Peoria Pathways to Prosperity

Recent Updates

March 2019 Update – Peoria partners recently hosted a 15-person delegation of Puerto Rican mayors, employers, and educators brought to Peoria by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to learn more about Peoria’s successful Pathways to Prosperity program, a recipient of an innovation grant from AFT.  As Puerto Rico looks to help high school students hurt by Hurricane Maria secure internships to boost the island’s workforce and revitalize its economy, they are looking to Peoria as a model. You can learn more about this visit from the AFT press release and these local Peoria media stories here and here.


June 2018 — Peoria Pathways to Prosperity Completes Pilot Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship

The Peoria Pathways to Prosperity team and its partners completed a pilot manufacturing pre-apprenticeship and are scaling it to engage approximately 40 students across four school districts and multiple manufacturing employers for AY 2018.

Also, Illinois Central College’s Industrial Maintenance apprenticeship is launching a pilot cohort of 15 students in fall of 2018, and new apprenticeships in Manufacturing, IT, and Health Sciences are being readied for following semesters. Pathways have been sequenced in Health Sciences, Manufacturing, and Information Technology across six unique school districts. The master template/framework was adopted, and a regional pathways dashboard is currently being constructed with sequencing. The team is also planning work to engage more regional districts this fall.


Recent Updates

September 2017 — In Peoria, 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: Read more

June 2017 — In AY 2016-17 Peoria Pathways to Prosperity placed sixty interns at 16 unique employers.  Peoria is on track to launch a Criminal Justice Pathway in AY 2017-18 and an Education & Training Pathway in AY 2018-19.  They are also refining their Career Pathways guide for the upcoming year.  Finally, the American Federation of Teachers is offering a third year of funding to sustain and expand the Pathways work in Greater Peoria.  You can learn more about the funding here.

Lead Intermediary Organization

Greater Peoria Economic Development Council

Region Story

The Greater Peoria region renewed its efforts to study economic development including the region’s talent ecosystem that includes many pipelines formed by elementary, secondary, post‐secondary, 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 conversation with George Letavish, Illinois Governor’s office to consider the possibility of joining the Pathways to Prosperity Network. The participants (stakeholders) agreed to bind together 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.

The teams findings revealed a greater need for alignment of curriculum leading to occupations, between Peoria Public Schools and Illinois Central College, as well as need for private sector businesses to work with education to create career-development opportunities for Peoria’s youth. To move on these needs, in June of 2015 the Pathways team applied for, and received a grant through the American Federation of Teacher’s Innovation Fund. This grant allowed the Pathways team to hire a full-time coordinator, Brent Baker, dedicated to creating new opportunities for Peoria Public Schools youth. Most recently, the Pathways team has been provided a second year of funding through the AFT to continue the Pathways work well into 2017.

Areas of Expertise

  • Curriculum Alignment
  • Career Information and Advising
  • Employer Engagement

Prioritized STEM Industry Clusters

Key Success to Date

  • Created, embedded, and aligned seven new dual-credit healthcare and manufacturing courses beginning AY 2016
  • Established a standing committee comprised of Peoria Public Schools and Illinois Central College administrators dedicated to expanding college access
  • Saw the launch of our first Community Initaitive Center of Excellence for Secure Software (CICESS), secured software apprenticeship cohort of seven students, began the program
  • Launched te Peoria Mayor’s Internship Challenge, an initative focused on encouraging business leaders to create internships for students
  • Created approximately 40 internships for students at local employers

Key Goals for the Next 2 Years

  • Continue aligning high school curriculum to Illinois Central College (ICC) applied science programs and employer expectations
  • Contining to create career-development opportunities for students at local employers
  • Encourage students to participate in TRICON building trades work-based learning program, a yearlong program that exposes students to a variety of trade unions and a semester long internship
  • Continue the apprentice program Central Illinois Center of Excellence for Secure Software (CICESS), beginning its second cohort in the fall of 2016

High School Career Development Project

  • Continue buildout, and expand usage, of Career Cruising Inspire platform to connect Peoria Public Schools students to career-development opportunities
  • Continue backwards mapping and embedding of early college credit at the secondary level in Peoria Public Schools

Community Contact Information