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ICC and Regional Workforce Alliance plan to launch a new program for both students and professional

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PEORIA (WEEK)- Teaching essential skills in the workplace is the purpose of a new program soon to be rolled out in the Greater Peoria area. The program will be called the Greater Peoria Essential Abilities and Knowledge (GPEAK).

The goal of the platform is to provide students and professionals a way to learn essential skills to close the workforce gap.

"Our largest workforce gaps here locally are in the areas of healthcare, information technology, and education," said Patti Abel, Associated Bank Community Market President.

GPEAK will consist of three categories: working with others, the thought process, and self regulation. By learning these skills the hope is for participants to be able to obtain and hold a full-time job with benefits.

"By connecting employers, educators, community based organizations with high school graduates, under credentialed, and those with multiple barriers to employment, to ensure 60% to 70% of our population has the required certification to obtain employment, and make more than a living wage," said Abel.

The best part is the program is free and open to anyone.

"You no longer have to enter an institution of higher education to receive the benefit of this program. You could be working with the Urban League, you could be working with Goodwill, so all of these resources would be made available. You don't have to be paying for a formal credential to receive the benefits of this program," said Dr. Shelia Quirk-Bailey, Illinois Central College President.

The program will also benefit employers so they can ensure an employee has all the skill they need when hired.

GPEAK is set to be launched in January 2021.

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