Applications now open for Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program 

State Senator Dale Fowler says applications are now open for a $10 million Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program through the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The pre-apprenticeship programs provide training opportunities while expanding the talent pipeline, boosting diversity in both the construction and building trades industries.  

“Through this program, residents across our state can learn skillsets which could help set them up for greater success in the future, strengthening our workforce and filling job openings that have been vacant,” said Senator Fowler. “There are so many opportunities across our state and especially in my district, including good paying jobs that will help people to reap the benefits of this program.”  

Through Illinois Works, DCEO is expanding its statewide network of providers to recruit, prescreen, and provide pre-apprenticeship skills training. The latest round of funding will focus on awarding grants in geographic areas without pre-apprenticeship programs, while increasing the representation of underrepresented groups that are not served or are underserved by existing programs, including Asian Americans, veterans, and women.  

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program will fund approximately 45 programs throughout the state including new and existing grantees, serving more than 1,800 residents. Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process. 

Participants of the program attend tuition-free and receive a stipend and other supportive, barrier reduction services to help enter the construction industry. Qualified entities can apply for grants between $55,000 to $550,000. Applications will be accepted until August 30, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.  

To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, please visit the DCEO website. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to for application assistance. 

To help applicants prepare to apply for funding, DCEO will also be providing technical assistance in the form of webinars, regional meetings, and FAQ. More information will be posted on the DCEO website

Dale Fowler

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