PSC part of collaborative effort to help the unemployed

Times Staff – Northwest Indiana Times – May 15, 2014

CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Individuals in the south suburbs will have more assistance in finding work, thanks to a collaborative effort between Prairie State College and State Rep. Al Riley, according to a news release.

Riley was instrumental in securing a $150,000 appropriation from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide services to 40 south suburban residents who face barriers to employment, the release states. Due to the appropriation, the program is free for the participants.

The program is unique because the activities offered will be tailored to each participant’s needs. Every person in the program will receive an intensive individualized skills enhancement assessment to identify gaps in education and skill development. An individual employment plan will be developed, and each participant will receive defined employment services, employment intervention, career development, and occupational training. Entrepreneurship workshops, adult literacy, GED and case management support services also will be offered. Upon completion, training participants will receive National Career Readiness Certification.

“There are many of our residents that want to enter the workforce but are faced with structural barriers that limit their chances for employment. This program is suited to their needs because it is tailored to each individual, providing them specific services and skills training they need to get a job,” Riley said in a prepared statement. “This program is free for the 40 people who meet the eligibility requirements and commit to the program. This is what human capital development is all about.”

Prairie State College plans to partner with The Link & Option Center Inc. to administer the program, known as the Skills Link & Entrepreneurial Training Program. The eligibility requirements are: be 18 years of age or older, a resident of south suburban Cook County, possess an education of seventh grade or higher, and be unemployed or underemployed (gross wages under $25,000 annually).

To find out more about this program, contact Ueketta Jimerson of Link & Option Center Inc. at (708) 331-4880

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