8,000 To Get Jobs Help

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Eight thousand adults involved in the new federal welfare program will participate in a new state program that will help people find and keep jobs.

THE ILLINOIS JOB ADVANTAGE

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1997, a press conference was held at the Illinois Department of Human Services, 2100 S. Michigan Ave., at which Gov. Jim Edgar announced a $32 million job preparation and training program.

TARGET: INNER CITY CHICAGO

The state will target 12 inner city areas that are in the greatest need of job education, training and placement services. The governor said that it made good sense to see that people have the proper skills in order to perform well on the job. He added that people couldn’t be moved from welfare to work without these kinds of investments.

THE OBJECTIVE

The Illinois Job Advantage’s objective is to help what state officials call “difficult to help” welfare recipients get ready to work, get a job and stay on the job. $8.4 million of the $32 million will reach 8,000 adult Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) clients.

According to TANF federal guidelines, it is required that states have at least 30 percent of TANF clients working or involved in work-related activities by October 1997.

THE 12 TARGETED COMMUNITIES

There are only 12 communities that will be the focus of this initiative: Ashland, Auburn Park, Cabrini-Green, Englewood, Kenwood, Michigan, Oakland, Park Manor, Pershing, Roseland, Western and Woodlawn.

THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE $8.4 MILLION

The Department of Human Services will select and administer the $8.4 million in grants to community agencies to provide job preparation and training.

Also, the selected agencies will be responsible for many things including support services, mentoring and addiction services as well as connection to child care. The agencies will be paid on the basis of their success in placing clients into jobs.

“We want to continue to help people,” said Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Howard A. Peters III. “We think this $8.4 million will be money well spent.”

The community agencies will be selected and funded by the end of October and the remaining $24 million will be distributed statewide and to other Chicago neighborhoods by DHS.

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