Making a Difference: A Community Resolve

by Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey, Illinois Central College

Recently I’ve had the honor of attending several events recognizing local individuals who exemplify leadership and service in our communities. They hailed from a variety of backgrounds but had one thing in common: They all give of themselves every single day to make a difference in the lives of others. 

These individuals are considered the best of the best when it comes to service. These events left me feeling renewed and bolstered by the good news regarding the citizens of central Illinois and their dedication to our community. What I realized is we have so many people who care and are passionate about changing the lives of those around them. But, there are many unsung “heroes” in our community as well—those who do not receive the recognition and still continue the hard work of “doing good for the greater good.”

A Local Mission 
At ICC, we are always inspired to learn from people in the community who are changing the lives of those around them. Our mission statement keeps our focus on that pursuit: “Through learning, minds change. We believe by changing minds, we can change the world.” The dedicated work of those in our community is aligned with these values as well. 

One way in which ICC is living out this mission is through our collaboration with the Peoria Innovation Hub partners of OSF HealthCare, the University of Illinois System and the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council to help drive regional job growth and economic development. As the workforce innovation partner, ICC will engage in agricultural research with area farmers and students, as well as supporting the development of integrative programs in the fields of manufacturing and healthcare. 

Our goal is to promote workforce development by discovering the skills local businesses desire in their employees and train our citizens to be the workforce of the future. When we identify the skillsets needed for successful employment in the region, we can work with local school districts to infuse these skills into the curriculum at an earlier age. 

By positioning ICC as a collaborative partner, we are working to increase the number of citizens with a credential beyond high school. This changes not only the lives of these individuals, but that of their families, and ultimately the economic vitality of the entire region. That is the domino effect. It’s a lofty goal, and we cannot achieve it alone. We need to spread the word to show how the revitalization of our local economy starts by impacting one individual at a time. Only then can we truly change the trajectory of the economy—and all of our futures—for the better. 

A Regional Conversation
As we move into 2019 and continue to pursue and expand upon this goal of changing lives, we realize this initiative is stronger with all of you in it. Would you consider joining ICC and its partners as we band together to revitalize the Greater Peoria area? 

Let’s start a regional conversation about how to make 2019 a year of unprecedented collaboration among community members and business leaders who care, just like you. Consider what you or your business can bring to the table. I challenge you to go further, reach higher and push yourself harder, both personally and professionally, than ever before—to help us find new ways of making a difference right here in central Illinois. We look forward to working with you. iBi

Add new comment


Source URL: https://www.peoriamagazines.com/ibi/2019/feb/making-difference

List of links present in page