'Put Illinois to Work' Employment Program

State, Federal Plan Seeks to Create More Than 15,000 Jobs

Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled the Put Illinois to Work (PIW) program, an anti-poverty program aimed at building a healthy workforce by putting unemployed and underemployed Illinois residents back to work. The new program is expected to create more than 15,000 jobs.

"Put Illinois to Work will provide good-paying jobs that will help support families and strengthen communities," said Governor Pat Quinn. "The program will also assist in building a workforce that possesses the skills, abilities and experiences that Illinois employers need to remain competitive in the U.S. and global marketplace."

Put Illinois to Work is a collaborative effort of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS). Funding is provided through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF), which was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Through Put Illinois to Work, eligible Illinois residents will be placed in subsidized employment positions with participating worksites for up to six months, learning valuable skills and supporting their families. The program will help stimulate Illinois' ailing economy and develop a healthy workforce by providing meaningful work experience for participants.

"Put Illinois to Work is an exciting opportunity to employ thousands of Illinoisans during a time of economic downturn and high unemployment," said IDHS Secretary Michelle R. B. Saddler. "The program will draw down federal funds that will stimulate the Illinois economy and even more importantly, will help the citizens we serve to gain critical skills in the workforce."

Private, public and non-profit businesses are encouraged to sign on with Put Illinois to Work. Eligible participants will be matched to subsidized employment opportunities with these worksites in hopes that they might transition into an unsubsidized position at the program's conclusion.

Eligible worksites and participants must meet program criteria and agree to adhere to specific programmatic requirements. Participants must be age 18-21, or 18 and over and the parent (custodial or noncustodial) of a minor child. All participants must have a household income below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($2,428 per month for a family of two) and be legally present and authorized to work.

For eligibility criteria and additional information on Put Illinois to Work, visit www.PutIllinoistoWork.Illinois.gov.