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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2011

Governor Quinn and IDHS Announce Incentives for Business to Hire Workers with Disabilities
IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Services Partners with Employers to Empower People with Disabilities

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced a federally funded program to help employers hire workers with disabilities. The Employer Training Initiative is an initiative of the IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) to help individuals with disabilities become employed by providing a financial incentive to employers. 

“Putting people to work is the best way to strengthen our economy and employers need to know that people with disabilities represent a vital part of our workforce in Illinois,” said Gov. Quinn.  “I urge all employers to take advantage of this cash incentive which is good for workers and good for business.”

DRS is using federal (ARRA) stimulus dollars to assist employers with the cost of training an employee during the first weeks on the job. DRS will pay participating employers $500 when a person is hired and another $500 once the individual completes 90 days of employment.  Interested employers need to contact DRS as soon as possible as the ARRA program ends in September, 2011.

“We are committed to the success of our customers and ensure their success by evaluating their skills and qualifications before sending them to work,” said DRS Director Dr. Robert Kilbury. “DRS staff also assist employers after a person is hired to help them maintain employment.”
 
The DRS Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program supports a wide range of services designed to help individuals with disabilities prepare for and engage in gainful employment consistent with their abilities. The VR program has resulted in nearly 5,000 job placements in each of the last several years.

For more information on the DRS Employer Training Initiative call toll-free at 877.761.9780 (voice), 866.264.2149 (TTY).  The DRS web site is: www.drs.illinois.gov/success.       



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