To increase access to jobs in the construction industry and other trades, state Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, is encouraging local organizations to apply for Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program funding. 

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will award grants to community-based organizations for them to host a pre-apprenticeship program in line with Illinois Works program requirements.

“After working in the trades for 32 years, I have a great appreciation for the opportunities provided in the construction industry and other trades,” Yednock said in a press release. “If more local organizations help open the door, more people in our community can have fulfilling careers to support their families.”

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program helps its participants gain the skills necessary to be admitted to apprenticeship programs, bolstering their employment prospects and readying them for careers in construction and building trades. Non-profit, community-based organizations such as chambers of commerce, industry associations, technical schools and community colleges are now eligible to apply for grant awards ranging from $200,000 to $550,000 per year.

“When we invest in vocational education, we invest in good-paying jobs and an honest living for the hardworking members of our community,” Yednock said. “Applying for a grant to participate in the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program will help local organizations attract talent and help provide program participants with the skills they need to have a successful career. I highly encourage local organizations to consider applying for this grant and expanding the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program to the 76th District.”

Organizations have until 5 p.m. Sept. 27 to apply for the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Notice of Funding Opportunity. For more information, visit

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August 30, 2022 at 08:13PM