DWGs are time-limited funding assistance in response to major economic dislocations or other events that cause significant impact on states and local areas that exceed the capacity of existing formula funds and other relevant resources to address. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) identifies two categories under National Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) program. This includes Disaster Recover (DR) and Employment Recovery (ER). Learn more about Dislocated Worker Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded DCEO a National Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) to provide employment and training services through September 30, 2020 to 235 workers laid off from the retail and manufacturing sectors. National Dislocated Worker Grants are discretionary grants awarded by the Secretary of Labor to respond to major economic dislocations to temporarily expand service capacity, reemploying workers and enhancing their employability and earnings. USDOL issued the Trade and Economic Transition National Dislocated Worker Grants funding opportunity to allow States to implement training and employment services to help address dislocations that can be traced to broader workforce needs and economic changes or transitions.
As a result of Illinois' economic changes and transitions in the retail and manufacturing sectors resulting in significant layoffs, DCEO was awarded a $2.2 million grant. The project enables two Local Workforce Innovation Areas, Lake County and Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, to expand their capacity to provide comprehensive employment and training services, with an emphasis on training, to eligible dislocated workers from the retail and manufacturing sectors. The project brings together a range of stakeholders including employers and industry groups, training providers, labor unions, community organizations, and the workforce system to enhance employment outcomes and worker retention. The project provides businesses with the skilled workforce they need and dislocated workers with new skills, credentials, and careers so that they can obtain and retain employment.
One aspect of the project designed to strengthen outreach and recruitment efforts is the utilization of Sector Specialists to work with both laid off workers and employer customers. Sector Specialists offer early intervention with impacted workers to make connections to related employment and skill upgrade opportunities. In some instances, the Sector Recruitment Specialist is an individual laid off from one of the companies which provides built in rapport, knowledge of the industry, and trust among the workers.