• Department of Commerce Updates

    Governor Pritzker Announces $9.6M in Grant Funding to Support Pre-Apprenticeship Programs
    In a strategic move to expand the talent pipeline and boost diversity for the rapid growth of well-paying jobs in the construction industry and building trades, this week Governor JB Pritzker and DCEO announced $9.6 million in grants for 23 organizations across the state under the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.  A key deliverable of Illinois Works Jobs Program Act initiatives under DCEO’s Illinois Works Office, this timely and critical program will expand access to training programs, preparing over 1,000 residents for in-demand jobs created by Illinois’ historic $45 billion capital expansion plan, while reducing barriers to entry and increasing representation of women and minorities in these fields.

    Organizations selected for grants include:
    • Bethel Family Resource Center, Chicago Heights    $400,000
    • Chicago Women in Trades, Chicago      $500,437
    • Children First Fund, Chicago     $250,000
    • Community Assistance Programs, Chicago    $493,794
    • Community Development Institute, Chicago    $500,000
    • EDDR Foundation Chicago, Chicago   $500,000
    • EDDR Foundation Rockford, Rockford    $400,000
    • Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, Evanston      $535,514
    • HIRE 360, Chicago      $550,000
    • Hispanic American Construction Industry Association, Chicago   $500,000
    • IL Foundation of SkillsUSA-VICA, Pekin    $500,000
    • Lumity, Chicago     $170,673
    • Macon County, Decatur    $499,832
    • Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago   $500,000
    • Quad County Urban League, Aurora    $397,978
    • Revolution Workshop, Chicago   $400,777
    • Safer Foundation, Chicago    $500,000
    • Sista Girls & Friends, Inc, Decatur     $500,000
    • South Suburban Community Services, South Holland    $436,000
    • Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville     $240,000
    • St. Paul Church of God in Christ Community Ministries, Chicago   $250,000
    • Tools Up Foundation, Chicago    $326,587
    • YBLC, Inc, North Chicago    $250,000
    Learn more about Illinois Works.
    State of Illinois and Community Partners Announce
    $8.4M in Additional
    Rebuild Distressed Communities (RDC) Grants
    This week DCEO, Local Initiatives Support Group (LISC) and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) announced $8.4 million in additional grants for small businesses and community partners located around the state to help rebuild and revitalize as a result of civil unrest.
    In addition to awarding grants to help impacted small business repair, rebuild or expand following damages, the program also launched an RFP soliciting proposals by communities seeking to deliver long-term improvements along commercial corridors where businesses experienced damages. 
    The final round of Rebuild Distressed Communities (RDC) is nearly $1 million for 26 small businesses and $7.45 million to help reinvigorate seven commercial corridors located across the state, while sparking long-term economic investment.
    For more information on support available for small businesses, or to learn more about ongoing capital programs, please visit DCEO’s website or follow the department on social @IllinoisDCEO.
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    The Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) Upcoming Events & Webinars
    Online with OMEE - Overview of financial resources for small businesses  
    Wednesday, January 19, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  Register
    OMEE & Illinois SBDC Presents: ADME - Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship – Creating a Vision For Your Business In The New Year 
    Wednesday, January 26, from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  Register 
    Online with OMEE - Overview of financial resources for small businesses  
    Wednesday, February 2, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 
    Back to Business Grant Recipient
    Providing customers the Red Carpet Treatment with custom cuts, perfect color, and skin care treatment, Hollywood Hair Salon and Spa in Centralia is the place to go. When COVID-19 forced a 10-week closure and then cut operations capacity in half, revenue was cutting it close too. Not ready to throw in the towel, owner, Sonya Gettinger, received a #Back2Business (B2B) Recovery Grant. “B2B will help our business grow back to pre-COVID-19 numbers as we work towards getting back to normal,” said Sonya.
    Virtual Job Fairs (VJF) are part of the GET HIRED initiative. Job seekers can find a hiring event near them, learn how to prepare, and what to expect when attending the event.