Those seeking labor jobs in Illinois will soon have some help.
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich recently announced that skilled trade workers would be able to participate in the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program. This program is part of the government’s effort to help connect Illinois workers with services improve their skills and find jobs in the current suffering economy. It is expected the program will provide training for more than 700 trades workers, create jobs and stimulate the local economy.
“Across the nation, people are having a tough time finding jobs and in response to that here in Illinois I am urging workers in the skilled trades to apply for the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program,” Blagojevich said in a press release. “During the current economic situation this program can help connect people with work to see them and their families through this difficult time.”
The goal of IHWAP is to help skilled laborers in learn and improve their existing skills competencies. Through IHWAP, workers participate in specialized on-the-job training, which allows them to develop the technical knowledge needed to do quality skilled weatherization work. After completing the program, workers should be able to find jobs as home energy auditors, insulation installers and HVAC technicians.
“Weatherization helps to create jobs providing work for small contractors throughout Illinois helping to boost the economy,” Barry S. Maram, director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, said in the release. “We’re very pleased that we could help generate additional employment and assist families that really need help making ends meet during these tough times.”
So far the program has helped to stimulate the local economy by weatherizing more than 7,400 homes and creating 731 jobs in Illinois. Also, the program, which costs $35 million in program spending, creates $63 million in overall economic activity and more than $21 million in labor income.
HFS also plans to expand its weatherization program during the next two years to include more training and workshops for skilled workers with the help of federal funding. Weatherization jobs are currently supported by LIHEAP funds, which are allocated by HFS on weatherization work throughout the state.