Serving the unemployed

By on April 16, 2009

by Gwen Allen
So you’ve lost your job, and you’re standing in the unemployment office, feeling helpless and humbled by your journey. Though most people will only go through the doors, file for unemployment and leave empty handed, some will discover the office has other services to help.

The Kane County Department of Employment and Education (KCDEE) is one service often overlooked.

Dee Reinhardt, marketing coordinator for KCDEE, said the organization provides the community with a framework for workforce preparation and employment systems.

“We are here to meet the needs of both businesses and job seekers,” Reinhardt said.

Through multi-level services, the KCDEE walks job seekers and businesses through a process of evaluating their needs and implementing a plan of action.

Implemented as part of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 through the Department of Labor, the KDCEE, a federally funded program that is a partner to the Illinois Department of Unemployment, serves Dekalb, Kane and Kendall counties.

On a basic level, the center provides access to free workshops, computers, the Internet, phones and printers available for any job seeker. If a greater need is assessed and the job seeker qualifies, additional services are available.

“Our job centers are open to anyone and have staff available to help them search job sites and to set up e-mail addresses,” Reinhardt said. “If eligible, (some) can go through a career assessment, exploration and vocational training for free.”

Should the job seeker qualify for the paid assisted vocational training, they are encouraged to choose a “growth trade,” she said.

“We try to prepare them so that they won’t have to come back,” Reinhardt said. “Right now these (fields) are medical, manufacturing, warehousing and transportation. With the president’s recent initiatives these may change to include green jobs; we just aren’t sure yet.”

Deborah Banker, KCDEE’s assistant director of workforce operations, said although any unemployed person could benefit from her organization, some candidates are ideally suited for the counseling and training resources.

“These include service individuals who are affected by company closures due to no fault of their own,” Banker said. “Also, individuals who need to update their skills, or anyone who has been laid off. We also get notifications when a company is about to close and in that case we go to the employees to try and help.”

She said the organization also works to prevent employment problems by addressing the youth.

“We help students with whatever needs they have so that they can become a productive worker,” Banker said. “We do this through job exploration and skill training with a focus on students who are out of high school who need to transition into the work world.”

On the other end of the spectrum, she said the KDCEE works with businesses to alleviate further job loss.

“Businesses have to qualify, but they are generally small to medium size,” Banker said. “For example, we helped one company that had employees who couldn’t read their blueprints and so they weren’t making the product to specification. So we had a specialist go and retrain their employees. Our goal with businesses is to help them maintain the workforce through additional training.”

For more information call (630) 966-1435 or visit

Services for businesses
• Labor market information
• Wage rates
• Projected labor demand
• Affirmative action data
• Region and industry
specific data
• State and federal mandates
• Outplacement services
• Company closures
• Employment advising
• Unemployment insurance
• Access to qualified applicants
• Small business
development center
• Federal bonding
• Wage subsidies for
training on the job
• Connection to recent
graduates of training
programs relevant to
your business needs
• Tax credits, incentives and
other employer
assistance programs

Local Locations
• Administrative Office
1 Smoketree Business Park, Suite A
North Aurora, IL 60542
Phone: (630) 966-1435
Fax: (630) 966-1172
• Elgin Center
30 DuPage Court
Elgin, IL 60120
Phone: (847) 888-7900
Fax: (847) 888-4145
• DeKalb Center
1701 E. Lincoln Hwy.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 756-4893
Fax: (815) 756-1051

Services for job seekers
• Career counseling and exploration
• Job search strategies and
reference materials
• Career skills improvement workshops
• Education and job-training guidance
• Personalized career plans
• Career interest and skills testing
• Placement services, Employment
advising and referrals
• Labor market information including
current wage rates
• Information on occupations of tomorrow
• Affirmative action data
• Region and industry specific data
• State and Federal mandates
• Unemployment insurance services
• Illinois Skills Match and other Internet
job listings
• Referrals to partner organizations