Underused government office here to help - Republic-Times | News

Underused government office here to help

By on September 19, 2018 at 9:33 am

The local office of Southwestern Illinois workNet is expanding services to offer more to individuals and employers through on-the-job training and an apprenticeship program. (submitted photo)

Since 2014, Southwestern Illinois workNet has helped employers hire skilled workers and individuals become those workers. 

The program, which is funded by a grant through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, operates in five counties. It has seen particular success in St. Clair County, which is the grant holder for the program, but not as much in Monroe County. 

“We don’t really have a hard time in St. Clair County because that’s the grant holder,” career specialist Melanie Biffar said. “Everybody knows about it up there, but down here, in our community, it’s just not really well known. It’s a mechanism to help people become more self-sufficient, and I know we have people in this community who could use it.”

Biffar, who operates the Southwestern Illinois workNet satellite center in Monroe County, said she estimates a typical workload for her involves helping 50-60 individuals. 

Of those people, only about six are from Monroe County. 

Other counties served by the program are St. Clair, Clinton, Randolph and Washington counties…>>> 

Read the rest of the story in the Sept. 19, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times.

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James Moss