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Jones announces career development program for South Side youth

Published: Thursday, July 30, 2020 11:20 AM

teens 070820CHICAGO – In an effort to provide at-risk youth with an opportunity to develop new skill sets, State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) announced the expansion of the Illinois Department of Human Services’ COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program, which creates additional employment opportunities for underserved youth in the South Side of Chicago.

“Early work experience allows teens to learn what their passions are and explore future career paths,” Jones said. “The program will help them learn work and professional skills, like time management and creating a resume, that will help shape them for years to come.”

The program will employ young adults in the South Side throughout the summer months who have struggled to find work during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

SGA Youth Family Services and Universal Family Connections received money and support from the program and have matched South Side youth with work-based learning opportunities that fit their age, ability and experience. Program participants also take part in career development training. 

These providers are two of 30 youth employment providers across the state that have received $500,000 in grant funding to employ thousands of youth. 

Lightford reinstated as ILBC Chair

Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 08:50 AM

lightford 041120CHICAGO –Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) has been reinstated as Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus after a vote that rejected her resignation that was submitted in May.

“Since I initially offered my resignation as Chairman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the world has changed.

Villivalam alerts residents to unemployment fraud scam

Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 04:41 PM

IDES fraudCHICAGO – Recent reports of identity theft and unemployment fraud have prompted State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) to urge anyone who may have been targeted to file a report.

“Using a global pandemic to take advantage of people is unethical and illegal,” Villivalam said. “If you think you’ve been a victim or target of fraudulent activity, report it immediately.”

Reports surfaced last week of individuals receiving KeyBank debit cards with an accompanying unemployment benefit letter despite never having applied for assistance. The Illinois Department of Employment Security suspects these mailings may be fraud attempts.

IDES currently believes they’re part of a nationwide fraud scheme targeting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program applicants.

IDES staff is currently working with individuals whose identities have or may have been compromised by a scammer. The department is also partnering with local and federal law enforcement to catch and prosecute the perpetrators.

“If you have received a debit card in the mail and have not applied for assistance, don’t activate the card. Call IDES immediately at 1-800-814-0531 to report potential identity theft,” Villivalam said. “We can’t let these scammers get away with their schemes while people are struggling to overcome the pandemic. I would also encourage anyone who has been targeted to check your credit reports for suspicious activity.”

When you have filed a report, the Illinois Attorney General is offering information and tips free of charge for those who think their personal and financial information may be at risk. For assistance, consult their Identity Theft Resource Guide or call the toll-free Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630.

Victims of fraud are also encouraged to place a fraud alert through one of the three major credit bureaus should any suspicious activity be found. Individuals should visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for helpful tips on recognizing and reporting identity theft.

Ellman recognizes service of the Illinois national guard following the expansion of mobile testing sites

Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 01:17 PM

Senator EllmanNAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman is recognizing and thanking the Illinois National Guard for its determination and service to Illinoisans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a member of the General Assembly and an Illinoisan, I cannot thank our troops enough for their hard work and dedication to this state,” Ellman said. “These young women and men have risked their lives day in and day out to ensure we all stay safe and healthy.”

Illinois’ mobile testing operation will be expanded to twelve COVID-19 mobile testing sites, operated by the National Guard. The sites will offer mobile testing to residents in the hardest hit communities and will visit other areas in need of more testing, like homeless services centers and nursing homes. The sites offer drive-through and walk-up tests free of charge to any Illinoisans who wants to be tested.

“Over the past few months, these troops have ensured that thousands of Illinoisans have been able to receive COVID-19 tests,” Ellman said. “Illinois has some of the best testing numbers and positivity rates in the nation. I have no doubt that this was made possible by the assistance of the National Guard.”

Testing has played a critical role in allowing for the safe reopening of the Illinois economy. Illinois has been persistently investing in accessible testing for all Illinoisans, which will allow communities across the state to stay on a course of recovery.

The governor’s announcement about the state’s mobile testing site expansion can be found here.

Individuals can find a nearby testing location visiting https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/testing-sites.

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