EAST PEORIA, Ill. — Illinois Central College now has $9 million to put towards workforce training programs.
The college announced Tuesday that the money is coming from the federal government, the state, and ICC matched a grant with three million dollars of its own.
The project will develop the workforce sustainability center.
“We are so excited that this project came together,” said Quirk-Bailey.
President Quirk-Bailey says the money will have a lasting impact.
“Through all three of these levels of government, working together, we’re going to have a brand new resource that’s going to support all of central Illinois,” said Quirk-Bailey.
Current students also believe it will have a positive impact.
“I think it’s just going to be great. For the community and for just Illinois as a whole,” said Daniel Cook.
The new workforce training center will be on the East Peoria campus and will include programs focused on sustainability and renewable technology.
“It replaces a fifty, plus year old quonset hut we have on campus, so that’s wonderful. It will house 13 programs, some of which directly impact the green industry,” said Quirk-Bailey.
President Quirk-Bailey says only 40 percent of adults in the area have a post secondary degree.
The center will provide training needed to improve those numbers.
“What it really represents, is being able to bring state of the art facilities and equipment to our students,” said Quirk-Bailey.
The program expects to create long term jobs.
“I think it will just open doors up in this community. Where as though more people will get opportunities you know, that they’re really hungry for out here,” said Cook.
Dr. Quirk Bailey says that 60 percent of jobs right now require education beyond high school, and in the next decade, that number is expected to jump to 70 percent.