Workforce and Economic Development

Many Illinoisans are working hard and actively participating in our society but remain mired in poverty and struggle to make ends meet. Significant changes in the state economy over the past 15 years have substantially altered the type and quality of job opportunities available in Illinois.

For many, the result has been increased economic insecurity. In addition to stagnating and declining real wage earnings, Illinois workers and their families face other aspects of heightened economic insecurity, particularly involving health care and pension benefits. Illinois has lost 222,500 good paying manufacturing jobs, replacing them with jobs in the lower-paying sectors of education, health services, and leisure and hospitality, resulting in a 29.2% decrease in average pay.

CJC believes that…People who work should not live in poverty. When taxpayers’ money is used to attract or subsidize private business, companies and public officials must be held accountable for creating living wage jobs and other benefits for the community. The best way to build a strong economy that meets the needs of businesses, job seekers, and communities is by ensuring that economic development activities are integrated with workforce development opportunities.

That’s why we…Foster discussion about and identify strategies for ensuring that jobs created through publicly funded business attraction and retention efforts will provide living wages and opportunities for advancement, especially for disadvantaged job seekers.