Apprenticeship programs a win-win for state, Rauner says
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) recently expressed its gratitude to those who thanklessly toil preparing the state’s next generation of industry leaders during National Apprenticeship Week.
National Apprenticeship Week, where leaders across industry, education and government who support apprenticeships come together to take a bow, ran through Nov. 19, with Gov. Bruce Rauner being among those giving thanks to those who freely give of their time in making the program work, a state release said.
“Apprenticeship programs are a win-win for the Illinois economy,” Rauner said in the release. “They deliver a pathway to good paying jobs and stable careers. Apprentices are given the skills and education necessary to maximize their potential. I am proud of the work we have done to invest in our workforce through apprenticeships, and I look forward to continuing to support these programs across our great state.”
During Rauner’s four years as governor, the state has made a concerted effort to increase and support apprenticeships in virtually every industry, the release said. In July, the government launched the initial Apprenticeship PLUS pilots under the Governor’s Cabinet for Children and Youth.
The pilots are open to both in-school and-out-of-school youth between the ages of 16 and 24, offering them specific career education and an avenue to advance their careers by earning industry credentials and invaluable on-the-job training.
“Apprenticeships are crucial to maintaining a top-notch workforce,” DCEO Director Sean McCarthy said in the release. “We have seen the tremendous benefits these hands-on experiences bring to both workers, who receive the training necessary to excel at an often high-paying career, and employers, who cultivate a highly skilled and dynamic workforce. Illinois has been working to expand these crucial opportunities to support more youth and adults looking to embark on a new career pathway.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Illinois now has 13,574 registered apprentices, with 486 active Registered Apprenticeship Programs and 296 sponsors.
Data also shows typical sponsors for the programs include businesses, employer associations, community colleges and local workforce areas.