SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As the bipartisan budget goes to the Gov. Rauner, state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, is highlighting funding she secured to increase job readiness for in the Peoria area through a new job training program at Illinois Central College (ICC).
“Over the past few years, there has been an effort to make sure that while we invest in higher education, we make sure we invest in technical training programs as well,” Gordon-Booth said. “While we have done this, what we haven’t done is make sure that people are ready to enter apprenticeship programs by having the educational background they need to succeed.”
Most economically prosperous and diverse communities have a population where at least 60 percent of its residents have more than a high school education, and in Peoria only 40 percent have above a high school education. To help more people earn certifications, ICC developed Apprentice Ready pre-apprenticeship program to help people meet the educational requirements necessary to participate in the skilled trades. As part of the budget negotiations, Gordon-Booth secured funding for this program to help more minorities, women and others with barriers to employment find good, high-paying jobs.
“We are incredibly grateful for Rep. Gordon-Booth’s leadership on this issue and for fighting to secure funding for this program in the budget,” said Sheila Quirk-Baily, President of Illinois Central College. “We designed this program to help people in the most need of good-paying jobs get the education they need to find them and better provide for their families. Having allies like Rep. Gordon-Booth and the entire Peoria legislative delegation helped make this a reality.”
“Having a job changes people lives in ways that can be difficult to understand if you never struggled to find employment,” Gordon-Booth said. “Good paying jobs not only help our economy, but by making sure that people have a sense of purpose it makes our community safer and opens new doors for our friends and neighbors. I was thrilled that ICC came to me during this budgeting process and that I was able to work with area legislators to help secure funds for this life-changing program.”