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Keep Your Business & Employees Competitive

March 13, 2024

​Businesses in Illinois may benefit from programs and services that include employee-based training programs. These programs make employee skill upgrades available to businesses in order to avert layoffs, remain current in new technologies and business practices, or to provide job skills to new hires.

Review the information below to learn about how each program works, who you can hire, qualifications, and how to apply. You can download the Combined Employer-Based Training Programs flyer (PDF) if you'd like an overview of all. Once you've decided which program(s) is/​are best for your organization, you should contact the appropriate office in your area.

You can click here to view the map of Illinois Talent Pipeline grantees for local contact information. These grantees have been awarded funds to provide employer-based training opportunities in their area. For more articles and resources on training, check out Tips, Tools, & Resources.

Class-sized training gives groups of dislocated workers opportunity to upgrade skills over a short period of time. Standardized and certified classes are offered at a non-traditional time and/or setting. It can be combined with: on-the-job training, hands-on training, occupational knowledge/contextualized learning, and basic skills/bridge programs that ensure full development of the trainee’s skills and curriculum.

Customized training is business-driven and designed to meet the special requirements of each employer. The training is conducted with a commitment by the employer to employ (or in the case of incumbent workers, continue to employ) an individual upon the successful completion of training, for which the employer pays for no less than 50% of the cost.

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) programs help local employers develop and implement training programs for current employees who need new or upgraded skills in order to retain employment. Based on the size of the company, up to 100% of the costs of training can be reimbursed through the program.

The On-the-Job Training (OJT) program is a “hire-first” program in which the employer, either public or private, enters into an agreement with his or her local Illinois workNet Center to hire, train, and retain the individual upon successful completion of the training program. Through this program, businesses may be reimbursed up to 75% of the new employee’s wages while they are in training.