In recognition of her work to develop workforce partnerships between community colleges and local businesses through the Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI), state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, was awarded the Michael S. Monaghan Meritorious Service Award on June 4th by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA).
“I’m honored to receive the Meritorious Service Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association for helping to improve opportunities for residents and businesses in our state,” Gordon-Booth said. “The Workforce Equity Initiative brings together businesses, community colleges, and people in need of jobs and skills in order to meet the workforce needs of employers and help individuals build better lives for themselves and their families.”
The ICCTA awards the Michael S. Monaghan Meritorious Service Award to elected or appointed officials that advocate for the advancement of community college education in Illinois. Gordon-Booth was highlighted for her work to launch the WEI, a statewide project to improve workforce inclusivity and wages for people underrepresented in career and technical education programs and those with skills gaps. Gordon-Booth spearheaded the creation of WEI with Illinois Central College and the Illinois Community College Board. The WEI program partners with regional employers to train participants for careers in high-demand occupations such as computer networking administration, emergency medical service, nursing, and welding. The program also provides a tax credit for businesses that hire successfully credentialed program participants.
“I’m proud that community colleges, which serve diverse families and communities all across Illinois, have stepped up to help meet the needs of businesses and the needs of people who have historically been underserved and left behind when it comes to education and workforce development,” Gordon-Booth added. “Ensuring that our state has a pipeline of qualified people in high-demand industries will help strengthen families and businesses as we work to build a stronger Illinois for all.”