EAST PEORIA (WEEK) — An $18.7 million grant launched by state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth is set to fuel a statewide effort to increase workforce initiatives through community colleges in underrepresented areas.
Illinois Central College will take the lead in the Workforce Equity Initiative and receive $1.85 million of the grant, with 14 other partnering community colleges also receiving portions, according to a release from the college.
Gordon-Booth said in a statement, “Despite historically low unemployment rates, too many people in communities across Illinois are being left behind when it comes to the skills needed to thrive in the modern workforce… Employment isn’t about simply having a job, it’s about having a career that provides a living wage, the opportunity for a middle-class life and dignity for one’s labor.”
The initiative is a partnership of the Illinois Community College Board, community colleges throughout the state, Gordon-Booth and the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.
“The nearly $20 million initiative will leverage existing funds and rely on established community based organizations to help identify program participants and case management. Furthermore, employers that hire successfully credentialed program participants will receive a tax credit,” according to the statement.
ICC’s Workforce Equity Initiative will train participants in the following fields:
- CNC opeartor
- CLD Truck Driver
- Local Area Network (LAN) Technician
- CISCO Certified Network Administrator
- CompTIA A+ (computer basics)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)