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Cook County Board President Preckwinkle joins Chicago Heights Job Seekers, Business Community and Local Leaders to Celebrate Opening of Workforce Center on College Campus

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

CHICAGO HEIGHTS - The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) showcased its Chicago Heights Workforce Center at Prairie State College during an open house today. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, local elected officials, and local hiring partners welcomed job seekers and toured the new location.  The Center relocated to Prairie State College in July 2014 to better align education, jobs, and economic opportunity for residents in Cook County’s South Suburbs. 

Workforce Centers provide free support for job seekers, help businesses find workers, and help anyone at any stage of employment explore and plan careers. Locating a Workforce Center in Prairie State College ensures a connection with Chicago Heights’ pipeline of workers and available jobs.  “Illinois’ continued economic recovery depends on our ability to connect employers with the qualified workers they need,” said President Toni Preckwinkle. “Workforce Centers, including the one here in Chicago Heights, are critical to ensuring that targeted skills development is in place to meet the needs of businesses in the south suburban region.”

The Chicago Heights Workforce Center is one of ten Workforce Investment Act (WIA)-funded Workforce Centers in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. The Partnership funds National Able Network (Able) to operate the Center. “This facility will benefit the residents, students, and industries of Chicago Heights and its surrounding areas,” said The Partnership CEO, Karin M. Norington-Reaves.  “Bringing together Prairie State College and National Able Network to provide a place where everyone feels welcome and has full access to a broad range of educational and vocational services is a good fit.”

 Since its relocation, the Chicago Heights Workforce Center at Prairie State College has placed more than 200 individuals obtain employment, with an average wage of $16/hr. “We are thrilled to have relocated our services to Prairie State College. It has given National Able Network the opportunity to continue serving the city of Chicago Heights while also acquiring a new client base that will benefit from our career services,” said Grace Powers, National Able Network’s President & CEO.

Visitors and students of the Chicago Heights Workforce Center at Prairie State College can take advantage of the many no cost resources and services available through WIA programming, including job readiness training, resume development, career coaching, job placement, occupational training, tuition assistance, and on-the job-training initiatives.

 “The Chicago Heights Workforce Center at Prairie State College is an example of a great partnership benefiting the entire community. Working together to provide access to our shared resources is a win-win situation for everyone,” said Dr. Terri Winfree, President of Prairie State College. 

National Able Network, Inc. has helped more than 400 residents access new career services offered at the Chicago Heights Workforce Center. On average, 78 percent of job seekers who receive career assistance gain employment and report earnings that are 20 percent higher than their previous job. About 30 percent of job seekers receive financial assistance to train for in-demand careers in growing industries.

The Chicago Heights Workforce Center is open Monday – Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm.  Job seekers are encouraged to contact the Center at 855-994-8300 to attend an orientation.

 

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