Western Area 
Career System

About Us

Western Area Career System (WACS) is a non-profit educational system that was established in the mid 1980's by the Illinois State Board of Education.  Western Area Career System is one of over 50 Education for Employment Systems that provide a variety of services and benefits to school districts, serving 15 school districts in West Central Illinois.  Systems provide staff development to teachers, work with post secondary institutions to provide seamless transition to career technical programs by aligning career programs with community colleges including STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs and providing programs and support services to special needs students.  Western Area Career 'system works with other organizations including Workforce Investment, Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation, Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Western Illinois University, two community colleges (Carl Sandberg College and Spoon River College) and employers in the area to meet labor market needs.

Career Technical classes incorporate common core standards into their programs.  WACS envisions the development of high quality programs and services which meet labor market standards and provides instruction in foundational technical skills and human service occupations.  All programs should prepare students with technological and academic skills along with teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills to meet the needs of the workforce of tomorrow.  In October 2013 WACS purchased cc sparks for all districts to provide early career develop concepts and foster critical thinking skills.

Western Area Career System not only provides support through programs, but also provide career information by providing speakers, cooperative education programs and Career Cruising, an internet-based career exploration and planning tool to develop a career plan.  Career Cruising provides an assessment tool to assist students in identifying their career interest, skills, abilities and learning styles, career profiles, portfolios, resume builder employment guides and college and financial information. 

WACS also provides career guidance services through the  DHS/DRS grant ( Secondary Transition Experience Program (S.T.E.P.) in Fulton County.  Students with disabilities are referred to this program for training/placement, which aids student in preparing for the transition to post-secondary education, employment opportunities and community involvement during and after high school.  Through a variety of STEP experiences, students learn skills to become productive self-sufficient citizens.  Age 14 is the earliest a student can be referred to the program.  A referral can be made by contacting the local high school, DHS/DRS, or WACS.  When students plan ahead for adult life, they are more successful in:  Completing school, attaining employment and living independently. 

Western Area Career System's goal is to assist districts in providing high quality skill level programs to high school students.  The focus of our endeavor is to provide students the ability to gain valuable employment opportunities or to introduce students to their career goals, leading to post secondary education.