EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois Central College on Thursday hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility intended to fast track workforce development in the region.

The $12 million Workforce Sustainability Center is intended to drive careers in five industries: manufacturing, logistics, construction, IT, and health science.

ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey said 60% of jobs in the greater Peoria area require a college education, but only 40% have the right qualifications. She said the center is part of a collaborative regional campaign to raise the percentage of credentialed workers from 40% to 60% by 2025.

“The Workforce Sustainability Center will help both first time students and career changers. Those who require upskilling and those who need extra support to complete programs and change their lives,” Quirk-Bailey said. “As more area individuals develop skills aligned with our workforce gaps, our businesses will grow, our communities will attract more investment, and it will all be a great support to a thriving local economy.”

Quirk-Bailey said the lion’s share of the funding has been acquired through multiple grants, but they still need to raise $1 million from the public.

The project is expected to be completed by Fall 2022.