Archive for the ‘workforce development’ Category

The Ever Changing “Leader”

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

As I sit contemplating what being an effective leader means to me, I can’t help but to think of all the people who fill this role in our lives. Starting from the day we were born, we have been led by parents, family, teachers, Churches, coaches, bosses, etc.… each one of those people play a crucial part in molding what “leader” means to all of us.

I have had the pleasure of working with nurturing mentors and/or leaders who have a true team approach. They set an exceptional example on how a team mentality works. They found their team members strengths and help build upon those. Kept an open-door policy and making it easy to share ideas leading to growth. It was important that everyone was heard, valued, and encouraged. By doing so it cultivated a positive work environment with a sense of purpose. This energy then transmitted to our client and business interactions. They achieved a happy, productive workplace environment and made their business a true success.

On the extreme opposite, I have experienced working with an unmotivated, micro-manager. The office morale was dark and stressed. There was no room for opposition or new ideas. There were no “good jobs” or “thank you’ s” only “we aren’t doing enough”. One by one, talented, creative, and capable individuals moved on. Our clients felt the negativity resulting in loss of good business. All of this because of one bad leader.

These last few weeks I have had the opportunity to visit with some local business leaders in Aurora. They have shared what their organization’s look for and need in a leader. And taught key points on how they work to meet that need. A common factor I have noted is that a successful organization needs a team. It’s imperative to have a visionary to think big and next level. To have an organizer to help structure those visions and keep things running smoothly. A motivated individual, a doer, to go out and share the vision of the business. It is necessary to build a team that compliments each other’s strengths and weaknesses. One person can’t do it all.

Secondly, there are no two people exactly alike. In the business climate of 2019, you need to be inclusive and open to diversity. We have to look beyond our bias and see the unlimited potential out in the world. As leaders, we may have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone to explore all opportunities. To bring new vision and flavor to thrive in today’s ever-changing business world. Immerse yourself in getting to know who makes up your community. Get out, connect, and ask what their needs are.

I will move forward in my role with a clearer vision as to what type of leader I want to be. My vision is to be positive, motivated, inclusive, goal oriented, intuitive, and warm. I am leading dynamic individuals with different views, qualities, and attributes. It is important that I recognize their strengths and build on them. I am thankful for all the examples, good or bad, from those who have shaped my definition of what being a leader is. It is important to realize the individual impact we have on people. We are either directly or indirectly shaping someone else’s “leader” definition too.

Blanca Townsend is a personal lines account rep with Konen Insurance and a 2019 participant in the Aurora Leadership Academy.

Join JA at the Middle School Career Fair

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Junior Achievement is partnering with the Aurora middle schools to host an after school Career Fair on Tuesday, April 16th.  We would love you or your organization to participate!!
What?    Career Fair for Aurora Middle School Students
Who?     Roughly 200 Students
When?   Tuesday, April 16, 3:30–6:00pm
Where?  Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora, IL 60506
Why?      Explore career options with experienced professionals. Research shows that getting students interested in careers in middle school helps improve school performance and job readiness after high school.

Our goal is to bring in people working in the trades or manufacturing to talk informally with individual or small groups of students about their careers from experienced professionals who have been there and are doing (or have done) that!  Students love hearing about what you do, what you like and dislike about your field, how you found your career or how it found you!  The format is strictly conversational – no presentations needed!  You will have the opportunity to setup a table/booth; hands on and interactive activities are welcome and encouraged!

 

Please let me know by Friday, April 5th if you or someone from your group will join us for a great event!

Asking “Why”

Monday, March 18th, 2019

We all experience failure, especially when doing something new for the first time. All too often, when we fail, those in positions of leadership are quick to ask questions like, “Why did you do that?” or “Why did this happen?”. Questions like these imply an intent to fail and place blame on individuals. No one intends on failing at something, so there is nothing to gain from asking questions like this.

A common leadership style today is one of selfishness and that uses fear as motivation. These are the leaders and managers that ask “why” and look for individuals to blame, without taking any responsibility of their own. They are usually setting out with the goal to solely benefit themselves, rather than for the sake of their team. As a result these teams will continue to fail and fall apart.

