(Chicago, IL) September 28, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the extension of the Put Illinois to Work program for up to two months to serve as a bridge until Congress votes on an extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund.
The federal program, which supports Put Illinois to Work, is set to expire on Sept. 30 unless Congress acts to extend the effective job creation measure. More than 26,000 workers have been hired since Put Illinois to Work was launched last April, according to Quinn.
“The best way to make our economy stronger is to put people to work – that is why we are temporarily continuing this successful program until Congress acts to extend the program,” said Quinn.
The August Illinois unemployment rate of 9.9 percent is in single digits for the first August since 2008, offering additional trend data that shows the Illinois economy is steadily improving. Illinois has added more than 37,000 jobs this year, including more than 10,000 manufacturing jobs.
In addition, IDOT is currently leading Illinois’ largest road construction program in state history. From 2009 through the end of this year the state will have invested approximately $8 billion to repair or rebuild 4,800 miles of roads and 566 bridges, creating an estimated 155,000 short-term and permanent jobs.
“Put Illinois to Work is a statewide subsidized employment program designed to provide individuals facing barriers to employment the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, and to earn a wage,” said IDHS Acting Secretary Grace Hong Duffin. “With the experience and skills gained through Put Illinois to Work, these individuals are better equipped to enter the workforce, and to compete for better paying jobs.”
Put Illinois to Work is a collaborative effort of IDHS and Heartland Human Care Services and over two dozen partner organizations across the state. Funding was provided through TANF/ECF, which was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.