Across the region, we have seen thousands of workers impacted by a number of major layoffs. As a result, the Central Illinois Workforce Board has taken a leadership role in enhancing programs and services to meet the realities of this economy. The board has created a model workforce development system of public and private sector organizations to address the workforce needs of business and individuals.
This local workforce development system is called the “Workforce Network.” The network has expanded and enhanced the professional services for businesses and career services for individuals offered at the Career Resource Centers in Peoria, Marshall and Stark counties, and at Manual Talent Development High School.
In addition, Workforce Network continues to respond to reports of layoffs and business closings in central Illinois. Since December 1, 2008, 108 employers have reduced their workforce or closed operations, affecting nearly 8,000 workers. More than half of the companies reducing their workforce represent the manufacturing industry or a related industry such as engineering, logistics and maintenance.
In response to this new economic reality, additional resources have been made available to our region, including a YouthBuild grant and two Community-Based Job Training grants from the U.S. Department of Labor targeting healthcare and green technologies. Other resources available include grants targeting dislocated workers from specific companies.
Dislocated Worker Training
The Dislocated Worker program received funding from the State of Illinois to provide scholarships for individuals who were impacted by layoffs affecting more than 250 people or certified Trade Global Adjustment Assistance Act (TGAAA). As a result of this funding, we currently have scholarships available for individuals laid off from the following companies: Advanced Technology Services, Caterpillar Inc., Gray Interplant, Keystone Steel, Volt, Washington Division URS and XPAC. Mossville and Mapleton plants are eligible for TGAAA benefitsGreen Construction Training
The Community-Based Green Construction program is providing 167 scholarships to individuals who would like to obtain the required credentials or associate degree to work on “green” energy-efficient commercial and residential construction projects. The credential programs available include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for commercial projects and Building Professional Institute (BPI) training for those working in the residential industry. The “green” associate degree program is offered at Illinois Central College for those interested in pursuing a career in green technologies.
The Health Care Training program is providing 125 scholarships to individuals who would like to pursue healthcare careers. There are five programs available through Illinois Central College, including tracks for medical assistants, radiographers, surgical technicians, registered nurses, and an LPN-to-RN bridge. The radiography training program is also available at Heartland Community College.
YouthBuild Peoria! is providing 48 young people ages 18 to 24 with the opportunity to develop employment skills, learn specific construction skills, improve basic academic skills, obtain a GED and receive hands-on experience building a Habitat for Humanity house. YouthBuild Peoria! meets five days a week from 8am to 12:30pm for approximately nine to 12 months. Participants receive compensation for work and a stipend for participation in the training program. The first cohort of participants started the program on January 19th. We anticipate starting the second cohort in fall 2010. iBi