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    SPRINGFIELD — A new initiative aims to employ disadvantaged jobseekers by celebrating “a new kind of hero.”
    The Illinois Job Honor Awards is accepting nominations for its first event, to be conducted Nov. 30 in Lisle.
    The awards will celebrate Illinoisans who have overcome significant barriers to employment and the employers who hire them.
    Founded in Iowa in 2014, the awards are spreading nationwide under the banner of America’s Job Honor Awards. Previous honorees have overcome physical and mental disabilities, criminal convictions, limited English proficiency and long-term unemployment in their struggle for employment.
    “Our society celebrates lottery winners, movie stars and professional athletes,” said founder Kyle Horn. “We rarely hear inspiring stories of individuals whose lives are transformed through the hard work and perseverance that leads to meaningful employment. It’s time for a new kind of hero.”
    The event is intended to become an annual one. The first will be presented in partnership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Illinois State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management at their annual New Laws Forum at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville hotel.
    “Illinois employers are always looking for the next great hire,” said Todd Maisch, president and CEO, Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “It’s no secret that Illinois has a great workforce as one of its greatest assets. But it’s also no secret that many employers have trouble finding qualified employees. These awards will help demonstrate success and show Illinoisans the potential for those who have barriers to employment.”
    Top employee honorees will bring home $500 each, and winners in both the employee and employer categories will receive engraved crystal awards. Biographical videos will be presented for all honorees. “Expect some deeply moving personal stories,” says Horn. 
    Nominations are invited through the organization’s website, www.JobHonor.org before the Sept. 16 deadline. Honoree videos for previous winners can be viewed at the organization’s website.
    Lead sponsor of the awards is ManpowerGroup.
    For more information go to www.JobHonor.org