For Immediate Release

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. 

Jobseeker Resources:

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.

Visit this page to see up-to-date job opportunities.

Employer Resources: 

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

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

Important links:
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Who’s Hiring?:

Visit this page to see up-to-date job opportunities.

Important links & External Resources:

Learn More About COVID-19:

You can learn more about the virus on the Illinois Department of Health website.