Community Colleges

Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College’s Adult Education department provides classes to prepare participants for the High School Equivalency (HSE) exams (GED and HiSet) and English as a Second Language to develop career skills. Instruction takes place on the Heartland Community College's campus in Normal, Pontiac, Lincoln, and at off-site locations, including Western Avenue Community Center and Mid-Central Community Action. Classes are offered each fall and spring for 20 weeks, with fall classes running mid-July through early December and spring classes running mid-January through early June. Classes are offered both in the daytime or evening. The program provides transition support to workplace and academic pursuits. If a student is interested in enrolling in this program, please call 309.268.8180.

Heartland Community College – Perkins

Students pursuing career programs leading to certificates or Associate in Applied Science Degrees may be eligible for assistance through the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, also known as Perkins V. Services may provide support to students who are in non-traditional fields or with barriers and may include support for items such as textbooks, tools, uniforms, or certification exam fees. More information can be found at www.heartland.edu or by calling 309.268.8078.

Illinois Central College

The Illinois Central College Adult Education program serves five counties as part of District 514. Classes are offered at three campuses and two off-campus locations. The program's priority is to develop and establish a career pathway system inclusive of all eligible students and populations. This is accomplished by offering morning and evening classes in Adult Basic Education, GED, English as a Second Language, Bridge Programming, and Integrated Education and Training in Healthcare and Manufacturing.

Students also receive a 1-1 transition to post-secondary services. Registration information can be found at www.icc.edu under the Academics tab or by calling the GED information line at 309.694.5240.

Illinois Central College – Perkins

Students in career and technical education programs (programs that will result in an Associate in Applied Science Degree or Occupational Certificate) may be eligible for assistance through the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Services are designed to assist students in non-traditional fields or students with overwhelming barriers and may include: required textbooks, uniforms, tools, or certification exam fees. Perkins cannot provide tuition assistance. More information can be found at https://icc.edu/admissions/financial-aid/special-academic-services/ or by calling 309.690.6881.

Spoon River College

The Spoon River College Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFL) Program continues to build and expand opportunities for adult education students to transition into college and the workforce. Beyond preparation for the high school equivalency exam or improving English language skills, the AEFL program is dedicated to building on the pathways created to assist students in obtaining or enhancing their employment options. The program focuses on helping students successfully enroll and complete their post-secondary education. Classes are available in Canton, Havana, Macomb, and Rushville. Enrollment is by appointment only. To register or for more information, call 309.649.6278 or visit src.edu.

Spoon River College - Perkins

 

Career and Technical Education Programs at Spoon River College lead to an Associate in Applied Science degree and a variety of certificates. These programs are designed to prepare students for the workplace upon completion of the course of study. The college continually reviews area and regional economic and employment conditions to ensure that the programs will not only successfully train students for their chosen career field but also meet the needs of area employers.​​​ Classes are available in Canton, Havana, Macomb, Rushville, and online.  For more information, contact Brad O'Brien at 309.649.6294.

State/Federal Agencies

Central Illinois Agency on Aging

CIAA is an independent nonprofit organization with a 43-year history of providing service to older persons and caregivers. This organization serves 96,629 people ages 60 and older living in CIAA's six-county service area, including Fulton, Marshall, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford County. CIAA strives to serve older persons and their caregivers holistically through planning, coordination, program development, direct services provision, and advocacy. CIAA is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located at 700 Hamilton Blvd in Peoria, IL 61603. For more information, please contact President/CEO Keith Rider by calling 309.674.2071.

DHS administers the following three main programs:

  • SNAP (Food Stamps) assists with the cost of food for eligible individuals.
  • The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides temporary financial assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent children. TANF provides financial support to help pay for food, shelter, utilities, and expenses other than medical.
  • Health Coverage includes Medicaid, All Kids, or insurance bought from the Health Insurance Marketplace. These plans offer comprehensive benefits to help individuals stay well. Health coverage programs offered through the Illinois Department of Human Services include the ACA medical, FHP medical, AABD medical, and All Kids through the Medicaid program. Families and ACA applications that are not eligible for Medicaid will be referred to the Marketplace for private health insurance. For more information, contact the Peoria Family Community Resource Center at 309.871.8100. Those interested can apply online https://abe.illinois.gov/ or at the Peoria Family Community Resource Center.

