Preckwinkle, Cook County Works (CCW) Award $15 million to Community Groups

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today the list of community groups that Cook County Works (CCW) is partnering with by providing more than $15 million. These service providers, a broader group than in previous years, will provide critical employment and training services to residents throughout South and West Suburban Cook County. Working in conjunction with CCW and the President’s office, these community groups and agencies will be responsible for providing employment and training services to eligible youth, adults, dislocated workers and other target populations within the service area. The agencies were approved by the Cook County Workforce Investment Board based upon recommendation from CCW and following a competitive RFP process. While many of the agencies have historically partnered with CCW, nine are new providers. “I am pleased to announce that these vital community groups and agencies will be assisting Cook County Works to provide important services which will assist our residents in finding gainful employment,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Under the leadership of Karin Norington-Reaves, Cook County Works has revitalized its operations and is working towards a much more effective and efficient program. We look forward to partnering with these groups in the coming years.” The roster of agencies also represents a departure from the previous administration’s service delivery model. Beginning December 1st, the County’s One Stop Centers (also known as IETC’s Illinois Employment Training Centers) will be operated by delegate agencies as opposed to County staff. This amounts to a $2 million reduction in administrative costs to the County which results in the distribution of more funds to community-based organizations. The County will cease to be a service provider and will focus its attention on the administration of the Workforce Investment Act funds as well as the creation of innovative employment initiatives. In all, the County will award more than $15 million in employment and training funds. The President and CCW Director Karin Norington-Reaves briefed all 2011 service providers today in a mandatory orientation session at South Suburban College, in South Holland, Ill. The orientation consisted of setting expectations for service providers; illustrating goals of the restructured CCW, as well as providing an overview of new policies such as progressive discipline tools to force compliance, up to and including suspension and the de-obligation of funds. “Together with the efforts of President Preckwinkle, we are confident that CCW will continue on its current trajectory to previously unrealized success in the delivery of substantive workforce development services to Cook County residents. “The services these groups are providing for Cook County residents will help to improve the quality of life and increase employment opportunities for our citizens. This funding is very significant to the health and economic development of our communities.” The list of new agencies includes: Calumet Area Industrial Commission, Career Advancement Network, Catholic Charities, Community Assistance Project, Erie Neighborhood House, Heartland Human Care Services, Instituto del Progreso Latino, Jobs for Youth and Westside Health Authority. The new Center Operators are: National ABLE (Chicago Heights), Central States SER (Cicero), Employer & Employee Services (Maywood), and MAXIMUS, Inc. (Oak Forest). The complete list of agencies is: AERO Special Education Cooperative Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center Bethel Community Facility Bloom High School, District 206 Calumet Area Industrial Commission Career Advancement Network Catholic Charities Community Economic Development Association Central States SER Chicago Federation of Labor Community Assistance Project Employment & Employer Services Erie Neighborhood House Heartland Human Care Services Institute del Progreso Latino Jobs for Youth LaGrange Department of Special Education MAXIMUS Microtrain Moraine Valley Community College National ABLE Prairie State College Safer Foundation South Suburban College Southland Healthcare Triton College Westside Health Authority


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