POST Online Media Lite Edition


Construction projects to put hundreds to work in Illinois

Staff writer |
As Illinois' unemployment rate fell to its lowest point since October 2008, Governor Pat Quinn announced Employ Illinois, an expansion of his efforts to provide diverse residents with training for jobs in the construction industry.

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Offered through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Tollway, Employ Illinois links job seekers with training and also increases the incentive paid to contractors from $10 to $15 an hour for each program graduate they put to work. Today's announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to create jobs and help drive Illinois' economy forward.

Preliminary data, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, shows Illinois' rate has dropped to 7.1 percent, the lowest since October 2008 – months before Governor Quinn took office. The drop in the unemployment rate from March to June is the sharpest three-month decline ever recorded in Illinois.

Governor Quinn has directed IDOT and the Tollway to apply the Employ Illinois incentive on as many eligible projects as possible. Employ Illinois workers will take part in many of the projects funded by a new $1 billion road construction initiative that begins in August.

Under Employ Illinois, participants will develop the pre-apprenticeship skills they need to work on construction sites and begin the process of becoming journeymen and journeywomen in the construction trades. Since the $10 per hour hiring incentive took effect, trainees have participated in 269 contracts statewide, resulting in 9,172 hours in on-the-job training that was reimbursed by the state.

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