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MCCA's Next Step Welcomes Employment Program

Mary Cullen
From left, LISC of Greater Peoria Executive Director Karen Davis, MCCA Board President Terry Lindberg, and MCCA Executive Director Deborah White cut a ribbon to open the Financial Opportunity Center at MCCA on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

A new program at Mid Central Community Action (MCCA) provides residents with access to employment coaching and job development.

The Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) expands the services of MCCA’s Next Step program, which offers mainly financial coaching and income support. It launched Wednesday.

MCCA Executive Director Deborah White said with the addition of the FOC designation, residents will also have access to employment coaching and job development.

“We can be a part of our community’s bigger efforts to bring employment opportunities, help people who are unemployed, underemployed, and people who need and want and deserve to earn a living wage,” White said.

The goal is to bring in new employment opportunities to local residents, she said.

“And that is in addition to the services we already have been providing, (by) MCCA and Heartland Community College, for the income supports, the educational pathways, and the financial coaching for the long-term,” White said.

The FOC program is made possible by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Greater Peoria. The MCCA center will be LISC of Greater Peoria’s first program launch outside of Peoria. Nationwide, LISC has a network of over 80 FOCs.

“Since 1979, LISC has invested $18.6 billion across the country to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community, and educational space,” a press release stated.

Next Step partners with Heartland Community College to provide residents access to classes that will strengthen their job skills. LISC is supported nationally by State Farm.

Program orientation dates are held at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday mornings at MCCA in West Bloomington.

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