February 11, 2022

GPEDC Weekend Update- February 11, 2022

GP2030 HR and Realtor Training:  As part of the GP2030 Talent Attraction Campaign, we are creating a suite of resources for two sets of our front-line professionals: real estate agents and human resources professionals.  We plan to unveil those tools at the Greater Peoria 2030 Welcome Wagon Seminar on Thursday, February 24 at the Scottish Rite Theater.  This seminar has been created to familiarize these professionals with the Greater Peoria 2030 campaign and the role they can play in growing our region. Please pass this invitation on to any realtors or HR recruiters in your network. The event is free, but we’d ask people to register by February 21 here

Good Jobs Challenge: Last year the US Economic Development Administration announced a new grant opportunity: The Good Job Challenge. EDA aims to build and strengthen systems and partnerships that bring together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs. In Greater Peoria, Illinois Central College has formed a partnership with Bradley University, Eureka College and regional social service organizations to develop  and submit an application for the IT Workforce Accelerator. If funded, the region could be awarded $15 million over three years to develop information technology training that will help fill critical jobs like network administrator, programmer, help desk support and other positions identified by employers. GPEDC took the lead in working with employers to project hiring needs and secure commitments to hire from the Accelerator. In all, GPEDC and its partners with our area chambers of commerce secured 42 letters of commitment from employers, plus an additional 27 letters of support. It was a true team effort. We hope to learn about a successful award early this summer.

Coding & Tech Night: On Wednesday, Distillery Labs hosted Coding & Tech Night, an event that brought together young adults, parents and students to learn more about the exciting tech opportunities available in the future of work today for women and minorities. Jyoti Patel (iSTEAM Studios), Lynette Ferdandes (Bradley University Game Design) & Renee Gorrell (CSE software) shared their life stories and how they overcame the challenges they faced as women in tech. After the presentation, participants were invited to experience a number of simulation demos from CSE software. Special thanks to the presenters, Broadway Lounge for the hospitality, and Aaron Gigous of OSF Healthcare for his leadership in planning and hosting the event.

You’re Hired: Our first annual CareerSpark: You’re Hired is now in full swing. Tailored for high school students who are seeking workplace-based learning experiences through jobs and internships, this is an expanded CareerSpark experience to follow up on what high schoolers experienced as 8th graders. To date, over 4,700 high school students from 13 different high schools have registered to participate between now and June 5, 2022. It isn’t too late for a school to sign up. Every school is approaching it slightly differently, with some using Fridays, homeroom time, or assigning students to complete it as homework to engage it.  These hundreds of students will be busy planning and exploring part time jobs, internships, apprenticeships, and future careers through the virtual experience in the coming weeks. 

Have a great weekend!