The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has unveiled a new strategic plan to prepare the workforce for jobs, now and in the future, that will demand advanced skills and training.
“We all agree more jobs in Illinois will solve a lot of problems. At the same time, we have job openings right now that aren't being filled because the education and training of many applicants doesn't match the needs of the employers," said Weaver. “This strategic plan offers a way to bridge that gap and properly equip our workforce for the stable, good-paying jobs that are available, while enabling our businesses to expand and grow our economy.”
The plan was the end result of a statewide task force including State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria), who reached out to local education professionals for expert guidance.
“The meeting convened by Senator Weaver gave adult education providers in this region a much appreciated opportunity to develop informed feedback to the Illinois Community College Board on the new strategic plan,” said Glenda Nicke, Blackhawk College Dean of Adult and Continuing Education. “We were able to discuss both the opportunities and the challenges that this new plan will have on the delivery of services in our region.”
The five-year strategic plan is focused on preparing individuals for careers that will require education and training beyond high school, but not necessarily a four-year college degree. The plan will help guide the state’s adult education system over the next five years, to provide workforce training programs that will result in a credential and meet employers’ needs. The plan has four goals:
1. Improve outcomes by scaling effective models and strategies across the system.
2. Increase postsecondary transitions and credential attainment.
3. Strengthen college and career readiness.
4. Develop life-long career pathway systems and enabling technologies.
To help guide his work on the task force, Senator Weaver formed his own panel of education experts from within his senate district to ensure that the final results would meet the needs of the potential employees and employers who live in the area. The panel included Dr. Lori Sundberg, President of Carl Sandburg College, Glenda Nicke, Blackhawk College Dean of Adult and Continuing Education, Kay Sutton, Dean of College and Career Readiness at Illinois Central College, Jodi Scott, Regional Superintendent of Schools (ROE #33), along with several other education professionals and leaders from the 37th Senate District.
“I was very pleased Senator Weaver included me in the regional taskforce charged with reviewing the new Adult Education Strategic Priorities,” said Dr. Lori Sundberg, President of Carl Sandburg College. More importantly, I appreciated Senator Weaver’s willingness to hear our opinions and concerns before moving forward. That doesn’t happen every day and it was most appreciated.”
“I appreciated the fact that Senator Weaver was on the statewide task force and that he gave us the opportunity to provide some feedback on our programs,” said Kay Sutton, Dean of College and Career Readiness at Illinois Central College.
“The Regional Office of Education #33 was honored to be a part of the opportunity to give Senator Weaver feedback for the adult education task force as they developed there strategic plan,” said Jodi Scott, Regional Superintendent of Schools (ROE #33). “ROE #33 provides adult education services to our region, and as a provider of adult education, it is important to have the opportunity to give feedback as we work to support our community. We want to thank Senator Weaver for reaching out and hearing the voices of the field.”
Senator Weaver helps present the ICCB strategic plan at a press conference at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.