Cook County overhauls its job training program

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Officials in Cook County say the effort to overhaul its employment-training program is well on its way.

CHICAGO (AP) — Officials in Cook County say the effort to overhaul its employment-training program is well on its way.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says in addition to a new name, an effort is under way to slash unnecessary administrative jobs and to improve outreach and job training for veterans and ex-offenders.

"Cook County Works" is a federally funded job-training program for residents in the south and western suburbs.

Among the changes announced Tuesday is the outsourcing of case managers for those seeking training. A manager also will be hired to audit the contract agencies.

In the past, the job-training program has seen staffers sent to prison for on-the-job theft and accounting irregularities that forced the county to return $8.4 million between 2003 and 2008.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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