)
appointed by its Director
CEO and President Instituto Del Progreso Latino Karina Ayala-Bermejo
Chief Operating Officer Westside Health Authority Quiwana Bell
Chief Executive Officer Illinois Collaboration on Youth Andrea Durbin, Professional Development 
Committee Co-Chair
Director of Business and Government Strategies
National Youth Advocate Program
Reyahd D.J.Kazmi
Chief Administrative Officer Chicago State University Paul Vallas, Policy Committee Co-Chair
Executive Director Youth Connection Charter School Sheela Venson
Director of Workforce Development Chicago Urban League Andrew Wells
Executive Director Chicago Area Project David Whittaker
Executive Director Alternative Schools Network Jack Wuest, Data Committee Co-Chair
Executive Vice President Community Wellness Aunt Martha's
Health & Wellness
Kenneth Martin-Ocasio
Representative of Organizations with successful experience
working with jobless youth without a high school diploma and low-
attending high school students appointed by the Senate Minority Leader

IHDS Administrative Contact

Administrative Contact: Julie Stremalu -