DCEO Announces Apprenticeship PLUS Program Pilot Locations

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the locations of the initial Apprenticeship PLUS pilots under the Governor’s Cabinet for Children and Youth. The pilots specifically target both in-school and-out-of-school youth between the ages of 16 and 24, and provide them with specific career education, a chance to earn industry-recognized credentials and do on-the-job training. In fall 2016, DCEO was awarded two U.S. Department of Labor grants totaling $1.5 million to support Illinois’ apprenticeship expansion efforts. Julio Rodriguez, Deputy Director of DCEO’s Office of Employment & Training, is overseeing the implementation of these programs with the guidance of the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth and the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board (IWIB). The pilot locations are spread across three targeted economic development regions: Northeast, North Central and Southern, and encompass four identified industries: healthcare, IT, construction and manufacturing.

Prairie State College, Chicago Heights
Industry: IT
Youth Served: 30
DCEO Funding: $276,500

Description: Youth from five high schools in Chicago’s Southland will receive both classroom instruction and hands-on training toward credentials as a Cisco Network Associate. In addition, participants will earn 22 college credits, and, at the end of the program, will continue college or enter an IT apprenticeship program.

Opportunity Advancement Innovation (OAI Inc.), Chicago
Industry: Manufacturing
Youth Served: 16
DCEO Funding: $285,000

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Description: This project partners experienced organizations in Chicago’s Southland to provide academic and technical training in advanced manufacturing to participating youth. They will receive college credit and industry recognized credentials such as National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) certificates.

Phalanx Family Services, Chicago
Industry: Construction
Youth Served: 25
DCEO Funding: $250,000

Description: This project offers youth in Calumet and Thornton townships the opportunity to participate in 88-hour core training and then choose between two follow-up training tracks in either construction technology or weatherization/HVAC. Participants earn National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) credentials as well as community college credit.

Manufacturing Renaissance, Chicago
Industry: Manufacturing
Youth Served: 50
DCEO Funding: $235,000

Description: In partnership with Youth Guidance and Bowen High School, low-income youth in Chicago’s Southland will receive manufacturing training through a new, specifically designed facility as well as professional skill development workshops.

Each pilot will run for a year before being evaluated to learn how to further expand apprenticeship programs throughout the state.

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