001010813br0213edCrSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill) has been appointed to serve on Illinois’ Workforce Investment Board. Through this appointment, Manar will continue his efforts to redirect state-funded job training and workforce development programs to those areas of Illinois most severely impacted by high unemployment.

“Illinois already has a vast network of local job-training and workforce development programs, as well as many local economic development tools, yet certain areas of the state continue to see stubbornly high unemployment rates,” Manar said. “We need to do a better job of matching available resources to those areas that need it most, and better collaborate with the private sector to ensure workers are trained on the skills employers need most. Through this approach, I believe we can more effectively combat unemployment.”

To ensure that Illinois’ workforce development programs meet the needs of both employers and workers, the Illinois Workforce Investment Board brings together both private-and public-sector leaders—from state government, business and industry, organized labor, education and community-based organizations—to oversee Illinois’ statewide workforce development and planning efforts.

Through this private/public partnership, IWIB advises the governor on workforce development policy, develops a statewide five-year strategic workforce plan, and oversees Illinois’ network of 26 Local Workforce Investment Boards.

“We know that partnering with the private sector, strategically targeting our resources and investing in our workforce is the best way to combat stubborn unemployment,” Manar said. “I’m going to continue to push for legislation that embraces and enacts this approach throughout state government.”

Manar recently successfully advocated for reforms at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity that reflect many of these same principles. House Bill 1544 was passed by both chambers of the General Assembly and is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.

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