But now Rock Valley College is partnering with surrounding school districts and Career Education Associates of North Central Illinois (CEANCI) to try and reverse that complaint.
"A highly skilled workforce makes us attractive to the companies that already investing with us now as well as make us attractive to site selectors for additional growth," said Rockford Public Schools assistant superintendent Dr. Ehren Jarrett.
Rock Valley College, CEANCI, and ten surrounding school districts are taking a new approach to better prepare high school juniors and seniors for the world of work.
"Juniors and seniors who complete our programs are going to become job ready. They're going to be prepared for the world of work, and they're going to get accreditation or certification in some job field," said Rock Valley College President Dr. Jack Becherer.
They call it Advance Now, and it will offer juniors and seniors career training courses in nine areas:
accounting, automotive service, aviation, emergency medical technician, fire service, graphic arts, health occupations, manufacturing and welding.
Students in the program will complete their regular high school course then spend two hours at Rock Valley's Stenstrom Center studying their area of choice, at no extra cost.
Consolidating the career programs at Stenstrom will help keep costs down for school districts.
Advance Now will start August 2013.