New Illinois Economic Policy Institute Study Finds Illinois’ Construction Apprenticeship Programs ‘Rival’ State Colleges and Universities ‘On Key Performance Metrics’
(LA GRANGE, ILLINOIS) - From the number of training hours and graduation rates to the diversity of classes and the lifetime earnings of graduates, Illinois’ Joint Labor-Management Construction Apprenticeship Programs are rivaling - and in some cases exceeding - the performance of the State’s Colleges and Universities, according to a new study from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) and the Project for Middle Class Renewal (PMCR) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Every year, thousands of Illinois residents enroll in Apprenticeship Programs as a tuition-free alternative to college,” said Study Co-Author and ILEPI Policy Director Frank Manzo IV. “Including up to six years of classroom instruction and on the job training, these programs play a vital role in producing Workers with in-demand skills for today’s economy, and give participants the extraordinary opportunity to earn while they learn.”
More than 85% of all Apprenticeship enrollment in Illinois is in the Construction Sector, making the industry’s Apprenticeship System one of the state’s largest privately-financed post-secondary institutions.
Of those Apprentices, 97% are enrolled in programs administered jointly by Labor Unions and their Signatory Contractors (Joint Labor-Management Programs) and are fully funded by privately negotiated cents-per-hour contributions from employers.
The industry also has “employer-only” programs that are administered by companies or trade associations.
Employer-only programs rely on voluntary contributions from contractors, who often have an incentive to forgo long-term workforce training investments in order to win project bids.
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