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Free job training programs in Illinois.

The main federal funded job training program that is available in Illinois is the Worknet Centers, which is part of the WIA - Workforce Investment Ac. The government program combines several different non-profit and government resources into one overall workforce development system that is free to all Illinois residents (no matter their income). The Worknet centers in Illinois that may be near you (and are listed below) will provide qualified clients, including the unemployed, with one place to turn to in order to find a new job or train for a career.

To learn more or apply for assistance, you will want to contact your local Illinois workNet Center below. Or the main customer service number is 217.785.6006. Those locations serve as the state's one-stop delivery system for a wide range of employment services. A diverse number of training programs are available in each center. The particulars of each location may change. For example, a center located in downtown Chicago will offer slightly different programs then more rural based facilities. However, in general, there are three main components.

Free career counseling and employment services

The WIA core services are offered to qualified individuals over the age of 18. So families are entitled to free job search and placement assistance. Throughout the process clients will access career counseling and receive an assessment of their current skills. Also, very importantly, get information about the local Illinois job market, including lists of open positions, hiring companies, and what skills/fields are in high demand.

Intensive services are available for people who still can’t find a job, even after going through the core program mentioned above. It can also assist those who are employed but need additional skills or training in order to reach mid to long term self-sufficiency.

Examples of what is offered includes the development of individual employment plans between clients and specialists from the Illinois workNet Center. Then continue with case management and group and individual counseling. Many times people will want to expand their job search as well, so individuals can look into out-of-area positions and explore relocation financial assistance.

The Workforce Investment Act also requires qualified clients can access a component known as Training Services. Some individuals may be able to enroll in occupational skills training or work on the job in order to get training that way. Additional services available in Illinois include adult education and literacy activities and several cooperative education and private sector programs.




Workforce Investment Act supports the youth and dislocated workers. Another priority is on supporting veterans, their spouses, and former members of our military.

Job programs for veterans in Illinois

Military members, veterans, and their spouses can receive priority assistance from workNet Centers. The state of Illinois  and federal government realize how much many of these individuals sacrificed for their country. Counselors will do everything they can to help them find employment in the civilian workforce. Clients can receive first priority on any job training that becomes available. Veterans will also be the first ones notified of any opening positions that meet their skill set and interest.

Employment services for younger or older workers or job seekers

Older workers (over the age of 55) can get assistance from SCSEP. The applicant needs to be unemployed, low income, and also in the process of reentering the job market. The benefits provides may be a paid, part time job in which the employee can get much needed experience. Non-profits and government agencies take part in the program and will hire senior citizens and older workers.

Assistance for youth is focused on low income residents and teenagers who are under the age of 21. Many people who benefit have a substantial barrier to employment such as a runaway or a foster child, they are deficient in basic literacy skills, they are a college or high school dropout, homeless, or maybe pregnant or parenting. In general it will help an individual who requires additional assistance to secure and hold employment, find healthy hobbies, and gain other skills.

Services offered to youth include free tutoring sessions as well as information on making money from their hobbies. This can also involved mentoring, study skills training, and instruction leading to completion of Illinois secondary schools. All of these can be beneficial to the youth in Illinois.

Younger residents can be placed into paid and unpaid work experience, including internships and job shadowing programs. This will allow them to benefit from occupational skills training and leadership development. Also get information and enroll into scholarship programs and/or Community Colleges in Illinois.





Additional free Illinois Worknet Center services

Many centers hold Workshops that offer Hands on Training programs. This can help potential clients and applicants obtain or enhance their current skills or gain new ones in order to land that next job. Examples of what a workNet Center may offer include Computer Skills Training, Professional Interviewing Skills, Resume Development and Power Job Search. Developing your current skills, or acquiring new ones, will make you that much more valuable to employers in Illinois. The experience can also help lead to a higher income and earnings over your lifetime.

Many non-profits and employers in Illinois offer Volunteer Opportunities. These can offer job seekers a way to network, provides them with a valuable service during their job search, and time to hone their skills. They can be thought of as freelance type jobs. Many studies show that volunteers are among the most successful in landing new job opportunities as the people that take part in these services as well as freelance programs show the initiative and have gained experience from the opportunity.

Qualified and committed staff provide training assistance that can help individuals access their interests, skills, and experience which can pinpoint educational opportunities and other resources needed to achieve long term employment success. Some people may even be eligible for a training or college scholarship to help upgrade skills. Read more on freelancing from home/

The dislocated worker program requires an applicant to have received a lay off notice. Or if someone has already been laid off due to a company closure or mass layoff in Illinois then WIA may be able to assist. Another beneficiary of the dislocated worker resource is for that are currently unemployed and those that are unlikely to return to their prior occupation due to the current economic conditions in that industry.

The very low income in Illinois who receive cash assistance or TANF from the government are also required to gain self-sufficiency. This is a requirement to TANF. Employment assistance, training, and job search assistance, and more, is made available to them.

Illinois WorkNet Centers offer the population at large an array of services. This can include everything from a place to apply for unemployment benefits through retraining. Computer labs allow job seekers to do research on openings and resume preparations. Many centers have career libraries which provide a complete collection of reference materials including videotapes, books, and CD-ROMs. The computers may even help families find work from home jobs.

