The Illinois government is allocating $9.6 million to support pre-apprenticeship programs and increase diversity in construction trades.
Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) said in a Jan. 13 news release that the fund will help to create a qualified talent pipeline of diverse candidates as part of the groundbreaking Illinois Works initiative.
The grant is going to 23 organizations that will provide pre-apprenticeship training and wraparound supportive services to more than 1,000 participants.
“My administration is committed to supporting workforce training programs that are equitable and accessible for all Illinois residents, regardless of their background or what neighborhood they call home,” Pritzker said in the statement.
The program is funded by the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act as part of Rebuild Illinois which is working to grant more state residents access to jobs created by State capital projects.
“Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, DCEO is more committed than ever to growing a diverse workforce that will boost local economies while creating sustainable career paths for all Illinoisans,” said acting DCEO director Sylvia I. Garcia. “Women and people of color face significant barriers to good-paying construction jobs and we’re proud to invest in pre-apprenticeship programs that will create a more dynamic and inclusive workforce.”