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Cook County launches jobs training, placement program for suburbs as stricter COVID-19 measures go into effect
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 Chicago Tribune by Alice Yin
The day stricter state-imposed coronavirus restrictions took hold in suburban Cook County, officials announced a jobs program funded by $4 million in federal stimulus money to train and employ residents who are out of work due to the pandemic.
Run with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, the program made possible by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money will funnel grants toward seven workforce agencies in the suburbs, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Wednesday. Participants can take part in job placement, career coaching and skills training on job hunting and interview preparation.
Cook County officials pledged that they will offer more help as the need continues. The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership in charge of the jobs program received a flood of notices from businesses who have had to curtail their workforce in March, said CEO Karin Norington-Reaves, and their situations have remained grim.
“In March, those layoffs were anticipated to be temporary,” Norington-Reaves said. “By the fall, many had become permanent. In short, these are grave times.”
Suburban residents can apply for the jobs program at https://chicookworks.org/initiatives/covid-19-workforce-development-related-information/. In addition to job matching and training, the program will pay for retraining current employees to avoid layoffs, launching a pilot program to give consulting services to small and mid-sized manufacturers who have been hurt by COVID-19's financial impact and other resources for employers who are struggling.
Alice Yin works the overnight shift at the Tribune, responsible for covering whatever breaks. She is a Medill School of Journalism graduate and was a statehouse reporter for the Associated Press in Michigan before being hired last summer by the Sun-Times. Alice likes to explore new restaurants, go jogging and frequent bookshops.