Illinois Central College Receives Grant for Innovative Bridge and Transition Program

Local News

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Students at Illinois Central College have the opportunity to try out a new program thanks to a grant.

Illinois Central College has received a $100,000 grant for the Innovative Bridge and Transition Program by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) to implement a new, innovative bridge and transition program, the Gateway to Medical Laboratory Technician Careers Program.

The eight-week bridge program is designed to elevate 25 unemployed, underemployed or underrepresented adults for entry into the Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Associate Degree program at ICC. The program partners with local employers and community-based organizations and allows participating students to receive a stipend.

“This grant allows Illinois Central College the opportunity to remove barriers and change lives as we move adults into a high-demand, higher-wage career,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “When unemployed, underrepresented or first-generation adults earn credentials with labor market value, it not only changes the trajectory of their lives but also the lives of their families; while growing the workforce, expanding businesses and creating a more vibrant regional economy.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of clinical laboratory technicians is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average of all occupations.

Current Emsi data reports the median salary for MLTs in the Peoria region is $24.69/hour or $52,000/year, more than 40% above the living wage for the Peoria region.

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