Same as last month, what is catching my eye are programs that acknowledge we don’t have a “get people off the couch” problem, we have people with genuine hurdles to connecting to the jobs they need and the jobs that employers need them to do. Illinois is expanding access to free child care for eligible unemployed parents (yes, there are income limits) for three months while job searching or seeking education, with extensions possible for up to a total of 12 months if they enroll in a training program or start a job. There are also cash bonuses for child care workers and funds being set aside this year and next to increase the capacity and bolster the financial stability of high quality child care providers. Here is a link with more details
There are no more easy fixes – getting support for these programs is hard work, and so is making sure that they people who need them know about them and can easily navigate the process.
As happy as I am to report on programs like these, whether in Illinois or elsewhere, I can’t help but be concerned about the assumptions we sometimes make when the information and the applications are so much harder for people who don’t easily operate in an on-line environment.