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The Illinois 60 by 25 Network to hosts 7th annual conference

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CHICAGO, IL — Advance Illinois, Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission ( ISAC ) are pleased to host the seventh annual Illinois 60 by 25 Network Conference at Elgin Community College February 25th-26th. This year's theme is "Agents of Change: Working Together to Improve Student & Community Outcomes." Change agents in education, workforce and community development from across the state and country will highlight the importance of collaboration across sectors in order to transform systems and drive community success.

The Illinois 60 by 25 Network was launched in 2013 to support communities in advancing towards the state's postsecondary attainment goal of 60% of all adults obtaining a quality college or career credential by 2025 as a growing number of employers require higher educational attainment.

"The 60 by 25 Network Conference brings together passionate advocates who are committed to preparing today's students for tomorrow's workforce," said Robin Steans, president of Advance Illinois. "We know what success looks like when we work together to make systemic change. We hope this conference can inspire continued movement up the educational ladder."

"Our team at EdSystems knows that collaborating across diverse sectors is critical to ensuring that young people succeed in college and career and that Illinois communities continue to thrive. We're excited to explore this theme with our community partners and with state and national leaders at our seventh annual Illinois 60 by 25 Network Conference," said Jonathan Furr, executive director of Education Systems Center ( EdSystems ) at NIU.

"The Illinois 60 by 2025 Network plays a crucial role in fostering collaboration and innovation to build capacity within communities to support student success," said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of ISAC. "We look forward to participating in the robust discussion and learning among diverse partners and state and national leaders at this year's conference to improve postsecondary attainment and career success for all Illinoisans."

This year's keynote speakers are Dr. Kyle Hartung, associate vice president of Jobs for the Future, and Dr. Amy Lloyd, vice president of Jobs for the Future, a national organization that drives change in the American workforce and education systems to promote economic advancement for all. Both Dr. Hartung and Dr. Lloyd bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will spark purposeful and impactful discussions to bring us closer to our goal.

Illinois' Deputy Governor for Education Jesse Ruiz will join Advance Illinois President Robin Steans in a fireside chat and share his insights on where we stand as a state in early childhood access, K-12 growth and post-secondary enrollment and completion.

Other plenary speakers include Jahmal Cole ( founder, My Block, My Hood, My city ), Lisa Castillo Richmond ( managing mirector, Partnership for College Completion ) and Julie Koenke ( director of district and regional support, ConnectED — The National Center for College and Career ).

The conference will run from Tuesday, February 25 to Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at Elgin Community College's Building E — University & Business Center at 1700 Spartan Dr. in Elgin, IL 60123.

"Elgin Community College is thrilled to host this year's annual Illinois 60 by 25 Network Conference. We look forward to sharing the collaborative efforts happening in our community and to learning about how other Illinois communities are working together to improve student and community outcomes," said Mary E. Perkins, dean of college transitions & secondary partnerships at Elgin Community College.

For a detailed list of all presenters and presentation sessions, please click here: .

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