Marcelyn Love 217-558-1542

 Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Highlights Success of State�s Youth Jobs Program

Illinois Y.E.S. Providing Youth Meaningful Work Experience, Addressing Needs of the Community 

MAYWOOD � July 30, 2010. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley today visited the Village of Maywood to highlight the state�s youth jobs program, which is already helping to provide 2,300 youth across the state with real-world work experiences. Through the Illinois Youth Employment for the Summer (Y.E.S.) program, approximately 40 area youth are assisting with clean-up efforts in Maywood and nearby communities following damaging storms last week.

�The recession has hit the youth employment population especially hard,� said Director Ribley. �Through this program, we�re creating opportunities for young people to gain meaningful work experience, and provide a critical service to their local communities. We�re also demonstrating our firm commitment to helping train the next generation of workers so that we can maintain a strong Illinois workforce.�

The Village of Maywood is collaborating with waste disposal company Allied Waste to train youth workers to assist with clean-up efforts following heavy rains last weekend that caused flooding across much of Northern Illinois.

�We are so very pleased that we have been able to provide this extraordinary help to our citizens by involving our summer YES workers in the cleanup effort,� said Mayor Henderson Yarbrough, Village of Maywood.  �It is heartwarming to see our youth employed and energetically involved in this process.  As I observe them, I can see the rise in their own self esteem as they assist their neighbors during this difficult time.  The YES program is not only enabling our youth to be employed for the summer, it�s providing them with an opportunity to learn a skilled profession and network with a company such as Allied, which may very well lead to a full time job in the future as they come to the work force with experience and training.�

Through Illinois Y.E.S., unemployed and underemployed Illinois youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are being placed in subsidized employment in a variety of work settings through September 30. Working with local businesses, the program is providing jobs, employment experience, and employability skills to those hardest hit by the economic recession. Nearly 900 Cook County youth have been placed in jobs this summer through Illinois Y.E.S.

Illinois Y.E.S. is a collaborative effort of DCEO and the Illinois Department of Human Services.  Funding is provided through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund, which was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. DCEO's Office of Employment and Training is administering the program through the state's 26 Local Workforce Investment Areas.

For eligibility criteria and additional information on Illinois Y.E.S., visit