$250,000 DOL Grant to Help Establish SI WORKS

The U.S. Department of Labor yesterday announced a $250,000 Regional Innovation Grant to help Illinois establish the Southern Illinois WORKS (SI WORKS) leadership team, which will generate talent development strategies to spur economic development in a 20-county region.

The grant, awarded to the Southern Illinois Workforce Investment Board, will support the creation of SI WORKS and provide employment opportunities through the implementation of strategies that will shorten the transition of dislocated workers into new employment.

"Talent development strategies that are focused regionally, rather than locally, expand workers' employment and advancement opportunities," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily Stover DeRocco. "The SI WORKS team will identify and target growing industries' competency and skill needs, and design talent development strategies to educate and prepare Southern Illinois' workforce to succeed in the 21st century economy."

Regional Innovation Grants are drawn from National Emergency Grant funds--which are part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines--to assist state workforce agencies and local workforce investment boards, as well as their key partners, in the design and development of comprehensive and strategic regional plans focused on talent development that is aligned with the demands of the 21st century economy.

For more information, visit www.doleta.gov/NEG.

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