Land of Lincoln Goodwill hosting job fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Land of Lincoln Goodwill is reversing its decision to refocus the Vocational Rehab program and lay off dozens of workers. 

Sen. Andy Manar had called for a full state review of state contracts and funding given after the nonprofit's decision to pull paychecks from disabled workers.

Dozens of workers with disabilities were told they would be laid off due to the state's increase in the minimum wage. 

Sen. Manar said the one dollar per hour increase would not take effect for five more months, and Land of Lincoln Goodwill is exempt by the U.S. Department of Labor from paying these employees the minimum wage.

"An organization that eliminates opportunity for the most vulnerable people in the state while simultaneously driving up executive compensation should be ashamed of itself," said Manar. "Blaming a minimum wage increase that hasn't even gone into effect and that does not apply to these workers after receiving an increase in taxpayer funding is unacceptable."

In a statement Wednesday, Land of Lincoln Goodwill said it was reversing that decision.

"Our recent decision regarding the Voc. Rehab program and the resulting harm it might have caused falls short of living up to our mission and we apologize for this error in judgement," they said. "We are reversing the decision to realign our Voc. Rehab program and those participants affected will return to their part time skills training program with pay."

Land of Lincoln Goodwill receives nearly $400,000 in taxpayer funded contracts and was slated to receive a 3.5 percent funding increase under the state's new budget.