Put Illinois to Work (PIW) is a new jobs program that provides employers with a unique and promising opportunity to benefit from federal stimulus money, at no cost to the employer, while supporting Illinois’ economy and workforce. Participant employees are paid $10/hour by the state and are expected to work at least 30 hours/week. The PIW program is currently funded through September 30, 2010, but prospects are good that the funding will be extended for another year.
Employers benefit from PIW in several ways:
1. PIW provides access to temporary free labor.
2. There is no long-term commitment. Although encouraged to hire PIW workers after the program ends, this decision remains entirely at the discretion of the employer.
3. If employers do decide to hire PIW participants full-time at the end of the program, they will receive tax credits.
Virtually all employers -- public, private, and non-profit -- are eligible to participate in PIW. Participant employees are paid out of a fund created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in exchange for employers’ in-kind contribution of supervision and training.
PIW was launched by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) on April 1, 2010. Already, nearly 350 employers across the state have signed up to participate, creating more than 2,825 jobs. Recently, the New York Times published an article highlighting the positive experiences of two participating employers, Michael’s Fresh Market and DeNormandie Towel and Linen Supply Company.
For more information and to become a PIW employer, go to www.PutIllinoistoWork.Illinois.gov.
This post was coauthored by Jessica Sklarsky.