Greater Peoria Pathways

Leadership Community

The Greater Peoria region renewed its efforts to study economic development, including the region’s talent ecosystem, which includes representatives from elementary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions and business‐centric talent development organizations.

In the spring of 2015, the Mayor of Peoria invited executives from Peoria Public Schools, Peoria Federation of Teachers, CEO Council, Peoria Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Central College, Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Illinois Pathways Initiative, and Greater Peoria Workforce Alliance to participate in a conversation with the Illinois Governor’s office to consider the possibility of joining the Pathways to Prosperity Network. The participants agreed to form a Peoria Pathways to Prosperity (PP2P) team to study education to careers challenges facing students matriculating through the Peoria Public Schools and to recommend improvements.

In the years since, this work has evolved to scale regionally, connecting multiple employers and school districts across five counties to align career pathways to the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act framework. This work is now coordinated by the Emerging Workforce committee of the Workforce Alliance, alongside two other population-based strategies focused on upskilling working adults and supporting the success of adults with multiple barriers. These committees, along with the K-12-focused Emerging Workforce team, are working to ensure that they’re utilizing the P-20 framework for moving the region toward the 60 by 25 goal in the communities.

Lead Intermediary Organization

Greater Peoria Economic Development Council & Workforce Alliance

Areas of Expertise

  • Curriculum Alignment
  • Development of Earn & Learn and Career Development Experiences
  • Career Information and Advising
  • Employer Engagement

Prioritized Focus Areas

  • Health Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing/TDL

Key Successes

  • Engaged over 22,700 students from over 70 unique middle and high schools, through Greater Peoria CareerSpark, our regional career expo, since 2016.
  • Supported placement of 400+ high school interns at over 75 unique companies since 2016.
  • Leveraged over $7 million dollars of local, State, and Federal grant dollars to support Workforce Alliance aligned strategies.
  • Increased Early College Enrollment by 33% year over year for the past two years.
  • Supported the development of Earn & Learn model at Illinois Central College and streamlined employer engagement efforts through Workforce Equity Initiative model.
  • Supported three Greater Peoria school districts in applying for College and Career Pathways endorsements in the inaugural CCPE cohort.

2-Year Goals

  • Increase the number of adults with a post-secondary credential by 4% by 2022.
  • Engage around 10,000 students through Greater Peoria CareerSpark.
  • Support placement of another 200+ high school interns.
  • Engage remaining school districts in the region in CCPE mapping and planning work, working to have at least one endorsed pathway at each post-secondary district by 2022.
  • Further improve Early College enrollment.
  • Support expanding Earn & Learn and pre-apprenticeship models in partnership with Illinois Central College and Workforce Alliance.

Community Updates

Greater Peoria Region Hosts CareerSpark 2023

One Postsecondary and Career Pathways (PaCE) framework indicator for 8th grade is for students to complete a career exploration day. In Central Illinois, several partners work together

Central Illinois High Schoolers Connect with Regional Companies for Career Development

5,000 students in the Greater Peoria area are attending the CareerSpark You’re Hired, a multi-industry career hiring fair event which launched virtually February 2, 2023 and will continue through June 19, 2023. This on-demand expo for high school students provides numerous exhibits showcasing our region’s diverse companies in healthcare, manufacturing, business, agriculture and more.

ICC Awarded Good Jobs Challenge Grant

Illinois Central College, Bradley University, and Eureka College, along with 40 community partners, will receive once-in-a-generation funding of nearly $15 million to develop 1,000 skilled IT employees over the next three years.

Greater Peoria Hosts Fifth Annual CareerSpark

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and their partners at Junior Achievement of Central Illinois collaborated with local volunteer employers to create 48 industry-specific virtual booths representing eight different career clusters.

Peoria Pathways to Prosperity Featured in Local Magazine

The initial success of Peoria Pathways to Prosperity has drawn attention as a promising demonstration of the community’s capacity to embrace change to meet the challenges ahead. This success was highlighted recently in Peoria Magazine.