CHICAGO – Continuing his push to connect Illinois’ workers with services to improve skills and find jobs as the effects of the poor national economy are felt in Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged skilled trade workers to participate in the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP), which will help to create jobs, provide job training for more than 700 skilled trades workers and stimulate local economies.
“Across the nation, people are having a tough time finding jobs and in response to that here in Illinois I am urging workers in the skilled trades to apply for the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program,” said Governor Blagojevich. “During the current economic situation this program can help connect people with work to see them and their families through this difficult time.”
IHWAP will assist skilled laborers in learning and improving existing skills competencies during the difficult economic climate. Through IHWAP workers take part in specialized on-the-job training, which allows them to develop the technical knowledge needed to do quality skilled weatherization work. These skilled workers can then find jobs as home energy auditors, insulation installers, and HVAC technicians.
“Weatherization helps to create jobs providing work for small contractors throughout Illinois helping to boost the economy,” said Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Director Barry S. Maram. “We’re very pleased that we could help generate additional employment and assist families that really need help making ends meet during these tough times.”
While IHWAP connects workers with jobs to help them provide for their families, it also helps to stimulate the local economy by delivering these necessary weatherization services to recipients in the community. Through IHWAP we have weatherized over 7,400 homes and created a total of 731 jobs in Illinois. And the $35 million in program spending creates $63 million in overall economic activity and more than $21 million in labor income.
Over the next two years, the Governor also announced that HFS will expand the weatherization program significantly to include more training and workshops for Illinois’ skilled workers with the help of federal funding. Weatherization jobs are supported by the LIHEAP funds that are allocated by HFS on weatherization work throughout the state.
To learn more about IHWAP, please visit www.weatherizationillinois.com/. BEP-certified contractors interested in weatherization work should contact the local LIHEAP administering agencies directly. Contact information for local agencies can be found on the Web site.