Use Your WIA Grant for Professional Development

If you find yourself unemployed as a result of a company lay-off, bankruptcy, or closure due to NAFTA, you may qualify for federal funding to return to the classroom. Under the Workforce Investment Act, or WIA, you may apply for a grant from your local WorkNet office to take courses at one of NIU’s convenient locations in the northern Illinois region.

  • Stop by or call your local WorkNet Center to make an appointment with a career counselor. To find the office closest to you, go to (You may have already been to the office to apply for unemployment insurance – these Worknet Centers are ‘one-stop’ shops for unemployment benefits, education & training and other services). The on-site career counselors can help you to begin the application process and determine the amount of your grant. Once you have been awarded a training voucher, you may enroll in one of NIU’s state-approved programs.
  • Click here for a list of programs. 
  • For non-degree programs, such as test preparation courses and on-line professional development, you do not need to formally apply to the university. If you are seeking a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you must apply to the university and meet all criteria for admission to your desired program. To apply to NIU go to
  • Questions? Email Cathy Cradduck with your questions and find out what NIU can do for you. Remember – this process takes time and is a coordinated effort between the university, the local Illinois WorkNet Centers and you.