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Learn More About GP Pathways and the Greater Peoria EDC

GP Pathways is an initiative of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council that connects middle and high school students and their parents and educators to career exploration information, resources, and activities in our region. The program seeks to identify and share information about the most critically needed job skills in Greater Peoria and support a system that trains those critical skills to support our employers’ future workforce needs.

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, established in 1982, is a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization governed by a board of directors including individuals from both the public and the private sector.  The organization is supported by investment from businesses, organizations, counties, and cities throughout the five counties of Logan, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford.

We know that connecting high school students to career-development opportunities both in the classroom and at local businesses improve student outcomes and help ensure we have a talented workforce to meet our regions demands. To this end, in 2014 the Mayor of Peoria pulled together a group of education and workforce stakeholders consisting of the Peoria Public Schools, the Peoria Federation of Teachers, The City of Peoria, Illinois Central College, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the Peoria Regional Office of Education, the Peoria Educational Region For Employment and Career Training, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, the CEO Council, and the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council to pilot strategies to more effectively connect local students to careers and opportunity.

In two years, the Peoria Pathways team supported the development and sequencing of 16 Career Pathways, adding twelve new Early College Credit Courses within Peoria Public Schools, recruited hundreds of students to engage with critical Healthcare, IT, and Education pathways courses, and connected more than 70 students to internships at over 20 local companies through our Greater Peoria Works initiative.

With these partnerships now established and many lessons learned, this partnership is working to scale up to Greater Peoria Pathways now focused on outlining a regional career development framework for middle through high students. Beginning in 8th grade with our regional CareerSpark expo, to Early College Credit, job-shadows, and internships in high school, together we are building a more effective talent development pipeline for Greater Peoria.

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