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Cook County launches $4 million relief program for jobseekers and employers

The money will be distributed by the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and will provide training, placement, and layoff aversion for those impacted by COVID-19.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced $4 million in relief funds for workers impacted by Covid-19.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced $4 million in relief funds for workers affected by COVID-19.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Struggling suburban Cook County jobseekers should expect some help as the county launches a $4 million program to provide training, placement, and layoff aversion for those impacted by COVID-19.

The Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Job Training and Placement program is funded by the federal coronavirus relief bill and provides $4 million to the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership.

The partnership has helped fill more than 70,000 jobs and distributed $300 million since its inception in 2012, according to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. With this newest grant, the partnership will distribute funding to seven workforce agencies located in or serving suburban Cook County residents and employers.

As businesses in the region face new COVID-19 restrictions, this couldn’t have come at a better time, Preckwinkle said. On Monday, the county announced a cash assistance fund that will give about 3,000 suburban residents a one-time allotment of $600. The county had already received 14,000 applications by Wednesday morning, she said.

While the nation has recovered roughly half of the 22 million jobs lost by the pandemic, Cook County unemployment is nearly 14%, almost four times higher than in January, according to the U.S. dept. of Labor’s latest report from August.

“There is a tremendous need being felt throughout our county right now,” Preckwinkle said in announcing the program. “So, we’re going to do more.”

“I have every confidence that the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership will work diligently to meet the needs of employers and jobseekers in our county to make sure this program is a success.”

Residents and Employers can check their eligibility and get assistance by visiting ChiCookWorks.org/CountyCARES or calling 1-800-720-2515.