State’s workforce development system prepares individuals, businesses for success in 21st century
DUQUOIN – During a visit to the DuQuoin State Fair today, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley highlighted the services of the state’s workforce development system, which helps prepare individuals and businesses for success in the 21st century economy. Through Illinois workNet, Southern Illinois job-seekers have greater access to free career planning, training and job placement services.
“Illinois workNet centers and the online portal serve as a bridge between businesses looking to hire and individuals looking to achieve self-sustainability,” said Director Ribley. “In addition, Illinois workNet helps drive worker training in high-growth sectors such as health care, energy efficiency and transportation.”
Illinois workNet is a cooperative effort among local workforce investment boards and their public and private partners, including economic development, workforce development and education agencies. The system integrates physical locations with online resources available through the Illinois workNet portal (www.IllinoisworkNet.com), which can be accessed at homes, offices and onsite at nearly 600 community partners statewide. Visitors to the DuQuoin State Fair can stop by the Governor’s Tent for a free tutorial.
Illinois workNet allows individuals to search for jobs that match their interests and skills, identify education and training programs, and receive assistance with resume writing and interview preparation. In addition, job seekers can obtain wage and salary data, labor market trends, health insurance overviews, and information about unemployment compensation, money management, child care and other supportive services.
Stephen Turner, Jr. sought assistance from the local workforce agency, Man-Tra-Con, after he was displaced from his job following the Maytag plant closure in 2008. Man-Tra-Con assisted Stephen in getting enrolled in school. After graduating from school in December 2008, Stephen worked with a Career Specialist to take advantage of the resume writing and skills assessment services available through the workNet center. Stephen is now working at the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital.
Illinois workNet also offers businesses access to high quality applicants, training and valuable management resources. Each Illinois workNet Center and community partner employs at least one certified Illinois workNet advisor knowledgeable about the federal and state workforce system. Employers also will find tools to recruit qualified employees, information about training to upgrade the skills of their current employees and a wide range of resources to help Illinois businesses remain competitive.
“Through Illinois workNet, we’re helping individuals realize their goals and achieve self-sufficiency, while building a workforce that’s better equipped to meet the demands of a 21st century economy,” said Kathy Lively, executive director, Man-Tra-Con.
While visiting the DuQuoin State Fair, fairgoers can get a first-hand look at the services available through Illinois workNet and also meet some youth who are gaining work experience by participating in the state’s Summer Youth Employment Programs. The program places unemployed and underemployed Illinois youth between the ages of 16 and 24 in subsidized employment in a variety of work settings.
Working with local businesses, the program is providing jobs, employment experience, and employability skills to those hardest hit by the economic recession. A total of 6,200 youth have been placed in jobs statewide this summer through the Summer Youth Employment Program, including 40 working at the DuQuoin State Fair.
To learn more about Illinois workNet, or any of the workforce services available through the Illinois workNet Centers, visit www.illinoisworknet.com. Illinois workNet is also on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.