A preliminary report from the Office of Community Reinvestment shows that a Kane/DeKalb/Kendall workforce reinvestment initiative helped nearly 700 people land jobs in the most-recent program year, from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015.
That’s good news in and of itself, but the 692 total is especially pleasing for program’s director, Scott Berger, because it’s more than 17 percent higher than the previous year.
“The figure for the prior year was 589, so that is obviously a change in the right direction,” Berger said.
The breakdown of the employment snapshot shows Kane County landed 409 jobs, DeKalb County 180 jobs and Kendall County 103 jobs.
Berger expects to do a deeper dive into the numbers when he makes a presentation on the workforce initiatives at the 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14, Jobs Committee meeting in Building A of the Kane County Government Center. You can see the full report in the Jobs Committee agenda packet.
Another piece of good news is that the county is meeting or exceeding the standards set by the regulations that govern the program, which allows the workforce area to remain in good standing with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
One of the other reports shows how the Kane/DeKalb/Kendall program stacks up to other workforce programs in the region.
“As you can see, we are placing substantially more individuals in employment (or education, in the case of youth) than all of the other collar counties,” Berger said. “Overall, our figures are quite strong.”
Berger acknowledges that Kane/Kendall/DeKalb is a three-county area, but on a per-capita basis, funding levels among the different areas are fairly even, with the exception of McHenry, which receives the smallest allocation.
Berger notes that job placements overall are down compared to 2010-2012 but those were “stimulus” years, when Washington supplied considerably more training funding in response to the recession and widespread job losses.
“The 2013-2014 figures you see in the report are probably more in the ‘normal’ range,” Berger said.