Servant leadership is a style that opposes the “why” questions. It is a style that does not look to place blame on individuals, but rather focuses on learning from failure. These leaders know that their role is to guide members of their team to success by being a resource and advocate for them. Servant leadership builds trust within their team, and inspires them to succeed. They don’t ask “why did you do that”, they ask “how can I help you”.

I am fortunate to be part of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy, where I am surrounded by great leaders, and servant leadership is cultivated.

Michael Tucker has been the Environmental Compliance Technician for Fox Metro Water Reclamation District for three years. Mike earned his Bachelors of Science in Health Science from Aurora University in 2014. He currently lives in Montgomery with his wife, Cate, and two-year-old daughter, Aubrey.

Leadership Not One-Size-Fits-All

Friday, March 15th, 2019

While taking a personality evaluation tool during our Leadership Academy session on March 8 this thought came to me: Leadership is not one-size-fits-all. This is because each of us are uniquely different and are intrinsically motivated in different ways. Some people are motivated by gentle encouragement and others are motivated by competition. This means taking a step back and listening to what the members of your team need and being willing and able to adapt to what will motivate them.

In my experience I have found that truly great leaders are those that not only present the standard “leadership” qualities (such as determination, innovation, and passion) but those that adjust their communication styles to the people they are leading. Building a cohesive team involves actively engaging with the members of the team and determining the best way to encourage, inspire, and motivate the individual team members.

Building a strong team not only involves finding the right people, but finding the right place for those people. As a leader it is important to get to know all of the members of your team and use that knowledge to provide them with opportunities to build on their strengths. We are often encouraged to focus on our weaknesses to try to improve them while we take our strengths for granted. Sometimes the jobs or tasks people are initially assigned to are not the best use of their skills. I find that author Douglas Adams described this well in his quote, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.”

Linnea Scherer is a CPA and accountant for Fox Metro Water Reclamation District. She is celebrating one year at Fox Metro on Friday, March 15. She is thrilled to be participating in the 2019 Leadership Academy presented by the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Key Events, Legislative Updates, More from #AuroraChamber

Monday, February 25th, 2019

State of The City Next Week

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

Employer Law Update Set »
Board Nominations Sought »
State of The City Next Week »
Leadership Academy »
College & Career Fair »
Two Programs to Support Youth »
Public Policy Updates »
Premier Investors »
Welcome New Members »
Elite Members »
Calendar of Events »
Member News »
Did You Know? »
Spotlight On Membership »
About The Aurora Chamber »

EMPLOYER LAW UPDATE SET

Tuesday, March 12, at 3 p.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

2019 has brought change to the nation, state, and region. Are you aware and prepared? Join management-side attorney Julie Proscia of SmithAmundsen as she reviews the latest amendments to:

• Illinois’ Wage and Hour Law
• Illinois Human Rights Act
• Mandated reimbursement of expenses
• PTO, vacation and leave entitlements
• Sexual harassment & discrimination in the workplace

Get insights to help comply with the new Federal, State, and local laws to help you avoid lawsuits and to protect the employer’s bottom line.

Register here.

Board Nominations Sought

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for members willing to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors. All eligible nominees will be considered by the Nominating Committee. Nominations may be found online. Forms should be returned by Friday, March 29, at 12:00 p.m.

To be considered to be a Director, nominees must be members in good standing.

STATE OF THE CITY NEXT WEEK

State of The City

State of the City Address
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Reception @ 4 p.m.
Mayor’s Address @ 6 p.m.

LEADERSHIP ACADEMY REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Leadership Academy

Applications may still be submitted through Thursday at noon. To read prior participants’ experiences in the program, visit our blog.

JOIN US FOR REGIONAL COLLEGE, CAREER FAIR

West Aurora is organizing a College & Career Fair for area high school students in Kane, DuPage, and Kendall counties on Friday, March 1, 2019, from 8 to 11 a.m. If you are interested in participating, information may be found at www.bit.ly/wamarch1.

TWO MANUFACTURING PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT YOUTH, EMPLOYERS

The Aurora Regional Chamber is proud to announce two beneficial programs for member manufacturers. The partnership with Business Career Services will launch the next series of Manufacturing Careers Internship Program. Manufacturers are needed to offer site tours to participants. In addition, manufacturers are invited to offer eight-week internships for the youth between 18 and 24 years of age. There is no obligation for the manufacturer to hire the intern. BCS is the employer of record and handles the wages, insurance, and drug screening.

