NCI / Starved Rock Region

Leadership Community

Educating, training, and preparing students for the globally competitive marketplace.

The North Central Regional Betterment Coalition came together as a community of residents from eight different counties (Bureau, Carroll, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Putnam, and Whiteside) that share a commitment to the children of their region to improve their potential for higher achievement in education and broader career success. With the support and involvement of the employer community, the Coalition led the creation of community-wide systems that incorporate multiple career pathways for students and new opportunities for employers to educate, train, and prepare students for the globally competitive marketplace. In 2022, Illinois Valley Community College became the community intermediary and worked with partners to refine the community’s goals.

Lead Intermediary Organization

Illinois Valley Community College


Areas of Expertise

  • Community Organizing and Collective Impact
  • Employer Engagement
  • Expanding Pathways

Prioritized Focus Areas

  • Agriculture
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Human Services
  • Health Sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • Information Technology
  • Transportation and Logistics

Key Successes

  • Developed a strong infrastructure of employer engagement within eight counties
  • Embraced the collective impact strategy to organize large-scale town hall meetings to establish common regional objectives and outcomes
  • Surveyed Area Career Center high school students (1,600 participants) to identify career clusters emerging as key areas of interest
  • Obtained grant funding to hire a consultant to define and refine the pathways and college and career pathways endorsements in collaboration with secondary and post-secondary schools

2-Year Goals

  • Continue to refine and publicize career pathways to provide a clear vision for students while meeting regional demand
  • Develop and market additional dual credit opportunities for students
  • Increase the number of adults with a post-secondary credential by 15% (from 31% to 35%) by 2026
  • Re-evaluate and update the regional PaCE model with middle schools, high schools, and industry partners to ensure they’re aligned with ISAC’s recommendations
  • Promote and expand IVCC’s credit for prior learning crosswalks
  • Expand partnerships with local agencies to identify, recruit, and support rural, economically disadvantaged, African American, and Latinx adults to apply credit for prior learning and life experience to achieve educational goals.
  • Continue the partnership between IVCC and the IVCC Foundation office to offer one free class in a pathway/program of study to up to 10 students per year who enroll and have earned a high school endorsement

Community Updates

IVCC Hosts Career Fair

On March 12, Illinois Valley Community College hosted the Illinois Valley Building Trades for a career fair for high school students. Fourteen trades presented and