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ICC Program Employs Graduates Despite Struggling Job Market

The Diesel-Powered Equipment Technology (DPET) program at Illinois Central College proudly announces successful job placement for its recent spring graduates. Despite classes moving online due to COVID-19, nineteen of the twenty students who completed the program have been placed into fulltime jobs with the remaining graduate in a hiring freeze.

“Our faculty and staff understand that, despite the less-than-perfect circumstances, we are still changing lives in central Illinois at a time when we may be the only hope in someone’s environment,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “Outcomes like this provide an incredible boost of pride and inspiration as we move forward with creating an innovative online learning environment and continue to place graduates into the workforce.”

Despite the many challenges traditional “hands-on” programs have faced during the transition to online learning, the ICC DPET program graduated their students on time with secured employment at more than 30 percent above the regional living wage.

ICC DPET Professor Jeff Gardner said, “With the unemployment rate at 13.3 percent, it’s an impressive accomplishment. I have received multiple emails from our graduating class expressing their gratitude for the training and support. We have also filled the program for fall. While we have a lot of work to do this summer, we’ve seen the incredible impact we can have on the lives of those right here in our own community while filling local workforce gaps.”

“Our diesel program is one of the most prestigious in the state,” said ICC Interim Dean of Agricultural and Industrial Technologies Steve Flinn. “Students are highly sought-after, as you can see. In meeting with employers, their only criticism of the program is we do not produce more graduates each year.”