By CARL GREEN
Springfield, IL – A longtime Laborers’ official and law enforcement officer with ties to southern Illinois, Michael Kleinik, has been appointed the new director of the Illinois Department of Labor.
The appointment was announced Thursday, Jan. 17 by Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office. It is subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
Kleinik brings a long history of leadership to the table. For the past year, he has been executive director of the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois, a trade association representing cultivation centers and dispensary organizations licensed by the state. The group promotes the medicinal benefits of cannabis, safe delivery of the product and the interests of the medical cannabis industry and its partners.
From 2008 to 2018, Kleinik was executive director of the Chicago Laborers District Council Labor-Management Cooperation Committee. Earlier, he worked for the Midwest Region Laborers’ District Council.
Kleinik started his career as a deputy sheriff in Bond County, just north of the Metro East, and worked as a police officer in nearby Vandalia before twice being elected Fayette County Sheriff, serving from 1990 through 1998.
Kleinik is familiar, too, with the Department of Labor, where he was chief of staff from 2004 to 2008 and previously had been manager of its Conciliation and Mediation Division.