The labs will also have fax machines, printers, copiers and telephones available for public use. Most importantly, counselors and highly trained staff on hand are committed to the clients they serve, whether they are unemployed or seeking to learn something new.

Basic Computer Literacy Classes can be held for anyone who has minimal computer experience. The sessions can provide people with computer skills in order to improve their career options, help them seek employment more effectively, and in general be a more effective employee. Train on software such as Microsoft products and even go through classes on how to use the hardware.







Locations of workNet Centers

More information is below. Or for referrals, or help finding job or employment programs, the main state phone number is 217.785.6006.

Lake County Workforce Development Department
Address is 118 N County St, Waukegan, IL 60085. Phone: (847) 377-2243 or dial 847-377-2224
Another site is at 1 North Genesee, Waukegan, IL 60085. Phone: 847-377-3450.

McHenry County Job Training - Workforce Network
500 Russell Court, Woodstock, IL 60098-2608. Call 815-338-7100

The Workforce Connection - Rock River Training Corp.
Provides coverage to Boon and Winnebago County
Location is 303 North Main Street, Rockford, Illinois 61101. Call 815-847-7570 or 815-847-7574

One Stop Center - Ottawa
1550 First Avenue, Ottawa, IL 61350. Phone: 815-640-9407

WokNet including Kane County Department of Community Reinvestment
Resources are for DeKalb, Kane and Kendall County.
143 First Street, Batavia, IL 60510. Phone: 630-762-2120 or 630-208-5351

workNet DuPage Career Center - DuPage County Department of Economic Development and Planning
Main address of office - 2525 Cabot Drive, Lisle, IL 60532-3629. Call 630-995-2044 or 630-955-2030

Partners for Employment
Counties Served include Carroll, JoDaviess, Ogle, Stephenson and Whiteside
315 1st Ave, Sterling, IL 61081. Call 815-625-3623 for information.

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership - Near West American Job Center
The center also supports Cook County.
1700 W. 18th, Chicago, IL 60608. Main Phone: 855-994-8300 or try 312-603-0200
This is the leading center for information on open jobs and training programs in metropolitan Chicago. A number of employment services are offered.

North Suburban Cook County American Job Center
Location is 1400 South Wolf Road, Wheeling, IL 60090. Call 847-484-8187

Workforce Services Division of Will County
2400 Glenwood Ave, Joliet, IL 60435. Telephone 815-727-4444
The location covers Grundy and Will County.

Kankakee Workforce Services
Location is Kankakee Community College, 450 N. Kinzie, Bradley, IL 60915. Dial 815-802-8960

American Job Center - Rock Island Tri-County Consortium
Counties - Henry, Mercer and Rock Island
500 42nd Street, Rock Island, IL 61201, Main phone: 309-429-6429 or Call the center at 309-793-5200

Workforce Investment Office of Western Illinois
Assistance is offered for several counties including Adams, Brown, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler and Warren.
49 North Prairie Street, Galesburg, IL 61402-0231. Call 309-344-1575




City of Peoria Workforce Development Department
Provides services to Marshall, Peoria, Stark and Woodford
Location is 211 Fulton Street Suite 300
Peoria, IL 61602-1337
Telephone number: 309-495-8928

Career Link
Counties Served: Fulton, Mason, McLean and Tazewell
Address: 2956 Court Street
Pekin, IL 61555-0067
Call 309-347-5740
Training, career counseling and more is offered from the center.

Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
1307 North Mattis Avenue
Champaign, Illinois 61821-1818
If you live in the counties of Champaign, Ford, Iroquois or Piatt, call 217-531-8282

Vermilion County Job Training Partnership
Main location is 407 North Franklin Street
Danville, IL 61832
217-442-3044 x235

Workforce Investment Solutions
Location is 757 West Pershing Road
Decatur, Illinois 62526
DeWitt and Macon County residents or unemployed should call this office.

Land of Lincoln Consortium
1300 South 9th Street
Springfield, IL 62794
Counties - Cass, Christian, Logan, Menard and Sangamon Illinois.

West Central Development Council
Counties - Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Montgomery, Morgan, Scott and Shelby
116 South Plum Street
Carlinville, IL 62626-0260

Madison County Employment and Training Wood River Facility
Counties Served - Bond and Madison
The office is at 101 East Edwardsville Road Suite 1302
Wood River, Illinois 62095

CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation
Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, Moultrie and Richland Counties are supported.
1805 South Banker Street
Effingham, IL 62401
Phone - 217-342-2193

St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department Employment and Training Division
Regions and counties - Clinton, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington
19 Public Square Suite 200
Belleville, IL 62220-1695

MAN-TRA-CON Corporation
1301 Enterprise Way Suite 60
Marion, Illinois 62959
Tel. 618-998-0970
Counties - Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, .
530 West Washington
Karnak, IL 62956

Mid-5 Employment and Training Inc.
701 North Commercial Street Suite 6A
Harrisburg, Illinois 62946
Office phone - 618-252-6020

Wabash Area Development Inc.
Families of counties including Alexander, Edwards, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne and White.
110 Latham Street
Enfield, Illinois 62835
Dial 618-963-2387 for intake.

By Jon McNamara













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