Any time is a tough time to be unemployed or underemployed, but the present time is especially challenging. Here you’ll find some resources to help you:

Job Searching During COVID-19

Unfortunately, furloughs and layoffs are the story in many companies, but there are some industries that are maintaining or even growing their workforces now. Use these resources to find and land those opportunities.

Find Opportunities
Prepare for the Process
  • Waubonsee’s Career Development page - provides resume and cover letter help, templates and videos, along with Candid Career series videos about virtual interviewing, creating a personal brand and more!
  • Illinois workNet webinars (pdf)
    Another monthly lineup of helpful job search webinars that features such topics as resume best practices, financial wellness while seeking employment, and more.

Finding a New Direction

You may be taking this time to rethink your current job or career path. Explore your passions and industry projections to find the right fit.

Career Coach

Career Coach Tool
Free to use, this powerful tool features:

  • the ability to create an account so all your info saved and careers favorited 
  • Short, medium and long Career Assessments (6, 30 or 60 questions) to determine your interests and how they relate to careers
  • Personalized results from the Career Assessment that help you determine which Career Cluster is the best match for you 
  • Within your matches, search jobs by such criteria as average salary and education requirements, or simply explore the Waubonsee program that can best prepare you

Watch the Career Coach Tutorial now!

EMSI Regional Impact Report

EMSI Regional Impact Report (pdf)
If you want to go right after the careers that are hot right now, read this report. You can also look at the top skills employers are seeking and just focus on some training and education to strengthen those.

Accessing Free Training and Education

Whether it’s a specific skill to round out your current resume or a full degree program to launch an all-new career, you can pursue it at Waubonsee, locally and at no cost. 

WIOA Tuition-Free Career Training

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act allows certain groups of eligible people, including dislocated/laid off workers, to apply for funding they can use to retrain for in-demand careers. Many of Waubonsee’s credit career programs, along with a few noncredit offerings, serve as training program options.

To get started, contact your local illnoisworknet center to talk through eligibility, training options and application steps. Once things are set with the center, please contact Waubonsee at (630) 466-2356 (voicemails will be returned asap) or email sdwinnells@waubonsee.edu to start the enrollment process at Waubonsee. You will use a WIOA tuition voucher to pay for your courses.

Free Online Courses and Webinars

Low-Cost Contact Tracer Course
While not free, this low-cost $49 contact tracer courses is a great investment in yourself, as it takes just 12-15 hours of online learning to complete and prepares you for immediate entry to an in-demand job that averages $16-24 per hour.

Free Topical Webinars 
Access live and recorded webinars from our Education and Workforce Development team that focus on timely topics like COVID-19 and OSHA procedures, stress management, digital portfolios and more.

Adult Education Programs (HSE/GED, ELA)

Adult Education Programs (HSE/GED, ELA)
If you don’t yet have a high school diploma, now is a great time to go after it! Participate in our always-free High School Equivalency (HSE) program and prepare to take the GED or another HSE exam. Now is also a great time to work on improving your English language skills through our free English Language Acquisition (ELA) offerings.

Waubonsee Works
For qualifying individuals between 17-24 years old, the Waubonsee Works Program provides free tuition and books for a High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) or a short-term, career-focused certificate at Waubonsee.

Understanding Unemployment and Using Your Benefits

Dealing with a job loss is never easy, and it’s even more difficult now as so many are trying to access similar resources. Admittedly, we’re the experts in education and training, not the unemployment system, but here are a few key links to help get you informed and moving in the right direction. 

State of IL Platforms

The Illinois workNet® platform
This new online platform from the Illinois Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity – Office of Employment and Training/Illinois workNet is meant to be a one-stop shop for workforce development resources. Look here for important links, such as one to file for unemployment, as well as free online training events, and more.

Get Hired IL
Get Hired IL is another new state site designed to help job seekers and employers connect, along with providing additional info and resources.

Connect to Benefits and Services After a Layoff

Connect to Benefits and Services After a Layoff
For many of you, being laid off is something you’ve never dealt with before. This article from the Illinois workNet outlines some of the key benefits and services you may be seeking, including unemployment insurance, health insurance, housing assistance, local support, money management and student loan assistance.

Tips, Tools and Resources for the Laid Off Worker

Tips, Tools and Resources for the Laid Off Worker
Also from the Illinois workNet comes a listing of resources for the laid off worker. These almost 70 articles highlight topics ranging from Budgeting Basics to Building Skills Employers Want to Unemployment Insurance and Taxes and many more.