Workforce Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic
Use this page to get updates about resources for employers, jobseekers, workers, and information about our services during the COVID-19 health emergency.
All of Chicago Cook Workforce’s American Job Centers and workforce service providers are closed to the public. Most services are now being offered virtually. During the government mandate to shelter in place, some sites might not have access to the main phone lines, please use the agency pages to get direct your search. Please visit this page to find your local American Job Center or workforce agency’s contact information.
If you are a business owner or HR representative for an employer considering work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs, we encourage you to connect with The Partnership’s Business Relations and Economic Development team to get assistance, email email@example.com
Someone will get back to you within one business day, to discuss information and services that may assist impacted employees, including Unemployment Insurance information, tax assistance, Work Sharing program to avoid layoffs, financial planning, remote career services and most recently it was announced that loans for small businesses are being considered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Learn more about them here
- Small Business Incentives here
- Bureau of Economic Development: COVID-19 Response – Information for the Business Community | CookCountyIL.gov
Workers in need of Economic Assistance:
Information about unemployment insurance, utility relief, food access, and Medicaid waivers can be found on the following sites:
Unemployment Insurance (UI): Last update March 27th, 2020
IDES Announces new filing procedures, due to high volume. See here.
The governor issued an executive order to waive the 7-day waiting period for residents to apply for unemployment benefits, meaning anyone who qualifies can file and become immediately eligible instead of experiencing a week-long lag during this challenging time. Apply for UI here
Learn about changes to payment and collection policies to ensure Illinoisans aren’t saddled with utility debt as a result of COVID-19. Several have announced plans to maintain services and waive late payment fees. Learn more here
Illinois State Board of Education obtained a waiver from the federal government to continue distributing meals to all children who qualify for free and reduced lunch. Schools are encouraged to expand meal distribution programs to all children under 18 or to any student enrolled in an Illinois school, regardless of their age. Learn more here
A federal waiver is being processed to expand Medicaid coverage. If the federal waiver is approved, the state will be able to expand Medicaid services through the addition of new medical providers, increased access across the state and ramped up services to many of the state’s most vulnerable populations. Learn more here
Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. Read more here.
Important links & External Resources:
- Sign up for Cook County Alerts: text “Alertcook” to 888-777
- Cook County suburbs school districts providing meals to families in need: http://bit.ly/CookCountyMeals
- Complete the Census Form here.
- Governor Pritzker Requests Emergency Designation for Small Business Disaster Loans
- American Hotel and Lodging Association: FREE Training, Education Courses for Hotel Employees
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- 5 Ways to Retain Your Customers During the Coronavirus Outbreak
- Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Combating the Coronavirus
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Learn More About COVID-19:
You can learn more about the virus on the Illinois Department of Health website.