DHS Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Programs:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation – Assists persons with disabilities in achieving employment, self- sufficiency, and independence
  • Bureau of Blind Services – Assists adults who are blind or visually-impaired in rediscovering their independence
  • Home Services – Provides services to individuals with significant disabilities so they can remain in their homes independently
  • Bureau of Disability Determination Services – Determines the eligibility of people to receive benefits from Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income
  • Client Assistance Program – Provides advocacy and guidance in pursuing legal, administrative, or other appropriate remedies to ensure the protection of the customer’s rights under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Division of Rehabilitation Services Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides services to individuals with disabilities who are seeking or maintaining employment. For eligible individuals, there is an array of services that can be provided to support their vocational goals. Services may include vocational counseling and guidance, college training, professional training, tools and equipment, transportation, medical devices and services, and information and referral placement services and support.

Contact DRS at 309.671.8580 to make a referral. For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, contact NexTalk at 1.888.261.7918. Referrals can also be made using our website at www.dhs.state.il.us.

Illinois Department of Employment Security

IDES supports Illinois residents and employers' economic growth and stability by providing employment services to Illinois residents and employers, analyzing and disseminating essential labor market information, and administering unemployment insurance programs.

Unemployment insurance is a federally-funded, state-administered program designed to provide financial assistance during periods of unemployment or underemployment. Recipients of unemployment insurance must meet eligibility requirements to receive benefits.

Jobseeker employment services include programs designed to target particular populations in applying for and finding jobs. These programs include:

  • Hire the Future: Provides youth ages 16-24 with employment assistance, job readiness, and career development services
  • Migrant & Seasonal Farm Workers: Provides employment services to individuals who are legally able to work in the U.S. and of legal age to perform services for wages
  • Re-entry Employment Services: Serves Illinoisans who are currently or have previously been subject to any stage of the criminal justice process and who require assistance in overcoming barriers to employment resulting from a record of arrest or conviction
  • The Apprenticeship Information Center Program (AIC), in conjunction with the federal Apprenticeship USA Initiative: Assists apprenticeship candidates

IDES provides employment services to both employers and job seekers by connecting clients with the proper skills to employers facilitating re-employment. Illinois Job Link (illinoisworknet.com) is a no-cost, internet-based system that provides job seekers with job matching, resume criteria, and career management tools and resources.

Job Corps

Job Corps provides training for students that may or may not have received their high school diploma. The students will choose three topics of study they would like to receive training in. The students live in the center and are provided with meals, clothes, and various forms of entertainment. Once a student completes the program, they will receive a diploma and a certificate in their field. Students are paid $25 bi-weekly and also receive payment when they complete the program. Job Corps provides support to students one year after completing the program and helps them develop their next plan of action. Contact Sherrie Edmonds 309.966.0130 for more information.

National Able

National Able provides part-time training opportunities in community service activities for unemployed, low-income persons who are 55 years old or older and are actively seeking employment. The Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCEP) provides on-site job training to transition the workers into an unsubsidized position. SCEP is both a training and community service program. Visit the National Able website at www.nationalable.org or contact Bruce Adams at 312.802.3608 for more information.

National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP)

NFJP provides a wide range of employment and training services for farmworkers authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I D Section 167. Under WIOA, eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers are ones with low-income and ones who face multiple barriers to economic self-sufficiency. Migrant farmworkers must travel to a job site and may be unable to return to a permanent place of residence within the same day. Qualifying farm work is characterized by chronic unemployment or underemployment and includes:

  • The production, cultivation, growing, and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodities
  • Raising livestock, bees, fur-bearing animals, and poultry
  • Fish farming and aquaculture
  • Other farming practices such as forestry

Qualifying farm work must be in conjunction with the above farming operations in preparation for market or transport to market. Preparation includes handling, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, or grading. These preparations must be complete before delivery for the storage of a commodity in its unmanufactured state.

NFJP provides supportive services to help economically disadvantaged farmworker families and offers employment and training services to assist enrolled farmworkers (participants) in acquiring new occupational skills that lead to stable jobs. For more information, visit illinoismigrant.org or contact Mary Phelan at 309.349.1051.

YouthBuild McLean County

YouthBuild McLean County is a national community service program for disadvantaged youth funded by the Department of Labor, Unit 5 School District, the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity, local corporations, and private citizens. Located in Normal, IL, in McLean County, YouthBuild offers innovative learning opportunities in the areas of basic skill education, vocational training, leadership development, life skills training, community service learning projects, and work readiness.

YouthBuild also provides access to post-secondary education and apprenticeship programs to help young people realize their full potential. Young people work to complete their high school education, build affordable housing for low-income families in the community, mobilize to meet community health needs, connect low-income people to accessible technology, and gain essential job skills to prepare for the world of work. For more information, contact YouthBuild at 309.454.3898 or visit their website at www.ybmc.org.

