Build Healthy & Resilient Communities Progress
Maintain well-being of residents, focusing on the availability of accessible health services for families, the aging population, and other populations in need.
Workforce Development has focused on serving the long-term unemployed through a National Emergency Grant. Fifty individuals have been recruited to receive targeted training in high wage, high demand occupations in the healthcare, IT, and transportation industries. To date, 17 individuals have successfully completed training and entered employment, and nine were hired by companies in Lake County.
To assist workers impacted by layoffs and company closings, Workforce Development has enhanced its service strategies by offering more intensive career services, job search workshops and employer outreach events resulting in increased enrollment for this target group, up from 5% to 12%. Additionally, 22 dislocated workers impacted by the Motorola layoff pursued training in areas ranging from advanced technology, project management, medical information to business administration through a special grant. Nineteen (86%) have returned to work with an average reported annual salary of over $90,000.
Workforce Development implemented an improved series of job search workshops – 5 Steps to Your Next Job. This week long, interactive series gives job seekers skills and tools on how to research, prepare, document, find and land their next job.
Lake County Community Development (CD) continues to provide assistance to prevent and address homelessness. In a one year snapshot, CD contributed $101,000 to homeless shelters that served 2,417 homeless individuals, and $119,000 to agencies that assisted 175 households in preventing homelessness. Additionally, $18,000 went to food banks serving 19,543 Lake County residents.
Employment/Training Assistance for People with Disabilities
More job seekers with disabilities are being served and employers are gaining better access to these skilled workers through Workforce Development which is using Disability Employment Initiative grant funding to create innovative employment opportunities through partnerships. CD provided $71,000 to provide residents with disabilities employment, training and transportation services over a one year period.
Support for Individuals with Mental Illness
Through new partnerships, Lake County now has a new (consumer-run) drop-in center in Zion/Winthrop Harbor that serves about 40 to 50 individuals with mental illness daily. Supported 100% by State funding under the Williams Consent Decree, the partners include the Health Department’s Behavioral Health Services, the State, along with NorthPointe (Zion), and New Foundations (Northbrook).
The Health Department will continue the partnership with Rosalind Franklin University working in the mental health outpatient clinic in Waukegan to enhance services to discharges from the Lake County jail who are on medication for a serious mental illness. To date, 77 probation clients have been seen for medication evaluations and treatment.
Workforce Development is working with the Illinois Department of Employment Security to move veteran services into the Waukegan Job Center on a full-time basis providing a greater collaboration to recruit and serve veterans.
Workforce Development continues to collaborate with community agencies on recidivism programs and the College of Lake County’s repatriate program. In the current grant year, Workforce Development assisted 34 individuals including funding for skill upgrades, and to date 11 individuals completed the program and found employment at an average wage between $20 and $35 an hour.
The Enroll Lake County! (ELC!) Initiative advanced its operations during the first half of the 2014 fiscal year with community partnerships continuing to play a significant role. In addition to the 27 community partners included in the original application, ELC! expanded its efforts and partnered with several additional community groups including local schools, libraries, the county jail and the College of Lake County. In addition, the County received $267,000 in supplemental funding allowing ELC! to significantly increase outreach and enrollment efforts. Health Department staff continues to be onsite one day a week at the Probation Office to help probationers without health insurance apply for benefits through the Affordable Care Act and expanded Medicaid.
Growing the Manufacturing Workforce
Through regional partnerships, Workforce Development and the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) are enhancing the Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing program (ATIM) to assist manufacturers who are having trouble finding a skilled workforce to fill entry level positions in CNC operations, welding, industrial mechanics and robotics. Through recruitment strategies and web-based tools, 37 eligible job seekers entered the program, increasing the number of job seekers using the workforce system to pursue training and a career in manufacturing by 264%.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) has successfully produced 60 units of housing for low-income Lake County households. These units are located in the designated NSP target areas of Waukegan, North Chicago, Zion, Round Lake Beach, and Mundelein. Of the 46 units sold, 43% benefitted medium-income households (unique to NSP) between 80% and 120% of AMI which is equivalent to a combined income of up to $86,900 for a family of four. The other 57% were sold to households below 80% of AMI which is equivalent to a combined income of $57,900 or less for a family of four. The rental units specifically target households that earn less than 50% of AMI which is equivalent to a combined income of $36,200 or less.