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Gov. J.B. Pritzker visits Rockford to announce federal grant for unemployed workers

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 6:42 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Governor J.B. Pritzker makes a stop in the Forest City to unveil a federal grant designed to help thousands of unemployed workers.

“I promise to leave no stone unturned in combating this virus and returning Illinoisans to work, and most importantly, in keeping our residents safe,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

In a landmark announcement Thursday, The Workforce Connection learns it will receive more than $600,000 for dislocated workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even when times are hard, and frankly, especially when times are hard, we have to invest in the things that lift up working families and lift up our communities,” said Pritzker.

Made possible by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Recovery and Disaster Recovery grant programs, the multimillion dollar initiative, according to Pritzker, is designed to jumpstart the recovery process in hard-hit areas, like the Rockford region.

“This federal funding will help us address a goal for reinvigorating our economy that’s twofold: returning more of our residents to the jobs that they know and also simultaneously addressing new economic demands brought on by COVID-19,” said Pritzker.

Workforce Connection Executive Director Lisa Bly-Jones, PhD says this funding allows the organization to be there for people when help is needed most.

“It’s our responsibility to understand the local landscape, the barriers individuals may face as they seek employment and see the possibilities that exists when people receive wraparound services that support them,” said Bly-Jones.

Those with The Workforce Connection say the Employment Recovery Grant will fund training programs that offer certifications in skills needed to fill open jobs in our area.

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