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Upward Mobility Program Eligibility & Enrollment

Eligibility & Enrollment

The Upward Mobility Program (UMP) 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.

Please read the information below, then click on Online Registration System to begin the registration process.

Online Registration System - Opens October 12, 2021

You are NOT eligible for any UMP Program benefits until you have completed the enrollment process and returned a Career Development Plan.

Tips for Online Registration Success 

  •  Access the Online Registration System via a personal computer with an attached printer. 
    • Registration via a cell phone is not recommended as it may not download within the Online Registration System. UMP is not responsible for failed registration attempts when using a cell phone. 
    • After completing the process, print the confirmation or notice of ineligibility for your files. 
      • If you are deemed ineligible, follow the course of action listed for the specific reason given in the notice. Recent changes in status may not yet be listed in Personnel History. UMP staff will work with you or your agency’s personnel staff to resolve the issue, when possible. 
    • An UMP counselor will contact you to conduct an initial counseling session. Call backs will be generated based on date and time order of when registrations were submitted. Depending on your cell service, the caller id may read: No caller id; Unknown; Private; or some other non-identifier. We are anticipating a high number of employees registering, so your patience is appreciated. 
  • Plan ahead to be prepared for future advancement. 
    • Review the UMP Policy Guidelines and available Targeted Job Titles listed below prior to your initial counseling session. 
    • Complete and return the Career Development Plan (CDP) to identify the titles you are interested in targeting. This will be sent to you after the initial counseling session is completed.
    • Take the necessary steps right away to complete the requirements to receive a grade for your targeted titles. Past experiences have shown that trying to beat the posting deadline to be considered for your dream job may not work in your favor. 
  •  Seek out answers to your questions. 
    • Watch the website for registration and counseling updates. 
    • Review the UMP Policy Guidelines and other information found on this website. 
    • Email for general program information. 
    • Call 1-833-452-4836 for general program information.

Please click on Online Registration System above to begin the registration process.


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.


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.


  • 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.