Illinois Central College is leading a nearly 19 million dollar effort aimed at helping people in high unemployment, low-income areas obtain living wage jobs.
ICC will receive $1.85 million as part of the Workforce Equity Initiative. ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey says the program looks to fill local workforce gaps while knocking down barriers to employment.
“Over the next year, over 1500 adults from disproportionately impacted areas will earn a workforce credential in a workforce gap area," she said.
That includes 200 from the Peoria area. About 40 percent of adults have some kind of credential beyond a high school diploma. Quirk-Bailey said demand calls for about 60 percent for the region to remain economically viable.
At least 60 percent of the program’s enrollees must be African-American. The training focus is on manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology.
Community organizations will help identify potential participants and manage cases.
Fourteen other colleges across the state are also participating in the program. ICC will hire a new adminstrator to oversee the statewide program.