Training, connecting and developing the workforce of Central Illinois.

Serving residents and employers through the Illinois workNet Center of Peoria and satellite offices in Fulton, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties.

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Scholarship funds up to $15,000 is available to those selected to receive a WIOA Training Grant


What is WIOA?

WIOA stands for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. It is the federal funding source for the occupational training paid for by Career Link.

Read more about WIOA here:

Who can apply?

Job seekers and students who live in one of the eight counties we serve may apply for a WIOA grant at the Career Link office in the county where they live.

Who might be eligible for WIOA Grants for training?

If, you can answer YES, to one of these three questions… Please contact us!

  • Are you a member of a low-income household?  For example, do you or someone in your household receive public assistance (SNAP, TANF, SSI)?
  • Are you unemployed through no fault of your own, eligible/receiving/exhausted your unemployment benefits?
  • Have you been affected by a business closure or layoff?

Note, applicants under age 25, please see additional ways someone can be determined eligible under our Youth (16-24) heading.

Begin the process of applying for WIOA grant by coming into one of our offices and requesting an application for financial assistance to complete training.  You could also print the abbreviated application document below and submit it to the office in the county where you currently live.  In the next ten days, a Career Planner will look over your application and then contact you to explore setting up an appointment where we will document that you qualify and interview you to see if you are a strong candidate for assistance.  We suggest you apply 30 days before training would begin.

Career Link Pre Application PDF


Can I get a WIOA grant AND collect Unemployment?

Under the WIOA program, if you are receiving unemployment benefits, you can continue to receive them while you are taking classes.  Although, unemployment benefits are typically exhausted after 26 weeks.  It is possible to work part-time, attend training, and stretch unemployment benefits up to a full year.

What sorts of training can I get?

Eligible and selected students can receive training in dozens of training programs at local area schools. All training must lead to full-time employment.  Presently, a majority of our clients are getting training in the health care industry.  For example, we help to fund lots of LPN’s and RN’s. We also train many people for careers in manufacturing (welders, CNC Programmers) and Transportation (truck drivers). The list does change as funds are targeted to occupations with the best opportunities for local work with good wages.  Most of our customers attend a community college in programs that lead to a certificate or a two-year degree that leads to employment.  A Career Link Career Planner can help job seekers explore their options. 

Prospective students can also explore some options at

Do WIOA grants have to be paid back?

No, they are grants.  Please note, if you are selected to receive a WIOA grant, it is because our staff believe you are capable of accomplishing your approved training goals.  Additionally, if you are selected for a WIOA grant it is because our staff also believe you are capable of securing a full-time job at the successful completion of your training.  Therefore, the grant is like FREE money, but it comes with important expectations – that you will complete your training and go to work. Career Link receives funding to administer WIOA grants because our recipients in the past have been very successful.  By accepting a WIOA grant, you will be agreeing to allow us to monitor your job success for a full-year after the completion of training.