A second program to launch is the Kane County MCIP Second Chance Program. The program is designed to help young adults ages between 18 and 24 convicted of non-violent crimes, such as DUI or driving without a license, overcome the barrier of having a criminal record and re-enter society through starting careers in the manufacturing industry. Again, there is no cost obligation for the manufacturer during the eight-week internship. BCS covers wages and liability insurance.

For details, check our website through the links above.

Public Policy Updates

Last Wednesday at noon, Gov. JB Pritzker delivered his first Budget Address in which he laid out his priorities for the Illinois Fiscal Year 2020 budget. Plenty of new spending was proposed. New spending totaling at least $4.6 billion is proposed for early childhood programs ($140.8 million), K-12 education ($382.25 million), higher education ($161.4 million), health and human service programs ($437.85 million), criminal justice reforms ($10 million), public safety ($108.8 million), and infrastructure ($3.37 billion). Pritzker proposed more than $1.1 billion in new revenues and claimed that if these revenues were not approved GRF spending would have to be cut 4% excluding employee healthcare, pensions, and debt service costs. Read More
Other Recent Policy News

More Work Must Be Done on Tax Credit »
Gov. Pritzker Delivers Budget Address »
House GOP Opposes Costly, Job-killing Minimum Wage Hike »
Minimum Wage Bill Passes Senate Along Party Lines »
$15 Minimum Wage Passes Senate »
Illinois Pushes Toward $15 Minimum Wage »
Aurora Chamber Joins Ill. Chamber, Others in Release of Study on Data Centers »
Leader Durkin, House Republicans Introduce Fair Maps Amendment »

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Welcome New Members

Leaders in Transformational Education
Candace Thier
31 W. Downer Place, Suite 101, Aurora
(708) 227-0508
Community-Based Organization

Elite Members

 95.9 The River      Aaron’s      Above Board Indoor Environmental      Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.      AMITA Health Mercy Medical Center      Artesan Lofts      Aurora Bank & Trust      Aurora Collective      Aurora University      Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston      Barbara Geiger – Keller Williams Experience      Caterpillar, Inc.      City Segment      ComEd      Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics      Country Financial – West Aurora      Dolan & Murphy      Endiro Coffee      Energy Bot      ERC Delivery      First Secure Community Bank      Fox Valley Mall      Freedom Development Group, LLC      ganc.io      Healthcare Solutions Team – Deepti Srivastava      Henkels & McCoy, Inc.      Jiffy Lube Multi-Care      Kluber Architects + Engineers       Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.      Luke Singh – Country Financial      Magnetrol International, Inc.      MedCom Group      Midwest Coach Limousine, Inc.      Mitutoyo America Corporation      Mooney & Thomas P.C.       New York Life Insurance Company and Nylife Securities, LLC- Duckie Huynh      Obregon Medical Clinic      Ochoa & Associates LTD.      Old Second National Bank      OnLight Aurora      Orchard Wine & Liquor      Painters District Council 30      Paramount Arts Centre      Pilmer Real Estate      Plum Landing Retirement Community      Prairie Technology Solutions Group, LLC      Quality Logo Products      R.C. Wegman Construction Company      Rasmussen College      Rich Harvest Farms      Rush Copley Medical Center      S&S Metal Recyclers II      Scientel Solutions      ServPro of Aurora      Sign*A*Rama      SmithAmundsen, LLC      Staffing Network, LLC & QPA       Staffmark      Stonebridge Country Club      T-Mobile     Tempur-Pedic Stores      Thoughtwave Software & Solutions      Two Brothers Roundhouse      Valley Fastener Group, LLC      VivirMED, LLC      The Voice      Waubonsee Community College      Weldstar Company      WSPY      Woodforest National Bank      World Finance Corporation 

Calendar of Events

Leadership Academy
Begins Friday, March 1, at 8:30 a.m.
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

State of the City Address
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Reception @ 4 p.m.
Mayor’s Address @ 6 p.m.
Sponsorships Available

State of the Village Address
Wednesday, April 10, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Oak Street Restaurant
945 Oak St., North Aurora
Sponsorships Available

Member News

US DOL Opens Applications for HIRE Vets Medallion »
State of the City Set for March 5 »
Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry Establishes Evening Food Distribution »
Food Pantry Names New Exec »
2-1-1 Info Hotline Now Available in Kane »

Did You Know?

