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 State Economic Development Director Announces More Funding to Help Dislocated Workers

$3 million in state funds to cover federal shortfall and get people off waiting lists and into training

MARION, IL- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley visited the Marion workNet Center today to announce that $3 million in state workforce funds are being targeted to get dislocated workers off of waiting lists and into training.

�Getting people who want to work, back to work is our number one priority,� said Director Ribley.  �Caseworkers at Illinois workNet Centers across the state have run out of their annual federal allotment and many clients are on a waiting list for services. We're acting now to fill the gap to get people back into training and back into the workforce.�

DCEO administers the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) on behalf of the state, which provides job training and workforce services for adults, youth and dislocated workers. The federal WIA allotment to Illinois was cut by 16 percent this program year. To prevent the interruption of service delivery and training services for dislocated workers, DCEO's Office of Employment and Training is transferring $3 million from discretionary funds to alleviate waiting lists and serve additional workers who have lost their jobs due to the recession.

Workers like:
� Fleda McCoy's position as a fieldworker at Grow was eliminated as of July 27, 2009 due to a lack of funding.  She has been attending John A. Logan College with the goal of completing a two-year degree program, but it has been a struggle financially with the cost of books and supplies.  She has received some assistance with the Pell grant and Map grant but not enough to cover all the expenses. 

� Donny Craft was dislocated from Transcraft.  When he signed up for classes in the technology field at John A. Logan College, he lost his unemployment benefits. He is now fighting to get his unemployment insurance back and looking for work.

Dislocated Worker Amounts by LWIA

"We are very excited because the funds will allow us to serve job seekers who have been waiting for training dollars and to also serve our businesses who would like to hire," said Kathy Lively, Chief Executive Officer of Man-Tra-Con. "It is a win for the job seekers and for the employers in our region."

Funds will be distributed to local workforce areas (LWIA) based on allocations and dislocated worker expenditure rates.  Areas that have expended 80 percent or more of their local dislocated worker dollars will receive additional funding from State administrative funds (See chart to the left. Funding is listed by LWIA). A map of the state�s workforce areas can be found online at

DCEO's Office of Employment & Training is committed to encouraging statewide economic development by cultivating a well-trained workforce. To accomplish this goal, the Office identifies youth, adults and dislocated workers who are eligible for assistance under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), assesses their employability skills and provides training as appropriate for identified high-growth sectors. Programs and services are provided statewide while maintaining a focus on the economic needs of each region.