Program Successful - Jobs Program will Keep Thousands Employed Through Holidays
Governor Pat Quinn today announced the temporary extension of the Put Illinois to Work (PIW) program through Jan. 15, 2011. When federal funding for the program expired on Sept. 30, Governor Quinn extended PIW two months to provide a bridge in hopes that the U.S. Congress would act to continue funding the program. With Congress still considering additional funding for the program, the Governor is temporarily extending PIW with state funds for an additional six weeks. More than 26,000 workers have been hired since Put Illinois to Work was launched last April.
"Putting people back to work is the best way to make our economy stronger," said Governor Quinn. "I remain hopeful that Congress will extend the funding for the Put Illinois Program to Work program, which has created more than 26,000 jobs in Illinois alone. I am extending this program today to keep thousands of people in Illinois at work through the holiday season."
Governor Quinn has made it a top priority to create jobs and boost Illinois' economy. Strategic programs by the Department of Transportation (IDOT), Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Department of Human Services (IDHS) have all supported continued improvement in the state's economy.
In October, the statewide unemployment rate fell again for the seventh consecutive month to 9.8 percent (seasonally adjusted) and the state added 8,000 jobs. Illinois has added more than 53,000 jobs this year, showing the Illinois economy is steadily improving. Since January 2009, DCEO has put together 103 business investment packages that have created and retained more than 23,900 jobs and leveraged $3.18 billion in private investment.
In addition, IDOT is currently leading Illinois' largest road construction program in state history through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program. From 2009 through the end of this year the state will have invested approximately $7 billion to repair or rebuild 4,800 miles of roads and 500 bridges, creating an estimated 135,000 short-term and permanent jobs.
Earlier this year, Governor Quinn proposed and signed into law the Illinois Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit. The $2,500 tax credit is available to businesses with 50 or fewer employees (including all locations) that create new jobs between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.
Put Illinois to Work is a collaborative effort of IDHS and Heartland Human Care Services and over two dozen partner organizations across the state. As the U.S. Congress deliberates today, the Governor is hopeful they will act to reinstate federal funding for the PIW program, which has created more than 26,000 jobs in Illinois.