Research indicates 60-percent of the workforce in a community needs post-secondary credentials of some type for a thriving economy.
Illinois Central College President Doctor Sheila Quirk Bailey says only 40-percent of the workforce in greater Peoria has such credentials.
The tax reform law passed by Congress does not include incentives to retrain individuals.
Doctor Bailey says that may disadvantage those needing additional education. “All we’re going to do is drive up the incomes of the people who are already employed because they already have the skills and it would really be ashamed that we couldn’t make more opportunity available to people who really need it.”
Congressman Darin LaHood says while the tax bill doesn’t include a specific incentive for retraining, he hopes companies will use the savings from lower tax rates to fund retraining efforts.
The Peoria Republican says, “when companies talk about the savings they’ll have from the tax break they get, that that money will go to help things that you’re talking about there - reinvesting with workers, helping out with public-private partnerships with ICC and other ones.”
Lack of retraining may not only leave individuals unemployable but could leave companies without a sufficient workforce. Doctor Bailey says training is most critical in the fields of healthcare and manufacturing.