Last fiscal year, the #AuroraChamber website saw more than four million hits from nearly 350,000 visitors. One of the most popular destinations was the Member Directory with nearly 275,000 hits – an average of nearly 400 hits per member. Is your directory listing up to date? If you see something that needs to be changed or added, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, for assistance.

SPOTLIGHT ON MEMBERSHIP

The #AuroraChamber has a number of videos online to assist you in using your member profile to your advantage. Current videos include:

How to Pay Invoices Online
How to Post a Hot Deal
How to Add a Job Posting
How to Update Your Personal Profile
How to Update Your Company Profile
How to Manage and Post Events

About The Aurora Chamber

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is a private, not-for-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of more than 700 members representing nearly 40,000 employees. Our mission is be the catalyst for business success by providing leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for our members.

Not a Chamber member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.
Already a Chamber member? Make the most of your membership today.

Facebook    Blog    Twitter

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189

www.aurora-chamber.com

#AuroraChamber News for Members

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

The Aurora Regional Chamber is proud to announce two beneficial programs for member manufacturers.

Aurora Chamber

  In This Issue  

Leadership Academy »
Two Programs to Support Youth »
College & Career Fair »
Board Nominations Sought »
Public Policy Updates »
Premier Investors »
Welcome New Members »
Elite Members »
Calendar of Events »
Member News »
Did You Know? »
Spotlight On Membership »
About The Aurora Chamber »

LEADERSHIP ACADEMY REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Leadership Academy

Applications are now available for the 2019 Aurora Chamber Leadership Academy that begins on Friday, March 1.To read prior participants’ experiences in the program, visit our blog.

TWO MANUFACTURING PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT YOUTH, EMPLOYERS

The Aurora Regional Chamber is proud to announce two beneficial programs for member manufacturers. The partnership with Business Career Services will launch the next series of Manufacturing Careers Internship Program. Manufacturers are needed to offer site tours to participants. In addition, manufacturers are invited to offer eight-week internships for the youth between 18 and 24 years of age. There is no obligation for the manufacturer to hire the intern. BCS is the employer of record and handles the wages, insurance, and drug screening.A second program to launch is the Kane County MCIP Second Chance Program. The program is designed to help young adults ages between 18 and 24 convicted of non-violent crimes, such as DUI or driving without a license, overcome the barrier of having a criminal record and re-enter society through starting careers in the manufacturing industry. Again, there is no cost obligation for the manufacturer during the eight-week internship. BCS covers wages and liability insurance.

For details, check our website through the links above.

JOIN US FOR REGIONAL COLLEGE, CAREER FAIR

West Aurora is organizing a College & Career Fair for area high school students in Kane, DuPage, and Kendall counties on Friday, March 1, 2019, from 8 to 11 a.m. If you are interested in participating, information may be found at www.bit.ly/wamarch1.

Board Nominations Sought

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for members willing to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors. All eligible nominees will be considered by the Nominating Committee. Nominations may be found online. Forms should be returned by Friday, March 29, at 12:00 p.m.A Board of Directors governs the business, property, and affairs of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Board is responsible for establishing policy, budgets, and the guidance of affairs. The Board is composed of up to 22 persons who shall be members in good standing of the Chamber. Directors are elected for a term of three years which are staggered so that approximately one-third of the directors are elected each year. Vacancies in the board shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining directors.

To be considered to be a Director, nominees must be members in good standing.

Public Policy Updates

Recently, the Chamber Foundation joined our partners in releasing a report that showed Illinois has had significantly weaker growth in data center markets than surrounding states that have data center incentives.Today, 30 states have incentives specifically targeted at attracting data centers as part of expanded economic development efforts. Since 2012, 24 states have enacted legislation aimed at capturing a greater percentage of data center growth.
Other Recent Policy NewsMinimum Wage Bill Passes Senate Along Party Lines »
$15 Minimum Wage Passes Senate »
Illinois Pushes Toward $15 Minimum Wage »
AuroraChamber Joins Ill. Chamber, Others in Release of Data Centers Study »
Leader Durkin, House Republicans Introduce Fair Maps Amendment »