Community Service Organizations

CSBG Scholarship Program

CSBG Scholarship Program, Emergency Services, Energy Assistance, Prescription Drug Program, Home Weatherization, Home Rehabilitation, Community Action Scholarships, Educational Financial Assistance, Central Illinois Catering, and Media Services programs: 309.671.3900

Head Start309.671.3960

Early Head Start309.495.5254

Foster Grandparent Program309.671.3950

Peoria Area Food Bank309.671.3925

Community Core Initiative and Peoria Affordable Housing Initiative309.497.1098

Mid Central Community Action (MCCA)

MCCA provides on-site financial and employment coaching by appointment, at the local McLean County facility. Financial coaches assist customers in accessing and reviewing their credit reports, developing a personal budget, and identifying financial goals. MCCA meets with customers on an established appointment schedule to supply individuals with resources and strategies to address debt reduction issues, improve credit, and increase personal savings. This community organization helps customers gain access to MCCA's bundled services. MCCA provides information and referrals regarding any public or private resources that a customer is eligible for and aims to improve their financial situation.

MCCA provides specialized employment coaching and employment workshops on resume writing, job search techniques, and interview skills. This organization promotes all Mid Central Community Action orientations, workshops, resources, and program offerings to McLean County residents. These include individual employment coaching, financial coaching, and access to income support and employment support services.

MCCA offers income support resources to help stabilize eligible individuals while they seek or maintain employment and are available to income-eligible customers. All resources are offered to help improve customers' financial stability. These resources include:

  • Rent or mortgage assistance
  • Transportation assistance
  • Car repair assistance
  • Employment requiring specialized equipment or clothing
  • Educational scholarships
  • Funding for job-ready certificate or other skills training programs
  • Various other resources

When One-Stop customers living in McLean County are determined to be candidates for any Mid Central Community Action service, they can immediately be directed to the Mid Central Community Action Intake Specialist 309.834.9226. For more information, please visit https://mccainc.org/.

Navicore Solutions

Navicore Solutions provides compassionate counseling solutions to consumers nationwide in personal finance, consumer credit, student loans, foreclosure prevention, and housing. Services may be accessed by calling 1.800.992.4557.

Illinois residents interested in applying for the Illinois Hardest Hit program through Navicore Solutions may contact our housing counselors by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at 1.800.262.4557

Financial education services may also be accessed on-site at the One-Stop Center on the first and third Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. on a walk-in basis. Services include:

  • Assistance accessing and reviewing credit reports
  • Assistance disputing wrong information on credit reports
  • Discuss strategies to improve credit score
  • Discuss how to prioritize debt/bills
  • Review household budget
  • Create a spending/savings plan
  • Identify financial goals and create a plan to reach goals

PCCEO – Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity

PCCEO, Inc. is a Community Action Agency and leadership organization that promotes self-sufficiency and economic security. Programs that PCCEO provides are:

  • Energy Assistance
  • Home Weatherization
  • Home Rehabilitation
  • Head Start
  • Early Head Start
  • The Foster Grandparent Program
  • Community Action Scholarships
  • Financial assistance for students in the fields of Health, Education, and Transportation
  • The Peoria Area Food Bank
  • The Prescription Drug Program
  • Emergency Services
  • Community Core Initiative
  • Peoria Affordable Housing Initiative
  • Central Illinois Catering
  • Media Services
  • Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Scholarship

Prairie State Legal Services

Prairie State Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm that offers free legal services for low-income persons and those ages 60 and over who have serious civil legal problems and need legal help to solve them. Prairie State focuses its resources on legal issues that help clients secure and protect their basic needs. The mission of Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is to ensure equal access to justice and fair treatment under the law by providing legal advice and representation, advocacy, education, and outreach that serve to protect fundamental human needs and enforce or uphold rights. Due to the high demand for their services, the Prairie State Legal Services staff can only provide representation in certain areas of civil law. Contact Rilla Adcock at 309.674.9831.  For more information, please visit www.pslegal.org.

Tazwood Community Services, Inc. (TCSI)

Tazwood Community Services, Inc. is the local Community Action Agency serving Tazewell and Woodford Counties. TCSI administers the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, and the Community Services Block Grant Program in their service area. Programs include:

  • Help with winter utility bills
  • Home weatherization
  • Rent/deposit assistance
  • Prescription assistance
  • Dental assistance
  • Hearing aid assistance
  • Optical assistance
  • Water bill assistance
  • Scholarships
  • Car repairs