Upward Mobility Program
The Upward Mobility Program (UMP) is a joint agreement between the State of Illinois and AFSCME Council 31, designed to provide state employees an opportunity to advance to more challenging, higher paying positions. Employees can work toward advancement in a variety of career paths including 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.
View the 60+ targeted job titles to choose from as part of this program.
What advantages does the program offer?
- Limited funding to cover tuition and fees are paid directly to the schools by the State of Illinois.
- Employees have paid time off to take an Upward Mobility proficiency test, and partial time off to attend classes when necessary.
- 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.
- An individualized education plan helps to advance to higher paying, more challenging positions more efficiently.
- Testing and education are tied directly to the position titles, assisting employees' eventual promotion into these titles.
Certified AFSCME-represented employees who are interested in career advancement may enroll in the program through the Online Registration System at any time. An UMP Counselor will then contact eligible employees to set up a counseling session to identify a desired position title and develop an individualized education plan. Please allow 10-15 business days for initial contact.
With open and continuous registration, employees can register when they are ready to take advantage of the program’s benefits, and not have to worry about trying to beat a registration deadline.
Prior to registration, if you already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you can submit an UMP Promotional Application (UMP100B), for any dual or credential UMP target titles for which you think you are qualified. Copies of official transcripts must accompany your application. Submit by email to CMS.UMP100@illinois.gov or by mail to Upward Mobility Program, 1021 North Grand Ave. East, Springfield, IL 62702.
Effective January 1, 2023, the Upward Mobility Program will only accept the UMP100B application with the date of 2-2022 or newer. The application is enabled with "Reader Extensions", allowing it to be saved with the data entered. Adobe Reader version 7.0 or later is required to use these features.
Once an enrollee is formally accepted into the program, they will be assigned a career counselor who assists in identifying the necessary coursework to be completed and where the coursework may be available. The UMP counselor will contact the participant and set a counseling session appointment. Typically, this occurs within 10-15 business days of enrollment.
Please note: Enrollees are not eligible for program benefits (testing, time off, etc.) until they complete required paperwork with their assigned UMP counselor.