CHICAGO - As the “Illinois Workforce Outreach Days” draw to a close, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Illinoisans that services that assist in these poor economic conditions are still available through the Illinois Workforce Portal (www.illinois.gov/workforce) or by calling 1-800-966-9708. At six events around the state, Workforce Outreach Days connected more than 500 Illinoisans to services like Low Income Housing Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), All Kids, Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) and unemployment benefits.
“I am pleased at the success of our Workforce Outreach Days, but I know we still have work ahead of us to help Illinoisans weather this poor national economy. With this in mind, I have asked for federal assistance to fund infrastructure projects that can be started immediately and get our construction workers back on the job. I will also continue pushing for a statewide jobs plan to put hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans back to work. By investing in our workers, we will go a long way to overcoming the effects of this poor national economy,” said Governor Blagojevich
The Workforce Outreach Days was be hosted at six Illinois workNet locations throughout the state. At Illinois workNet sites individuals can search for jobs that match their interests and skills, find education and training programs, get assistance with resume writing, and prepare for interviews with prospective employers. The Governor’s Office expanded services offered at the six Illinois workNet sites throughout the state to include information about All Kids, unemployment insurance, as well as several other state programs that can help families who are fighting to make ends meet during the poor economy.
Although Illinois has a resilient, diverse economy, families and businesses have felt the effects of the poor national economy. On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported that in October the statewide unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent, and Illinois recorded its fifth consecutive month of job loss for the first time in more than five years. Illinoisans who still have jobs have seen their wages grow at a slower rate. Finally, the housing market in Illinois has followed the plummeting national market – this October home sales were down 31 percent compared to October 2007.
Illinois workNet is a cooperative effort among economic development, workforce development and education agencies, local workforce investment boards and their public and private partners. Illinois workNet allows individuals to search for jobs that match their interests and skills, as well as find education and training programs. Illinois workNet also offers businesses access to high quality applicants, training and valuable management resources.
Under the new system, 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.
Last week, Governor Blagojevich also launched a new partnership to help Illinois residents and businesses access additional career planning, training and job placement services. This new partnership between Illinois workNet, the state’s newly-transformed workforce development system, and CareerBuilder will now provide real-time access to job openings in high-growth industries such as: Healthcare; Information Technology; Transportation, Distribution and Logistics and Manufacturing.