Pritzker announces $8 mil. expansion of Apprenticeship Illinois program

Pritzker announces $8 mil. expansion of Apprenticeship Illinois program

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(WSIL) — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced an $8 million expansion of the Apprenticeship Illinois program.

DCEO will expand innovative and high-quality apprenticeship programs to prepare Illinoisans for jobs in high-demand industries. Through the expansion, the State aims to serve an additional 750 apprentices across key industries, with plans to reach underserved populations as well as industries heavily impacted by COVID-19.

“During this unprecedented time for workers and companies, the investments we are making today to grow apprenticeships will help more Illinoisans get back to work in well-paying jobs, while developing strong talent pipelines for the future,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “From day one, my administration has focused on expanding workforce training, like apprenticeships, so that residents, regardless of where they live, can enter 21st century career pathways. With these investments, hundreds of additional Illinoisans will be able to gain the skills they need for successful careers as we continue to build a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for all of our residents.”

DCEO will expand apprenticeship opportunities geared toward restoring the creative arts and entertainment sector, while increasing training opportunities for underserved populations.

Apprenticeship expansion dollars will also grow the capacity of pathways currently offered and which have been impacted during the crisis – including those ranging from healthcare to hospitality, tech to transportation, manufacturing and more.

“DCEO is proud to expand the Apprenticeship Illinois program, providing workers access to comprehensive training and credentials that will help them excel in the jobs and career paths our Illinois employers are looking to fill today,” said DCEO Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. “This is one of many ways that under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, the State continues to partner with Illinois businesses and communities to grow and develop our workforce and help residents compete and thrive in today’s economy.”

In addition to expanding apprenticeship networks throughout Illinois, the state will launch the apprenticeship tax credit program to incentivize apprenticeships at small and large sized businesses, creation of new apprenticeship networks in all ten economic development regions, and the work to stand up the Illinois Works program within DCEO, which will soon launch additional grants to expand pre-apprenticeship training programs in the trades.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) application is located on Apprenticeship Illinois website, with a deadline of September 15, at 5:00 p.m. 

Residents and employers seeking to join the Apprenticeship Illinois program may also visit the website ApprenticeshipIllinois.com to learn more and to find their local apprenticeship navigator.

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