Premier Investors

Premier Investors

Welcome New Members

Ochoa & Associates LTD. (Elite Member)
Santos and Ilsia Ochoa
835 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
(630) 473-0325
Accounting & Tax ServicesArtesan Lofts (Premier Member)
Jessie Schnell
2 S Stolp Ave., Aurora
(630) 966-0602
Apartments & Condominiums / Art Galleries

Orchard Wine & Liquor (Premier Member)
Romi Singh
1039 W. Orchard Road, North Aurora
(630) 907-7130
Liquor Store

SciTech Hands on Museum
Arlene Hawks
18 W. Benton, Aurora
(630) 859-3434
Museums

Holistic Healthcare Management, Inc.
Stephanie Mack
Aurora
(630) 631-2998
Wellness Programs

Gary Brown Art
Susan Brown
7 S Broadway, Aurora
(630)768-4592
Art Galleries

Elite Members

 95.9 The River      Aaron’s      Above Board Indoor Environmental      Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.      Artesan Lofts      Aurora Bank & Trust      Aurora Collective      Aurora University      Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston      Barbara Geiger – Keller Williams Experience      Beans Greens Proteins      Caterpillar, Inc.      City Segment      ComEd      Company 251      Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics      Country Financial – West Aurora      Dolan & Murphy      Endiro Coffee      Energy Bot      ERC Delivery      First Secure Community Bank      Fox Valley Mall      Freedom Development Group, LLC      ganc.io      Gateway Mortgage Group      Healthcare Solutions Team – Deepti Srivastava      Henkels & McCoy, Inc.      Jiffy Lube Multi-Care      Kluber Architects + Engineers       Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.      Luke Singh – Country Financial      Magnetrol International, Inc.      MedCom Group      Midwest Coach Limousine, Inc.      Mitutoyo America Corporation      Mooney & Thomas P.C.       New York Life Insurance Company and Nylife Securities, LLC- Duckie Huynh      Obregon Medical Clinic      Ochoa & Associates LTD.      Old Second National Bank      OnLight Aurora      Orchard Wine & Liquor      Painters District Council 30      Paramount Arts Centre      Pilmer Real Estate      Plum Landing Retirement Community      Prairie Technology Solutions Group, LLC      Presence Mercy Medical Center      Quality Logo Products      R.C. Wegman Construction Company      Rasmussen College      Rich Harvest Farms      Rush Copley Medical Center      S&S Metal Recyclers II      Scientel Solutions      ServPro of Aurora      Sign*A*Rama      SmithAmundsen, LLC      Staffing Network, LLC & QPA       Staffmark      Stonebridge Country Club      T-Mobile     Tempur-Pedic Stores      Thoughtwave Software & Solutions      Two Brothers Roundhouse      Valley Fastener Group, LLC      VivirMED, LLC      The Voice      Waubonsee Community College      Weldstar Company      WSPY      Woodforest National Bank      World Finance Corporation 

Calendar of Events

Grand Opening: Randall Crossings Townhomes
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
1279 Comiskey Ave., North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.Grand Opening: Burger King
Thursday, Feb. 14, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
1378 Butterfield Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 9:30 a.m.

Leadership Academy
Applications Due
Begins Friday, March 1, at 8:30 a.m.
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

State of the City Address
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Reception @ 4 p.m.
Mayor’s Address @ 6 p.m.
Sponsorships Available

State of the Village Address
Wednesday, April 10, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Oak Street Restaurant
945 Oak St. North. Aurora
Sponsorships Available

Member News

Aurora Young Professionals, You’re Invited to Volunteer!Sign up for Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry.
Sign up for Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry.
US DOL Opens Applications for HIRE Vets Medallion »
State of the City Set for March 5 »
Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry Establishes Evening Food Distribution »
Food Pantry Names New Exec »
2-1-1 Info Hotline Now Available in Kane »

Did You Know?

Last fiscal year, the #AuroraChamber website saw more than four million hits from nearly 350,000 visitors. One of the most popular destinations was the Member Directory with nearly 275,000 hits – an average of nearly 400 hits per member. Is your directory listing up to date? If you see something that needs to be changed or added, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, for assistance.

SPOTLIGHT ON MEMBERSHIP

The #AuroraChamber has a number of videos online to assist you in using your member profile to your advantage. Current videos include:How to Pay Invoices Online
How to Post a Hot Deal
How to Add a Job Posting
How to Update Your Personal Profile
How to Update Your Company Profile
How to Manage and Post Events

About The Aurora Chamber

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is a private, not-for-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of more than 700 members representing nearly 40,000 employees. Our mission is be the catalyst for business success by providing leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for our members.Not a Chamber member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.
Already a Chamber member? Make the most of your membership today.

