PEORIA — The American Federation of Teachers will be formally recognized with a proclamation from Mayor Jim Ardis for their support of the Peoria Pathways to Prosperity initiative during a visit from their national president Randi Weingarten to Woodruff Career and Technical Center on Feb. 28.

“There is nothing more important than prioritizing education for our children, the future leaders of our community,” said Ardis.  “Without the help of President Weingarten and ATF, along with our teachers and other business partners, this initiative would not be possible.”

In 2015, Peoria was one of five U.S. cities to receive funding from the American Federation of Teachers Innovation Fund to support the creation of internships and expansion of early college credit opportunities for Peoria Public Schools students.

To date, the Peoria Pathways to Prosperity initiative has placed 20 students in career-relevant internships at ten unique employers spanning ten unique industries, sequenced 16 unique career pathways for high school students, and enabled 343 students to engage in early-college credit opportunities.

Following the proclamation, Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat will provide comments about the initiative followed by an update from the program coordinator Brent Baker.  Afterwards, Weingarten will have a chance to meet students during a tour of the school.

Peoria Pathways to Prosperity is a joint effort between Peoria Public Schools, the Peoria Federation of Teachers, The City of Peoria, Illinois Central College, Midstate College, the Regional Office of Education, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, 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.

The public event to recognize the American Federation of Teachers and Peoria Pathways to Prosperity will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 11:00 a.m. at Woodruff Career and Technical Center, 1800 NE Perry Ave, Peoria, IL 61603. President Weingarten and all Peoria Pathways stakeholders will be available for interview.