U.S. Senator Dick Durbin stopped at Illinois Central College in East Peoria to tout upcoming legislation aimed at boosting the skilled-workforce. The Community College To Career Fund Act heads to the Senate next week. It would use competitive grants to fund paid internships and employment opportunities for health care, manufacturing and energy jobs. Michael Sloan is director of ICC’s Agricultural and Industrial Technologies. He says the bill would also help community colleges upgrade equipment for skilled workforce training:
“Typically its equipment that may be five or ten-thousand dollars but more of than that. It also allows faculty to get professional development, it creates opportunities for individuals to get on-the-job training,” Sloan says.
The bill would authorize eight-Billion-dollars in competitive grants and set aside money for programs with high job placement rates. Durbin says there’s about 600,000 job openings because of the gap in properly-trained skilled workers.