Facebook    Blog    TwitterAurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189

www.aurora-chamber.com

New Program Provides Second Chance for Youthful Offenders

Monday, February 11th, 2019

The Kane County MCIP Second Chance Program has three key goals:

  1. Help young adults ages 18 – 24 convicted of non-violent crimes, such as DUI or driving without a license, overcome the barrier of having a criminal record and re-enter society through starting careers in the manufacturing industry.
  2. Provide a low-risk process to vet and hire young adults who were incarcerated but are highly motivated and need a “second chance”
  3. Provide work and training opportunities to returning citizens to help address the critical skilled worker shortage in manufacturing.

How does it Work?

Business and Career Services (BCS) is partnering with the Kane County Correctional Department to provide a second chance to non-violent offenders ages 18 – 24 to turn their life around and become productive, responsible adults.

An intensive two-week “Boot Camp” held before the internship will screen participants for attitude and motivation and will focus on employer expectations and requirements such as: attendance, attitude, ambition and problem solving. It also provides them with a 10-hour OSHA safety certification, resume writing and interviewing skills, financial literacy, shop math and problem solving. The program is modeled after the highly successful BCS Manufacturing Careers Internship Program (MCIP) which has a 70% success rate.

As part of the “Second Chance” program, participating manufacturers will be able to interview and select potential interns prior to the eight-week internship. BCS is the employer of record during the internship and covers wages, insurance and liability. BCS will also monitor the growth and success of the participants during the internships using frequent communication and on-site visits.

What are the Benefits to Employers?

  • There is No Cost to the employer during the eight-week internship. BCS covers wages and liability insurance.
  • Opportunity to identify, vet and hire highly motivated individuals for hard-to-fill positions.
  • Federal and State Fidelity Bonding Programs are available at no cost to protect the employer from any wrong-doing by the employee once hired. The bond coverage is usually $5,000 with no deductible. Higher amounts of coverage up to $25,000 may be allowed.
  • Employers may qualify for a tax credit of between $1,200 and $9,600 per employee for hiring ex-felons through the Illinois Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program.
  • Employers hiring qualified participants may be eligible to be reimbursed 50% of their wages up to $10,000 through the Kane County Workforce On-the-Job Training Program.
  • Similar to the MICP, internships can be terminated at any time,

For more information, contact Rand Haas, MCIP program manager with Business and Career Services, at (630) 204-9795.

Industry-Driven Program Offers Train-to-Hire Internships for Employers

Monday, February 11th, 2019

The Aurora Chamber would like to re-introduce a partner program for local employers. The Business and Career Services Manufacturing Careers Internship Program (MCIP) is an innovative workforce development program designed to:

  • Help employers identify and hire motivated, young adults ages 18 – 24
  • Help young adults learn about manufacturing and start a successful career path
  • Change the perception of manufacturing and promote it as a desirable career

Employers benefit from the program because:

  • Internship provided at no cost to employer, no commitment to hire
  • Minimize hiring risk by identifying motivated employees during internship
  • Drug Screening and Work-readiness training provided prior to internship
  • Employers may be eligible for On-the-Job-Training Grant if interns are hired as employees

The MCIP starts with a Career Exploration “Boot” Camp that leads directly to an eight-week paid internship. During the boot camp, interns visit six to eight local manufacturers, tour the manufacturing lab at the local community college, learn essential “work-readiness skills”, brush up on their math skills and gain OSHA and Lift Truck Driving Certifications. At the end of the boot camp, participating employers interview and select interns for an internship paid by the MCIP.

The MCIP is funded through the through a federal WIOA grant from the DOL. Business and Career Services (BCS) serves as the employer of record and covers payroll, liability and insurance during the internship. In addition, participants obtain a 10-hour OSHA certification and forklift truck-driving certification. Other elements include:

  • Tours of local area manufacturers to learn about careers and skills required
  • Emphasis on work-readiness, including attendance, attitude and problem solving
  • Emphasis on shop math and communication skills
  • Resume writing and job interview preparation

The MCIP has been recognized as one of the most unique and innovative workforce programs in Illinois. Since 2011, more than 200 companies have participated and over 700 interns have participated. More than 85% of interns hired after the internship have stayed with the company for longer than 12 months.

