Eligible entities can now apply to serve as community partners to boost equitable workforce recovery.

CHICAGO – Today, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced an additional $13 million investment in the Job Training and Economic Development Program (JTED) for workforce training and wrap-around services that will bolster equitable workforce recovery for Illinoisans struggling to gain meaningful employment. As part of Illinois’ workforce recovery efforts, JTED grants focus on helping increase employment among workers and industries hardest hit by COVID-19. Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process.

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“As we continue to bounce back from the pandemic, my administration remains committed to supporting our workforce and the industries that employ them,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Today, I am proud to announce that we are investing another $13 million into DCEO’s Job Training and Economic Development Program—building on our first round of funding to serve even more Illinoisans with resources, services, and trainings, while centering equity at every turn. From healthcare and tourism to manufacturing and agriculture, we are ensuring that every industry has the staff they require to thrive and that every resident, no matter their background, has the opportunity to take part in our nation’s number one workforce.”

In the second round of the program, JTED will address the economic impacts experienced by employers and individuals who are underemployed, unemployed, or underrepresented, including youth who have one or more barriers to employment which are identified as risk factors. Priority populations include immigrants and refugees, justice-involved individuals, and rural residents.

“The second round of JTED program grants goes directly to residents that need our support the most, and we must ensure all Illinoisans benefit from a robust recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “These funds address labor shortage challenges from the pandemic so all of our residents can participate in an equitable workforce for Illinois.”

JTED funding will continue to focus on hard hit sectors which have seen a labor shortage since the onset of the pandemic – such as manufacturing, agriculture, information technology, transportation distribution and logistics, architecture and construction, healthcare, and hospitality and tourism.

“The JTED program has helped thousands of Illinois families who were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second round of the program will continue to assist Illinoisans who need it the most,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “Illinois is known for its world-class workforce, and DCEO is committed to supporting an equitable workforce recovery by providing support services to underemployed, unemployed and underrepresented communities.”

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The State’s JTED model boosts access to education, training and support services needed for vulnerable residents to successfully re-enter the labor force. Additionally, JTED offers flexible funding through Barrier Reduction services for individuals that have emergency costs for basic needs.

“Illinois is known for its world-class workforce, and programs such as the Job Training and Economic Development Program are critical to advancing opportunities for people across the state to earn a living and support their families,” said Senate Leader Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago). “JTED promotes equity by providing education, training and support services to priority populations like those impacted by the criminal justice system.”

Eligible applicants include employers, private nonprofit organizations, federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act administrative entities, Community Action Agencies, industry associations, and public or private educational institutions that have demonstrated expertise and effectiveness in administering workforce development programs.

“The State’s continued workforce recovery efforts include a second round of the successful JTED program to assist Illinoisans struggling to find meaningful employment,” said House Assistant Majority Leader Jay C. Hoffman (D-Swansea). “This $13 million investment will give job seekers the opportunity to access workforce training and wrap-around services that will help them land good-paying jobs.”

Eligible entities can apply for grants between $250,000 to $750,000. Applications will be accepted until January 10 at 5:00 p.m. To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, please visit the DCEO website.

To help applicants prepare to apply for funding, DCEO will be holding a webinar from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on December 13. Interested parties are also encouraged to reach out to CEO.GrantHelp@illinois.gov for application assistance.

Through the first round of the JTED program, the State of Illinois invested $20 million in 44 community-based organizations that are currently serving nearly 1,900 unemployed, underemployed, or underrepresented Illinoisans, with a special training focus on industries hardest-hit by the pandemic.

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