SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WJPF) — The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has announced an $8 million expansion of the state’s apprenticeship program.

The effort aims to create hundreds of new apprentice positions across the state, focusing on industries heavily impacted by the pandemic.

“We’ve seen a lot of opportunities, particularly for our low wage workers through apprenticeship programs, to advance.  You might start as a sous chef; next thing you know you’re a head chef; next thing you know, you’re opening your own business,” says DCEO Deputy Director Julio Rodriguez, “apprenticeships really allow us to create, in partnership with businesses in those industries, real opportunities for career paths. So you may start as a housekeeper at a Marriott, but within a year or two, you could advance to a supervisor and then from there may be moved to the front desk and then so on and so forth.”

Community workforce development groups are encouraged to apply for funding online. Workers can also find information about becoming an apprentice.

KIM HOWARD with the Illinois Office of Communication and Information contributed to this report.


Tags: ,