A Publication of WTVP

Investing in the Local Workforce

Gilmore Foundation is supporting the Illinois Central College Manufacturing Workforce Equity Initiative.

by Peoria Magazine |
Peoria Area Chamber President Joshua Gunn and ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey with Gilmore Foundation President Laura Cullinan and Board Chair Doug Oberhelman

Gilmore Foundation announced a sponsorship and matching grant challenge in support of the Illinois Central College (ICC) Manufacturing Workforce Equity Initiative. The initiative addresses local workforce gaps and employment barriers to provide underserved individuals a full-time manufacturing job paying at least 30 percent above the regional living wage. It also addresses workforce inclusivity within the industry.

In Greater Peoria, less than 40 percent of individuals over the age of 24 have a post-secondary credential—while 60 percent of jobs require such a credential. While the manufacturing industry employs nearly 23,000 workers across ICC’s 10-county district, it is experiencing sizable workforce gaps. With support from Gilmore Foundation, ICC is working to change that. “Today’s manufacturing worker requires a high-skill credential,” notes ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “Earning that credential will not only change the trajectory of the individual’s lives, but also the lives of their families while growing the workforce, expanding manufacturing and revitalizing the regional economy.”

Gilmore Foundation contributed a $435,000 grant to implement the initiative, with one third of the amount in the form of matching funds. Participants will be trained in the high-demand occupations of CNC machine operator, production welder, welding specialist, and diesel-powered equipment technician.

“Gilmore Foundation is committed to job creation through projects which assist in the development of our community’s infrastructure,” adds Laura Cullinan, Foundation president. “Our hope is that this matching grant will spark a unified giving effort in our community to invest in training and retaining talent in the Tri-County Area.” For more information, visit PM