Illinois job training program expands

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced the expansion of Illinois' job training program in July. The "Employ Illinois" program is part of Quinn's work to provide Illinois residents with training in construction industry positions.

The employment training is offered through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Tollway, according to the statement. The program connects job candidates with training as well as increases the incentive contractors receive for hiring program participants from $10 per hour to $15 per hour. The program is to be used on as many eligible projects as possible.

The purpose of Employ Illinois is to provide job seekers with training and job experience at a decent wage, according to Quinn. Workers will learn pre-apprenticeship skills, which they can use to become a journeyperson in a construction trade.

Since the program began, 9,172 hours of on-the-job training has been performed, all of which was reimbursed by the state. On going projects that will be reimbursed under the new $15 incentive are projects on the Circle Interchange in Chicago, Roosevelt Road in Broadview, Illinois, West Lake Avenue in Glenview, Illinois and more.

"Employ Illinois is about investing in people as we invest in our roads and bridges," Acting IDOT Secretary Erica Borggren said. "Through this program, we will provide aspiring workers the help they need to develop marketable skills in the transportation trades."

Construction projects have also participated in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. In the last five years, nearly 25 percent of Illinois Tollway project contracts have been awarded to minority- or women-owned businesses.

Companies looking for experienced and trained workers should partner with Chicago recruiters to find the most qualified candidate for their open positions.