Illinois Works pre-apprenticeship program expanding

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) last week awarded more than $18 million to 36 recipients through the Illinois Works pre-apprenticeship program.

Launched in 2021, the goal of funding is to increase diversity and access to apprenticeship programs. Comprehensive pre-apprenticeship programs help participants gain admission to apprenticeship programs, which provide a greater opportunity to obtain employment in the construction trades and secure a lifelong career.

“As Rebuild Illinois continues to transform every aspect of our state’s infrastructure, my administration remains committed to building out a workforce that is as talented as it is diverse,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement. “Today, I couldn’t be prouder to announce that we are dispersing $18 million to expand the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship program, so that even more underrepresented Illinoisans gain access to good-paying jobs in the construction trades.”

“Apprenticeships provide a clear path to good-paying, long-term career opportunities,” said DCEO director Kristin Richards. “The continued expansion and success of the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program is critical to ensuring students, particularly those from underrepresented communities, have the tools and resources they need to thrive.”

Participants attend tuition-free and receive a stipend and other supportive, barrier reduction services to help enter the construction industry. Upon completion of the program, pre-apprentices receive industry aligned certifications which prepare and qualify them to continue to a registered apprenticeship program in one of the trades.

2024 Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program Recipients:

  • Associated Builders & Contractors Illinois Chapter, Inc., Springfield: $165,000
  • Awaken Foundation LC3, Rockford: $195,000
  • Bethel Family Resource Center, Chicago Heights: $440,000
  • Chicago Women in Trades     Chicago: $770,428
  • Chicagoland Prison Outreach South Holland: $550,000
  • Children First Fund – The Chicago Public Schools Foundation: $250,000
  • Community Assistance Programs, Chicago: $656,639
  • Community Development Institute, Chicago: $550,000
  • Danville Area Community College: $550,000
  • EDDR Foundation, Chicago: $550,000
  • EDDR Foundation, Rockford: $440,000
  • Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, Evanston: $550,000
  • HIRE360, Chicago: $550,000
  • Hispanic American Construction Industry Association, Chicago: $550,000
  • Illinois Foundation of SkillsUSA – Region 4: $550,000
  • Illinois Foundation of SkillsUSA-VICA, Pekin: $751,000
  • Lewis University, Aurora: $549,999
  • Lewis University, Grayslake: $549,900
  • Lewis University, Joliet: $550,000
  • Lumity Chicago: $330,000
  • Macon County, Decatur: $429,000
  • Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago: $550,000
  • Metropolitan Family Services North, Chicago: $550,000
  • Project H.O.O.D. Communities Development Corporation, Chicago: $250,000
  • Quad County Urban League, Aurora: $330,000
  • Revolution Workshop, Chicago: $220,000
  • Richland Community College, Decatur: $495,000
  • Rincon Family Services, Chicago: $1.7 million
  • Rock Island County, Rock Island: $195,000
  • New Sista Girls and Friends, Decatur: $880,000
  • Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville: $355,542
  • Teens Against Killing Everywhere, East St Louis: $440,000
  • Women’s Innovation Group, Lynwood: $260,000
  • YouthBuild Lake County         North, Chicago: $330,000
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago – Buehler Fry, Chicago: $550,000
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago – South Side, Chicago: $550,000

“The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program has seen tremendous success since its inception in 2021, and I’m eager to see what lies ahead for the program participants,” said Sen. Assistant Majority Leader David Koehler (D-Peoria). “Pre-apprenticeships change lives, and hundreds of Illinoisans will soon be on the path toward meaningful careers in the construction and building trades industries.”

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