CHICAGO – Gov. J.B. Pritzker Wednesday joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), local officials, and workforce partners to announce $20 million in investments for workforce training and wrap-around services that will bolster equitable workforce recovery for those struggling to gain meaningful employment.
Through the Job Training and Economic Development Program (JTED) grants, 44 community-based organizations will serve more than 2,500 individuals, with a special training focus on industries hardest-hit by the pandemic. JTED is part of Illinois’ workforce recovery efforts funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“I’m proud to support workforce recovery efforts in Illinois with an additional $20 million investment in workforce training for thousands of job seekers across Illinois,” Pritzker said. “Investing in our people is how we drive forward an equitable economy and help businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. Thanks to the leadership of our 44 community partners around the state, this commitment will provide participants the skills needed to build a better Illinois for everyone.”
The funding will expand access to workforce training services and supports for Illinoisans in who are unemployed or underemployed, with a special emphasis on individuals living in low- -income communities that have been hardest-hit by the pandemic. All training programs will provide the opportunity to earn a post-secondary or an industry-recognized credential or certification.
Officials said the program will also provide resources and support services to reduce challenges low-income job seekers often face. JTED also supports industries that have struggled with labor shortages during the pandemic by offering training with an emphasis on hard-hit sectors – such as construction or IT.
Locally, the SIU Board of Trustees in Carbondale, Management Training and Consulting Corporation in Marion and Spero Family Services in Mt. Vernon will receive grant money from the Job Training and Economic Development Program.