9/7/2016, 5:02 p.m. | Updated on 9/7/2016, 5:02 p.m.


The Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois State Council for the Society of Human Resource Management (ILSHRM) will host its first annual Illinois Job Honor Awards, November 30th in Lisle, Illinois.

The purpose of the honors award event is to highlight and celebrate Illinois employees for their employment contributions in spite of prior convictions, and those who struggle with mental and physical disabilities.

Director and Founder, Kyle Horn, launched the job honors program in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2014. “Our society celebrates lottery winners, movie stars and professional athletes. We rarely hear inspiring stories of individuals whose lives are transformed through the hard work and perseverance that leads to meaningful employment. By publicly honoring these individuals we inspire others. We promote the programs that offer a helping hand. It’s time for a new kind of hero,” said Horn.

Studies show that many ex-offenders are ostracized and find it hard to get post release work after leaving the penal system. In 2016, President Obama released more than 6,000 non-violent drug offenders. For local companies to give individuals a second chance is commendable, especially exoffenders who have served time for non-violent crimes.

The program also honors employers and or companies who demonstrate the willingness to hire disadvantaged candidates, develop their talent, and “take a chance” to help change the lives of underprivileged workers. Companies who are honored will receive an honoree biographical video according to the Job Honor Awards’ website.

“This is the first year hosting this event in Illinois and we are reaching out to members in the Human Resources industry to participate in the upcoming event,” said Laurie Silvey, President of the Center for Business Management at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in Springfield. “We have also partnered with the African-American chambers in the region and are networking with smaller companies who hire individuals that face difficulties finding jobs. The goal is to give two awards to disadvantaged workers and two awards to companies who have given jobs to underprivileged workers,” she said.

Illinois has an impeccable workforce. However, employers are often faced with the difficult task of finding employees who are qualified to fill vacant positions. The honorees will be individuals who have overcome addictions and have gained marketable skills to better their chances of employment opportunities, according to Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

The Illinois Job Honor Awards mission is to rekindle hope and energize the work ethic across the state, through the celebration of a new kind of hero. Midwestern states participating in Job The honors program include Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The luncheon ceremony will be held at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville (Regency Ballroom), from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, at 3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle, Illinois. The deadline for nomination is September 16, 2016.

To learn more about the Job Honors award program, please log on to the Job Honor Awards website at: www.JobHonor.org.