For information, contact Rand Haas, program manager, at (630) 204-9795.

US DOL Opens Applications for HIRE Vets Medallion

Monday, February 11th, 2019

The application period is open for job creators to apply for the U.S. Department of Labor’s HIRE Vets Medallion Award. This program recognizes small businesses, non-profit organizations, and large companies for their leadership in recruiting, employing, and retaining America’s veterans. Applicants are evaluated based on a range of criteria including veteran hiring and retention rates, and the availability of veteran-specific resources, leadership programs, dedicated human resources, and compensation and tuition assistance programs. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2019.

Learn about the HIRE Vets Medallion Award

Illinois Pushes Toward $15 Minimum Wage

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

An effort to increase Illinois’s starting wage to $15 has gained early traction driven by the desire of Governor J.B. Pritzker to achieve passage sooner rather than later. Many Illinois residents will recall that the Governor made a $15 starting wage one of the cornerstones of his campaign.

Wednesday, during a subject matter hearing of the Senate Labor Committee, IRMA testified on the subject. It was noted that while IRMA is philosophically opposed to artificially imposed starting wages, we recognize that an increase is going to occur.

Proponents have noted that $15 starting wages in places like Seattle have not apparently led to significant job loss although research does point to lost hours particularly for low or unskilled workers. However, as even pro-wage increase researchers have noted, no one knows what the impact will be outside of urban centers like Seattle, New York City or Chicago and you cannot assume the experiences of a thriving city center will be the same experiences elsewhere as there are major economic differences. IRMA noted that the suburbs and downstate do not enjoy the concentration of economic dynamics that such urban centers enjoy. For example, Chicago benefits from robust tourism, a concentration of business headquarters, the daily influx of millions who spend money, and a concentration of wealth. No other location in Illinois even comes close to enjoying that combination of benefits.

IRMA also pointed to states like Oregon and New York that appeared to recognize such differences and took geographic-based approaches to increasing their starting wages.

In Oregon, the starting wages are higher in the Portland metro area, somewhat lower in their suburbs, and then even lower in the rest of the state. This is an approach that recognizes the substantial cost-of-living differences. It also recognizes the substantial differences that will occur between Illinois and every border state. With retail increasingly able to serve consumers regardless of where they are located, and 2/3rds of Illinois’ population within a 40-minute drive of a border, those disparities will have impact on employers.

New York increased the starting wage to $15 quickly in New York City, a bit more slowly in Long Island and Westchester County, and much more slowly in the rest of the state. In both cases, the increase to $15 started at a much higher rate in New York City. Similarly, Chicago will be at $13 July 1 while Cook County will be at $12. That is a significantly different starting point than the rest of Illinois which is currently at $8.25. A phase-in such as five years for the City of Chicago and Cook County, seven years for the collar counties and 10 years for the rest of the state is more realistic but will still be a large cost item for employers.

Even if the Illinois starting wages were increased from $8.25 to $15 over a 10-year period, the average annual increase would be just over 6% to the largest or single largest expense item of retail employers. That is why the tax credit currently proposed by the advocates to soften the blow on smaller employers is inadequate if policy makers insist on not taking an Oregon-like approach. First, the tax credit as currently proposed, only applies to employers with fewer than 50 employees at all locations. As IRMA noted, a single retail store can have more than 50 employees. Second, it treats franchisees as if they are owned by the franchisor. Franchisees are, in fact, small businesses so this inequality must be repaired. Third, the tax credit itself is not robust enough.

Additionally, the Illinois probationary/training wage allows employers to pay a trainee $0.50 less per hour than the current minimum wage. That was not very adequate at $8.25 but it is wholly inadequate at $15.00. The probationary/training wage needs to be in the neighborhood of $2.00 per hour less for the 90-day probationary/training period if employers are going to have any incentive to take the risk of hiring no-or-low-skilled employees.

While there are other issues, these are the primary issues under discussion. Additional considerations exist about impact on taxpayers. At $15, the State budget will be negatively impacted a few hundred million annually not to mention at least that kind of impact on local governments, higher education institutions, K-12 schools, park districts, etc.