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updated: 3/25/2011 8:52 PM

Illinois workNet changing lives through WIA funding

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Deb Lawrence

With the goal of helping people lead productive and self-sufficient lives, Illinois workNet of Northern Cook County's efforts support growth, opportunity and independence, through the use of Workforce Investment Act Funds (WIA) to service providers.

After working for the same company for eight years, Renata Krolikowska was facing unemployment as a single mother. In spite of a strong work history, the fact that she never finished college limited her career options. Despite intense job search efforts, she was unable to find employment, and began to lose confidence. Renata knew she had to complete her education, but could not afford it. She turned to Illinois workNet of Northern Cook County to learn about WIA programs.

Meeting with a WIA Career Advisor, Renata decided that the best career path would be an Accounting Associate Certificate from Oakton Community College, replacing feelings of hopelessness with feelings of empowerment.

Following the recommendations of her WIA Career Advisor, she has also completed computer and job seeker workshops, and maintained a 3.84 GPA. Renata accepted an accounting position, and plans to complete her bachelor's degree and CPA license. She credits her WIA Career Advisor with building her confidence and moving her life forward in a more positive direction.

Illinois workNet is the most comprehensive employment, business services and support resource in Northern Cook County, with professionals offering businesses of any size, highly efficient and effective recruitment, hiring and training expertise and other types of assistance.

Illinois workNet is the business entry point to an extensive network of public and private support programs that can help address almost any business challenge. And because Illinois workNet is part of the statewide Illinois workNet initiative, it is funded in large part by tax dollars, meaning most services are offered at little or no cost to businesses. Offices are located in Arlington Heights, Skokie and Elgin.

In addition to the services and programs provided by Illinois workNet of Northern Cook County professionals, businesses can be connected with a wide range of additional business services and support resources.

For more information on programs, grants, future job fairs and upcoming events, visit