ALTON — To help local businesses provide training to their employees, state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, is urging companies to take part in the Illinois Pathways Program.
Administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the program aims to provide training assistance to businesses that depend on a highly skilled workforce.
“As technology changes, the skills companies need their employees to have in the workplace continue to evolve,” Beiser said. “Unfortunately, often times those changes do not become part of the job training curriculum in our community as quickly as businesses need them. Illinois Pathways tries to help alleviate this problem by partnering with businesses at risk of laying off employees or shutting their doors to offer job training programs to their employees. I encourage local businesses faced with these challenges to apply to become part of the Illinois Pathways program.”
Based on efforts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to close the skills gap, Illinois Pathways aims to help educate employees, prevent layoffs and even allow companies to create additional jobs. DCEO partners with local companies and educators to provide necessary training to employees.
The Illinois Pathways program already has helped businesses throughout Illinois. At Manufacturing in Decatur, DCEO provided funding to help the company hire and train 20 individuals. New employees were trained in welding, production assembly and commercial driving. In Southern Illinois, Spartan Light Metal Products received a $50,000 investment to train 20 employees in manufacturing skills. The funding also allowed the company to increase production capacity. Spartan Light Metal Products plans on hiring more than 30 new employees.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are vital to our community and its economy,” Beiser said. “I am committed to working with local elected officials, business leaders and educators to find ways to ensure employers have the resources and flexibility they need to grow.”
Applications for the program can be found at http://www.illinoisworknet.com/iltalent. They are due on Friday, Jan. 30. For more information, contact Beiser’s full-time constituent service office at (618) 465-5900.