Workforce Program




WIA - This Act was signed into law on August 7, 1998, capping a seven-year effort to consolidate and streamline the nation’s employment and training programs. WIA replaced the Job Training Partnership Act (JPTA), enacted October 13, 1982. Under WIA, the federal government, states, and local communities join efforts to develop a system providing workers with job search assistance, training, and advice. In addition, all entities work together to provide employers with skilled workers.

The State funds entities, such as local government, public or not-for profit agencies to administer WIA programs. These entities are referred as locals. There are 26 locals in the State of Illinois; the City of Chicago is Local Area 9 (LA9). 

In July 1, 2006, WIA Youth programs were transferred from the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (MOWD) to the Department of Children and Youth Services (CYS).  WIA Youth programs are now administered by CYS, Youth Division. The CYS office is located in the Goldblatt's building at 1615 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois  60622, 2nd floor.  The Department of CYS and WIA youth programs are under the direction of Commissioner Mary Ellen Caron Ph.D., Deputy Commissioner Carmen Alicea-Reyes and Assistant Commissioner Daisy Lezama.

The Department of CYS, Youth Division and WIA contractors utilizes the State’s case management system IWDS - Illinois Workforce Development System to track WIA registered clients and program performance.  Utilization of this system is mandatory in order to maintain WIA funding.  The City of Chicago’s WIA youth programs have met and or exceeded program performance goals for the last two program years which resulted in additional funding from the State for youth programs.

The Mayor's goal is to provide workforce development and job placement to the City's young people.  CYS will continue to increase programs and services to youth ages 16 to 21.  Programs emphasize in providing youth career opportunities by creating a logical; employment progression: education - skill enhancement and career exploration - apprenticeships and internships - full -time employment.  

Primary Responsibilities of the Office of CYS are:

Job Seekers

  • Universal access to job search and labor market information
  • Advice, counseling, and support
  • Education and skills training
  • Individual choice of service]


  • Basic skills assessment
  • Resources and guidance help to attain educational goals
  • Leadership development opportunities
  • Exposure to work environment through training and adult mentoring


  • Influence over local area employment policy
  • Improved and trained employee pool
  • Development of on-the-job and customized training opportunities
  • Assistance for laid-off workers


  • Access to local area job market information
  • Improved workforce quality
  • Services designed for local area needs
  • Reduced need for welfare




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No information available