NEW REPORT: Put Illinois to Work Provides Vital Relief for Illinois Businesses and Disadvantaged Workers

Oct 19, 2010, 11:27 ET from Social IMPACT Research Center

Over 27,000 employed to date, infusing nearly $107 million into communities across Illinois

CHICAGO, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Struggling workers and businesses received a vital stimulus this year through Put Illinois to Work, according to a new report released today by the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance.

PITW has put 27,393 low-income, unemployed and underemployed Illinoisans to work, through 4,280 employers, and has paid nearly $107 million in wages – the largest program of its kind in the nation.

PITW employers faced difficult business conditions due to the recession:

  • The majority of participating employers are for profits (42%) and nonprofits (31%) and over 90% had fewer than 100 employees.
  • Over 1 in 4 (28%) report their business was financially unhealthy or very unhealthy before PITW.

The trainee-workers in the program were struggling with unemployment and extremely low-incomes at the time of entry into PITW:

  • 39% did not work in the 2 years prior to enrolling in PITW.
  • 32% report their household had no income in the month prior to entering PITW.

PITW benefited employers by improving financial health and increasing quality of work and productivity:

  • 57% report the financial health of their business was better or somewhat better following participation in PITW, and 47% attributed at least half the improvement directly to PITW.
  • 68% have been able to serve more customers as a result of having PITW trainee-workers.

Trainee-workers experienced immediate positive employment and income effects from PITW:

  • 87% of workers report PITW was important in helping them make ends meet.
  • 78% that PITW taught them new skills.
  • 75% that PITW saved them from unemployment.

Over half (52%) of employers report they would permanently hire half to all of their trainee-workers if they were financially able to do so. However, considering their financial situation, only 13% report they will be able to do so.

The subsidized work-relief program, Put Illinois to Work (PITW), is a public-private collaboration between the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) and Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS).

The Social IMPACT Research Center investigates today's most pressing social issues and solutions to inform and equip those working toward a just global society.


SOURCE Social IMPACT Research Center