The Illinois Works Jobs Program panel met for the first time this week to develop better pipelines into the building and construction trades within apprenticeship programs and paying particular attention to underserved communities. State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) is a member of the panel and participated in the meeting.
“I’m excited to help build our young men and women into successful adults with solid opportunities within fields that offer a great income and advancement. My father was a carpenter and I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of raising a family in the trades,” Representative Keicher said.
The Illinois Works Jobs Program is a statewide initiative to ensure that all Illinois residents have access to State capital projects and careers in the construction industry and building trades and to provide contracting and employment opportunities to historically underrepresented populations in the construction industry. This will be accomplished through three programs created by the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act; the Illinois Works Apprenticeship Initiative, the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program and the Illinois Works Bid Credit Program.
Details regarding the three programs are as follows. For general program questions, please contact the Illinois Works Office at CEO.ILWorks@Illinois.gov.
Illinois Works Apprenticeship Initiative
The goal of the Illinois Works Apprenticeship Initiative (“10% apprenticeship goal”) is that for projects estimated to cost $500,000 or more, apprentices will perform either 10% of the total labor hours actually worked in each prevailing wage classification or 10% of the estimated labor hours in each prevailing wage classification, whichever is less. The 10% apprenticeship goal applies to projects being paid for in whole or in part by appropriated capital funds to construct a public work either through a contract or grant issued by a State agency. The State agency funding the project will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Illinois Works Apprenticeship Initiative for all contracts and grants it administers.
For information on applicability, please contact the grant or contract manager at the State agency managing your grant or contract.
Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will administer a grant program, which will establish a network of community-based, nonprofit organizations throughout Illinois to provide services free of charge to recruit, pre-screen and provide pre-apprenticeship skills training. At the completion of the program, a diverse group of qualified candidates will gain new skills and be work-ready for careers in the construction industry and building trades.
Grant applications will be made available in late 2020 for the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program.
Illinois Works Bid Credit Program
Contractors or subcontractors that employ apprentices that have completed the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program on State public works projects may be eligible to earn bid credits for future state-funded public works projects. The Illinois Works Bid Credit Program will encourage contractors and subcontractors to provide opportunities to historically underrepresented populations in the construction industry. Further guidance on this program will be released after the launch on the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program in late 2020.
For questions or more information, please call Representative Keicher’s district office at (815) 748-3494 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.