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Peoria Public Schools eyeing development of 'Career Pathways' program at Manual

Tim Shelley
Peoria Public Schools superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat listens to a speaker during Monday's school board meeting at the district administration building, 3202 N. Wisconsin Ave.

The Peoria Public Schools board of education has approved a $50,000 contract with a consultant to develop a "Career Pathways" program at Manual High School.

Dr. Denice Ross Haynes will work with a committee of about 25 stakeholders on a "redesign" of the school's programming this year, with program implementation expected in the 2023-24 school year.

Superintendent Dr. Sharon Kherat said the program will focus on workforce development in high-demand industries, but won't displace traditional education at Manual.

"It's kind of like a school within a school sort of idea," she said. "They'll still have a football team, basketball team, college career piece. Just, you know, revitalizing, and again, trying some different things."

Kherat said she's not exactly sure which programs may be expanded or introduced as part of the Career Pathways program. Manual currently has a manufacturing program, while Woodruff Career and Technical Center houses other job training programming.

Kherat said the school district is working with local businesses, the health care sector, trade unions, and higher education to assess workforce needs and develop the program.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.