The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has announced the launch of the new Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program, leveraging a $10 million commitment from the State to provide additional training programs that will expand the talent pipeline while boosting diversity within the construction industry and building trades. State Rep. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, a member of the Illinois Works Review Panel, shared the news today.
The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a key component of the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act – a result of landmark legislation enacted by the General Assembly to prepare residents for jobs created by the historic $45 billion capital expansion plan.
“The foundation of a strong economy starts with its workforce,” Rep. Keicher said. “Illinois needs to be a leader in making sure our workforce has the skills needed to compete in our ever-changing economy. This means having apprenticeship and artisan training programs that prepare our students and our citizens for the jobs of tomorrow – starting here and now.”
A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) released by the DCEO Illinois Works Office aims to expand access to training programs that will prepare residents for well-paying jobs in the trades – with plans to focus on reducing barriers to entry and increasing representation of women and people of color in these fields.
DCEO is now accepting applications for grant proposals– to view the NOFO, please visit DCEO’s website.