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Lightford pushes youth employment service providers to apply for grant program

Senator LightfordCHICAGO – With deep concern for young people facing high rates of unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) encourages youth employment service providers to apply for grants to help provide more jobs and support to those in need.

“Youth employment is a continuing issue that has put our young people in even more difficult situations because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lightford said. “That is why it is important that we are investing these dollars in communities that need the support the most.”

Lightford worked with the Department of Human Services to ensure the Illinois Youth Investment Program grants are targeted to provide jobs and support for people ages 16 to 24 in some of the most underserved communities across the state.

The Illinois Youth Investment Program, administered by DHS, supports at-risk youth who are seeking long-term, career employment. Providers interested in serving young people in their area can apply for grants through Aug. 3 online at DHS’ website.

“Our youth play significant roles in our society, and providing job opportunities will ensure their success,” Lightford said. “There are young people helping support their household, maintaining their own households and working toward their future. We have a responsibility to not let their ambition go to waste, and that is why I encourage service providers to engage in this work.”

Grants are awarded to providers who can assist at-risk youth with short-term, long-term and industry-specific career development opportunities. In addition to employment support, IYIP also provides participants with support services for their physical, emotional, social and mental health needs. Questions about IYIP and other DHS grants can be answered online or by calling 800-843-6154.

Sen. Lightford

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

Senate Majority Leader
4th District


Years served: 1998 - Present (Senate) 

Committee assignments: Assignments (Chairperson); Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On; Subcommittee on Gov. Operations (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Charter Schools (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: B.A. in Communications, Western Illinois University; M.A. in Public Administration, University of Illinois Springfield; former Village of Maywood trustee; former employee at Secretary of State, Department of Corrections and Central Management Services; longtime champion in the Senate for education, working families and women's issues; lives in Maywood with her family.

Associated Representatives:
La Shawn K. Ford
Emanuel Chris Welch