Coalition of Construction Industry Companies, Not-for-Profit Agencies, and
ComEd Announce the Construction Jobs Educational Pilot Program
Companies and agencies working together to provide equal employment
opportunities for construction jobs in Illinois
CHICAGO, May 22, 2013
CHICAGO, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Ten construction industry employers,
three Chicago-area not-for-profit organizations, and ComEd joined forces today
to announce a new Construction Jobs Educational Pilot Program to provide
candidates interested in construction fields with the training, information
and guidance needed to compete for good-paying, entry-level jobs in
ComEd, Aldridge, Asplundh, HBK Engineering, Intren, Lindblad Construction,
Meade, M.J. Electric, Primera, PSC, and USIC have come together in an
unprecedented move to support this effort, which will be run in parallel at
three sites across the Chicagoland area by Bethel New Life, Chicago Urban
League, and the National Latino Education Institute.
The pilot is designed to address the construction industry's overall need to
increase the pool of qualified minority candidates for construction jobs in
Illinois. The pilot aims to provide 30 participants with career guidance, life
skills training, and practical education about the construction industry, as
well as the requirements for entering this industry. Each of the
participating companies will also provide multi-day job shadowing experiences.
"This program provides access to affordable training to prepare candidates for
construction career opportunities" said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president,
governmental and external affairs, ComEd. "At ComEd, we are committed to a
diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the communities we serve.
Through this program—and working collaboratively with our partners—we can make
a real difference in these communities."
The 11-week pilot, which is expected to launch this summer, will help
participants develop the core competencies required in the industry,
strengthen job readiness and life skills, and prepare for industry-required
testing that is often a prerequisite for employment. It also includes job
shadowing to give candidates an up-close look at the various career paths
available. The agencies, using experienced trainers, will run the classes at
their facilities, provide individual job counseling and guidance, and work
with enrollees on job placement opportunities.
"I know from my own experience what can happen when persistence and
determination meet opportunity," said Loretta Rosenmayer, owner and CEO of
Intren. "We have a chance to help build excellence in our industry through
diversity, and I applaud all of the companies who have willingly stepped up to
show their support."
IBEW locals have also voiced their support.
The agencies will help identify and train the program participants using
various common eligibility and completion requirements, and are committed to
working with each of the participants in the pilot to provide job counseling
and placement services.
"The call for jobs is loud and strong, in my community, and in communities
across this city," said local Alderman Pat Dowell (3^rd)."Today's announcement
gives hope that the issue is being taken seriously."
For some legislative leaders in Illinois, this collaboration is a significant
step toward facing an issue for which progress has been slow.
"I cannot recall when there has been such a broad coalition with construction
companies, agencies, labor unions and a utility willing to stand and use their
collective voice to effect change in this way," said Illinois State Senator
Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), co-chairman of the Illinois Legislative Latino
Caucus. "This is a meaningful action on behalf of individuals who need greater
access to opportunity so that they can build their own lives."
"There is no law, no mandate, that addresses the challenges we face in trying
to help individuals in underserved communities get the kinds of jobs that will
provide them with the kind of livelihood that can truly help them and their
families," said Illinois State Representative Emanuel Chris Welch
(D-Westchester). "What we see in the formation of this group is a collective
recognition not only that change can happen, but must happen."
To complete the pilot program, participants must attend at least 95 percent of
all full class days and have taken select tests, among other things. Upon
completion of the pilot program, participants can choose any number of career
paths, from applying to work with the participating companies and satisfying
any applicable union requirements, to applying to ComEd or employers in other
While completion of the pilot does not guarantee a job, individuals who
complete the program successfully are expected to be more qualified,
knowledgeable, and ready to compete for construction jobs in Illinois.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider,
with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to
approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of
the state's population.
Contact: ComEd Media Relations, (312) 394-3500
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