Eligibility & Enrollment

The Upward Mobility Program is open to certified AFSCME-represented employees who are interested in career advancement in targeted job titles. Employees also must have completed their probationary period with the State and be in certified status. Employees who are unsure of their probationary status should contact their agency personnel officer.

The State of Illinois and AFSCME Council 31 invite you to take the first step in your career advancement with The State of Illinois by enrolling in the Upward Mobility Program.

Follow the link below to submit your registration form electronically.

Online Registration System  - Click link to begin

Following the registration period, eligible employees are sent letters acknowledging receipt of their registration form and formally accepting them into the program. At this time they are assigned a career counselor who assists in identifying an appropriate job title and career path. Counselors also help employees develop an education plan, specifying the necessary coursework to be completed and identifying sources where the course work may be available.

Participants pursuing a college degree must sign a work commitment of two years in state service after the date of their last class. Employees who voluntarily leave state service without fulfilling this commitment must reimburse tuition and fees paid by Upward Mobility at an annual 7% interest rate. Unpaid amounts will be referred to a collection agency.

An employee who does not enroll in a course or take a proficiency exam within 3 years will automatically be withdrawn from the program. 

WHAT IS THE UPWARD MOBILITY PROGRAM?

The Upward Mobility Program is part of the master agreement between AFSCME and the State of Illinois. It is a career mobility program designed to give state employees an opportunity to advance to more challenging, higher paying positions. Employees can work toward advancement in the following major career paths: Data Processing, Office Services, Accounting, Human Services, Criminal Justice, and Nursing. Participants complete educational programs designed to provide them with the skills and knowledge needed for advancement.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Counselors speak with eligible employees to identify a "target title" and to develop individualized education plans. For Certificate Titles, employees must first take a test, then take classes for areas in which they are not proficient. For Credential Titles, employees must obtain a specific degree or license.* Once all requirements are met, employees receive an Upward Mobility grade notice and are placed on a separate eligibility list, which gives them special consideration in the filling of vacancies.

WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES THE PROGRAM OFFER?

  • An individual education plan helps people advance to higher paying, more challenging positions.
  • Testing and education are tied directly to the target titles, assisting employees' eventual promotion into these titles.
  • When funds are available, covered tuition and fees are paid directly to the schools by the State of Illinois.
  • An Upward Mobility grade gives an employee priority for the next vacancy in that title in any agency, even if the title is in another bargaining unit or is a non-bargaining unit position. In accordance with contract provisions, when more than one employee is eligible through Upward Mobility, seniority prevails in the filling of vacancies.
  • Employees have paid time off to take an Upward Mobility proficiency test, and partial time off to attend classes when necessary.
*Employees who target a Credential Title on or after July 1, 1994, must fulfill a work commitment of two years in state service. Employees who voluntarily leave state service without fulfilling this commitment must reimburse tuition and fees paid by Upward Mobility toward the credential title.