Hunter hopes grants encourages job seekers to fill high-demand positions

State Senator Mattie Hunter

In an effort to combat record high unemployment rates during the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor announced two new grants aiming to create nearly 1,300 jobs across the state. State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is encouraging job seekers to apply.

“This pandemic has shown us that there is a need for a different kind of essential worker,” Hunter said. “Workers such as contract tracers and food pantry workers are needed now more than ever. Many people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 should consider these positions, which not only gives them a source of income but helps to serve their community in a time of need.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Security (DCEO) has received a $16.6 million investment (two $8.3 million grants as part of the National Dislocated Worker Program) to fill various high-demand positions and assist local disaster relief programs.

To expand education and training opportunities throughout, the state will distribute funding to 12 Local Workforce Innovation Areas throughout Illinois. DCEO will join with local workforce agency partners to assist with filling temporary high-need roles to help alleviate COVID-19 in communities, including contact tracers, COVID-19 protocol workers, building sanitization workers, temperature screeners, and food preparation and distribution workers.

Training and hiring processes for new workforce programs will begin this fall. Applicants who have been laid off or otherwise lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis at the time of their application will be prioritized by local workforce agencies. Anyone interested in applying can find a full list of available training and hiring opportunities on Get Hired Illinois.

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