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Job Training Programs Available Statewide

By JAY HEDGES, Director
Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs

A variety of job training programs are available to meet the needs of businesses and individuals in Illinois. These programs seek to establish a balance between the demand for and supply of trained workers in Illinois communities. One such program is the federally funded Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Program. The program is administered at the state level by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs.

The JTPA Program, created through federal legislation enacted in 1982, prepares eligible persons, including those who face severe barriers to employment, to become productive members of the labor force. Businesses, as well as individuals, benefit from JTPA which provides for direct private sector involvement in the development of locally administered programs.

Twenty-six Service Delivery Areas operate JTPA programs at the local level in Illinois. A Private Industry Council oversees planning for the operation of each local job training program. The council is comprised of local business leaders who make up at least 51% of its members. Whenever possible, half of these business members are from small business. Representatives from education, labor, rehabilitation agencies, not-for-profit social service organizations, economic development agencies, and the public employment service constitute the balance of the council. Appointments to the Private Industry Council are made by the chief elected official(s) from individuals that are nominated.

Each local JTPA Program is administered according to the Service Delivery Area's job training plan. The plan specifies the type of training to be provided to youth and adults based on labor needs of area business and industry. The job training plan must receive approval by the chief elected official(s) as well as the Private Industry Council.

The Job Training Partnership Act Program is operated year-round and provides a wide range of training activities to prepare income-eligible persons for employment. The employment fields are as diverse as law enforcement, nursing, security, clerical, data processing, and construction trades. Training programs include, but are not limited to, employer specific on-the-job training; academic and vocational classroom training; remedial education and basic skills training; and job search assistance.

The JTPA Program also focuses on the training and employment needs of targeted population groups such as youth, older workers, and individuals who have lost their jobs due to plant lay offs or closings. For example, in addition to the ongoing JTPA Program, there is a special summer program that addresses the employment and training needs of youth. Funds are also targeted to provide specialized training to older individuals through a JTPA older workers program.

Another program component, the Dislocated Workers Program, assists workers who have been, or have received notice they are about to be, laid off due to a permanent closing of a plant or facility. These are workers who are unlikely to be able to return to their previous industry or occupation and have little prospect for local employment or re-employment. Twenty-two dislocated worker centers and programs have been established throughout Illinois to provide comprehensive training programs.

The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) is responsible for the overall implementation of Illinois' Job Training Partnership Act Program. The department applies for and receives federal JTPA funds on behalf of the state and then distributes funds to local program operators. It also monitors programs to assure compliance with provisions of the Act and to help ensure the quality of job training programs administered statewide. In addition to its oversight responsibility, DCCA regularly assists JTPA program operators by providing ongoing guidance and technical assistance.

For more information on your locally administered Job Training Partnership Act Program, contact the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' Division of Job Training Programs at 217/785-6006; the department's Division of Marketing at 217/782-6861 or 312/917-6649; or the local Private Industry Council within your Service Delivery Area.

Page 10 / Illinois Municipal Review / July 1987

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