All results / Stories / By Rex Robinson
Economic disparities play role in education during pandemic
From keeping students engaged during online learning to concerns about them slipping academically and making sure they show up for all remote classes, there are a host of potential pitfalls that can occur when students are not physically in school.
For those entering or re-entering the job market right now, there are many choices throughout the country and locally too. In the last 30 days, more than 20,000 jobs have been posted to online job boards for the Will County area alone, according to employment officials. These posting represent 600 different occupations. The demand occupations include transportation, warehousing, retail, restaurant and health care, officials said. “Companies, especially in the hospitality sector (retail, restaurants, casinos, etc.) have been posting more jobs to ramp up their workforce as capacity levels increase,” said Caroline Portlock, director of the Workforce Investment Board of Will County.
Will County is sixth most vaccinated in the state
The Will County Health Department on Monday reported 73,426 COVID cases, an increase of 480 from Friday and 979 reported deaths from the virus, an increase of three from Friday.
Pritzker Administration provides more than $185 million in assistance to help tenants avoid eviction
Legislators in Washington and in Illinois scrambled over the weekend to prevent millions of people from being evicted as a federal eviction moratorium expired Saturday.
AG Raoul to host public discussion Thursday evening
A state investigation is underway into possible patterns or practices of unconstitutional or unlawful policing in Joliet and now the public is being asked to weigh in on the matter. Attorney General Kwame Raoul is inviting members of the public to participate in a virtual town hall meeting discussing the investigation into the Joliet Police Department’s policing practices.
Health officials continue to await FDA vaccine approval
As the country awaits the release of COVID vaccine distribution to get underway, Coronavirus cases continue to rise. The Will County Health Department on Wednesday reported 44,464 COVID cases, an increase of 464 from Tuesday, and seven additional deaths, bringing that total to 601.
Republican women lawmakers issue statement crying foul
UPDATED STORY Daycare workers in Illinois will soon face mandatory COVID vaccines or weekly COVID testing if not fully vaccinated by early January 2022. There are 175 daycare facilities in Will County, according to countyoffice.org. To prevent further spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of Illinois’ youngest residents, Gov. JB Pritzker joined Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Department of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou, and Department of Childhood and Family Services Director Marc Smith Friday to announce new vaccination or weekly testing requirements for individuals who work in licensed day care centers.
City Council to consider development plans Dec. 15
Despite a legal challenge, a public hearing regarding the proposed annexation and rezoning for the NorthPoint development proposed for Joliet went on as planned late last week. Now, comes the next steps.
Many families in communities throughout Joliet and Will County have been struggling as a result of the ongoing health crisis. The Coronavirus pandemic has upended the local economy and in the poorest areas of the county – many who were living check to check to begin with – are finding themselves in need of assistance.
Pritzker announces another $443 million in rental assistance to slow the possible wave of evictions
The eviction moratorium, which ended last month in most states throughout the country, ended Oct. 3 in Illinois. Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) on Friday announced that more than $443 million in emergency rental assistance has been paid on behalf of 49,100 households through the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP).
Legislators in Washington and in Illinois scrambled over the weekend to prevent millions of people from being evicted as a federal eviction moratorium expired Saturday. In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker has extended the moratorium until the end of August and that is giving renters a bit more time.
Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 students began returning to in-person learning on Jan. 25 and more in-person learning will continue through Feb. 16, according to district officials.
Pair released by judge day before hearings get underway in Washington
A Crest Hill couple appeared before a U.S. District Court judge on Monday after being arrested on charges connected to breaching the Capitol building during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.
Outside organization hired to assist with new call center
Faced with a deluge of calls from residents seeking information about how to receive the COVID vaccine, Will County officials plan to spend $1.6 million to open a new call center.
Coming together as a community to bring what is needed most for the people is essential to any project aimed at the greater good. It takes everyone pitching in and going above and beyond to think of others. That’s exactly what happened this week when volunteers joined to set up and distribute COVID vaccines in a Joliet Black community at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 402 Singleton Place. Nearly 200 doses of the vaccine were given on Monday at the church’s first COVID-19 vaccination clinic, which was one of the Will County Health Department’s “Strike Team Clinics,” according to health department spokesman Steve Brandy. Health department officials will be back at the church on March 27 with another 200 doses of the vaccine. Appointments are fully booked and there is a waiting list, Brandy said. It took everyone from the National Hookup of Black Women Joliet Chapter, the health department, Lewis University nursing students and many others to make it happen, according to organizers of Monday’s clinic.
Illinois becomes first Midwest state to vaccinate 50 percent of eligible youth
It was someone from Joliet last week and now it's someone from Bolingbrook. The third $100,000 Monday drawing as part of the state's 'All In for the Win' vaccine lottery has taken place, and three lucky winners have been chosen.
Company plans to invest minimum of $70 million into facility
In a move aligned with President Joe Biden's plan to increase clean energy, Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday joined elected officials and the Lion Electric Company — a Canadian based manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles — to announce a significant investment in Illinois, with plans to build the company’s first-ever U.S. manufacturing facility and the largest plant of its kind in the country.
More access to better jobs and training needed for Blacks, minorities
From retail sales jobs that pay an average hourly wage of nearly $14 to supervisors of production and operating workers positions with hourly average wages of more than $30, employment positions totaling 22,111 were available throughout the region in September, according to statistics from the Workforce Investment Board of Will County.
Like the winds of change blowing through with the arrival of spring, many are hopeful the local job market will quickly start to improve as more receive COVID vaccines and more businesses, especially restaurants, are able to ramp up productivity and hire more employees.
Will County is truly a microcosm of the country in myriad ways, and the same holds true for the county’s politics as evident from what happened this past week to a certain Republican U.S. House Rep. Throughout the country, Republicans in the House and Senate have found themselves facing censure from what can only be described as “the far right” end of the Party in their home states, districts and communities.