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Illinois State Apprenticeship Program Gets $4.7 Million Boost - Program’s On Track To Support 17,000 Apprenticeship Participants This Year

Published Sunday, July 19, 2020
by Clare Proctor/The Chicago Sun Times
Illinois State Apprenticeship Program Gets $4.7 Million Boost - Program’s On Track To Support 17,000 Apprenticeship Participants This Year

(SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS) – An Illinois State Apprenticeship Program will be expanding, thanks to a $4.7 million government investment, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced.

The Work-Based Training Program is now on track to support 17,000 participants in 2020, Pritzker said - a record number.

The new investment adds 14 new partners and expands experiences offered by 11 existing partners.

The $20 million Illinois Apprenticeship Program allows Employees to receive training while working and earning a paycheck.  It also provides classroom instruction and the Apprenticeships last one to four years.

The expansion has a “renewed focus” on equity, the Governor said.

“It’s ‘more important than ever’ to deliver program access to women, to People of Color ‘and to all who are too often left out and left behind,’” Pritzker said. “These investments are a ‘down-payment on the future’ of the state of Illinois.”

The new money comes from a $2.8 million U.S. Department of Labor Grant and $1.9 million in Discretionary Workforce Funds from the state.

Illinois State Senator Ann Gillespie (Democrat-Chicago) said the expansion will help address a “shortage of Skilled Workers” in the state and across the Nation: “Tech, manufacturing and health care are the ‘fastest growing industries in Illinois, and they all use Apprentices.’  Apprenticeship is an ‘affordable, earn-as-you-learn alternative’ to Higher Ed ‘and a pathway to careers that don’t require you to sit at a desk or in meetings most of the day.’”

The funding will extend training opportunities to parts of Illinois that previously didn’t have training partners, including DeKalb, Rock Island, Springfield, Rockford, Moline and Sterling, Pritzker said.

It’ll also expand opportunities in East St. Louis, Southern Illinois and Cook County.

“This program ‘is growing jobs in every single one of those ten economic development regions,’” Pritzker said. “They’ll ‘all receive a boost from this.’”

To Directly Access This Apprenticeship and Training News Story, Go To: https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2020/7/14/21324110/state-apprenticeship-program-4-7-million-investment

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