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Money Smart and Job Savvy

Finding and keeping a job are defining moments in the life of any young person. Besides putting money in your pocket, employment can help you build confidence and self-esteem as well as foster the development of the necessary work habits to move towards independence. This is a particularly crucial developmental stage for youth in the care of DCFS as they approach emancipation. Youth may use this list of resources to help make the transition to independence successful. For more information about these and other programs available to youth in care, call your caseworker and ask him or her to contact the OETS transition manager in your area.
 
Alternative Schools Network “Added Chance” Program
The Added Chance Program provides coaching and classes to help youth find, prepare for and keep a job. The program is open to youth in the care of DCFS who are between the ages of 16 and 20 and reside in Cook County.
 
Employment Incentive Program
The Employment Incentive Program (EIP) is designed to provide financial and supplemental services to help adolescent youth gain marketable skills through on-the-job work experience or through job training programs. Youth who complete the EIP are equipped with the employment skills and work ethics necessary for a successful transition to independence. The program is open to youth in the care of DCFS who are between the ages of 17 and 20.
 
Find Your Future Internship Program
The Find Your Future (FYF) Internship Program is a 10-week paid internship program that matches current or former youth in care who are attending college or a vocational program with employers that most closely match their interests and skills.
 
GAP: Girl’s Awakening Power
This program will help girls in the care of DCFS who are between the ages of 9 and 16 find their hidden voice. Youth will receive help with homework and tutoring, work in a computer lab and explore different careers.
 
IllinoisJobLink.com
Illinois businesses are hiring. And they are looking for workers on IllinoisJobLink.com. The state's hiring board features more than 170,000 help-wanted ads. Job seekers can build multiple resumes to emphasize different skills and experiences. Business owners can use keyword matching technology to search resumes and find the best candidate. IllinoisJobLink.com is free for workers and employers. To create an account go to IllinoisJobLink.com and select the "Job Seekers" link at the top of the page.
 
Illinois Department of Employment Security Hire the Future Program
Hire the Future (HTF) is designed to facilitate the transition of young adults, between 16 and 24 years of age, into adulthood and into the workplace. The HTF program provides students with exposure to the workplace environment, including an understanding of work requirements as well as education and necessary skills needed.
 
Illinois WorkNet Centers
Visit the Illinois WorkNet Centers website for help looking for a job, improving your education or planning for your career. Enter your zip code and find out about career-related events happening in your area.
 
Job Corps
Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED and find and keep a good job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life.
 
Lawrence Hall Youth Services (LHYS) Mentoring Youth To Inspire Meaningful Employment (MY TIME) Program
MY TIME is a unique job readiness and employment program created especially for youth in the care of DCFS. Participants will learn the skills to get a job, keep a job and prepare for future success in the workforce. MY TIME is open to youth between the ages of 17 ½ and 20 ½ years old.
 
WASSup: Work-Attitude-School-Study Program
This program will help youth in care ages 14-20 develop skills to complete their education or get a good job. Youth receive homework assistance, work experience and a paycheck and will learn about technology and through the Youth Community Technology Program.
 
YouthBuild
In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16 to 24 work full-time for six to 24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable housing in their communities. Students may earn AmeriCorps education awards through their homebuilding and other community service. At exit, youth are placed in college, jobs, or both.
 
Need help or want to know more?
The Illinois Department of Employment Security provides employment services to Illinois residents and employers. For information about employment opportunities with the State of Illinois, visit www.work.illinois.gov.