Manar and Trzaska appointed to the Commission de la main-d’oeuvre

SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker on Thursday announced a $ 40 million Workforce Restoration Grant program aimed at getting more job seekers back to work, while helping sectors most affected by COVID- 19.

Deputy Governor Andy Manar of Bunker Hill will co-chair the new Workforce Equity and Access Commission. Lewis and Clark Community College president Ken Trzaska was also appointed to the commission.

“We are also expanding the success of our first-ever youth career development program aimed at helping more at-risk youth embark on rewarding careers with an additional $ 4.4 million, focusing on communities where it’s needed most, ”said Pritzker. “These are the key elements of our recovery from the pandemic and our commitment to building a better Illinois for everyone. “

Pritzker was joined by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities (DCEO) and community leaders in the announcement. New initiatives include a $ 40 million workforce recovery grant program that will expand workforce training, skills training and support services, as well as cover basic expenses. which constitute obstacles for those seeking employment.

The state will leverage $ 40 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to provide workforce recovery grants focused on increasing employment among workers and industries hardest hit by COVID-19. The program will use the Illinois Vocational Training and Economic Development Program model to improve access to education, training, and support services.

It is estimated that 1,500 unemployed, underemployed or underrepresented state residents will receive the necessary services.

A $ 20 million funding notice was released Thursday with a second round expected by next spring. JTED funding will focus on hard-hit sectors that have experienced labor shortages since the start of the pandemic, such as manufacturing, healthcare, arts and entertainment, waste management and retail. by retail.

The $ 4.4 million earmarked for vocational training programs for young people will be used by 20 partner organizations serving approximately 500 young people over a period of one year.

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