SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Labor, joined by state agencies, faith-based organizations and union groups launched a Workers’ Rights and Jobs Summit in Springfield. The day-long program was the first in a series of statewide outreach events to inform residents of their working rights, job opportunities in the construction field and other occupations in Illinois. More than 230 people attended the event held at Faith Coalition for the Common Good.
“This Summit serves as an example of how communities, government and labor representatives can effectively come together to help Illinois workers learn about their rights to fair wages and a safe and healthy workplace, as well as about job opportunities in construction and other fields,” said IDOL Director Joseph Costigan. “We are grateful to the participating state agencies, faith-based organizations and union apprentice groups for working with us to ensure Illinois' workforce remains strong.”
The summit drew nearly 230 unemployed or underemployed workers from central Illinois. Attendees learned about apprenticeship training in all crafts and other job opportunities in the construction trades; job seeking resources; minority, women and veterans hiring incentives; and worker rights and safety. Participants included the Illinois Departments of Labor (IDOL), Employment Security (IDES), Transportation (IDOT), Capital Development Board (CDB); as well as the Lincoln Land Community College; union apprentice programs including the Laborers, Operating Engineers and Electrical Workers; and the Faith Coalition for the Common Good. The next seminars are scheduled in Chicago, the Quad Cities and East St. Louis.
This initiative reinforces Governor Pat Quinn’s commitment to making employment opportunities available to all Illinoisans and ensuring that all workers are treated fairly. Gov. Quinn continues to fight for a higher minimum wage in Illinois from $8.25 to $10 and in August, Gov. Quinn signed three laws that fight questionable practices in order to protect Illinois workers’ paychecks. House Bill 2649, House Bill 923 and House Bill 3125 deal with the misclassification of workers and ensure employers pay state employment taxes and premiums.