Voices and Viewpoints

#ApprenticeshipWorks in Chicago

by Devean Racquel Owens / Nov 23, 2016

Last week was National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), during which career seekers, sponsors, and stakeholders hosted events and programs in support of NAW. The events were captured all over the nation via social media using the hashtag #ApprenticeshipWorks. There are numerous apprenticeship programs in the Chicagoland area. This article highlights three programs: the Chicagoland Laborers’ District Council Training and Apprenticeship Program, the Windy City Harvest Apprenticeship, and the Chicago Urban League Transportation Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Training Program.

  1. The Chicagoland Laborers’ District Council Training Program is a two-year program consisting of 2400 hours of on-the-job work training and 360 hours of classroom education. Beginning at the 60 percent journeyworker's rate, apprentices’ work their way up through 70, 80, 90, and finally to 100 percent of that rate. Interested participants must secure a letter of intent to hire from a Signatory Contractor and meet other requirements, such as obtaining a minimum of a 10th-grade education, social security card, and being physically able to perform the work of the trade.

  2. The Windy City Harvest Apprenticeship program is a hands-on certificate course in sustainable urban agriculture. The program runs over a nine-month period and typically enrolls 15-20 students each cycle. The program is accredited by the Illinois Community College Board and offered in collaboration with the City Colleges of Chicago’s Daley College satellite campus. It also includes a 14-week paid internship at Windy City Harvest.

  3. The Chicago Urban League Transportation Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Training Program seeks to ensure that minorities, disadvantaged persons, and women are participating in the highway construction industry. Community partners include the Black Chamber of Commerce of Lake County, Austin Peoples Action, and Quad County Urban League. The initiative is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation and is completed in two phases: three weeks of comportment training and eight weeks of technical training. Eligible participants must possess a valid Illinois driver’s license, have access to reliable transportation, and pass a pre-training math test among other requirements.

Apprenticeships are changing lives all over the country by providing people with opportunities to learn while also earning income. Learn more about the benefits of apprenticeships at the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

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