Deadline extended for Illinois Climate Works pre-apprenticeship program

ILLINOIS’S CLIMATE WORKS Pre-Apprenticeship Program seeks to link underrepresented workers and communities with clean energy employers in the construction and building trades. – Illinois Climate Works photo

Springfield, IL –The state has extended the deadline for the Climate Works program.

In April, Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced $10 million in funding for the Climate Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program and $6 million for the Energy Transition Barrier Reduction Program, following a similar pre-apprenticeship program in the construction trades.

The program prioritizes underrepresented worker populations and communities facing economic and environmental barriers, providing services for participants such as transportation, child care and supplies.

The idea is to align the needs of clean energy employers in the trades, provide the students with nationally recognized certifications, and enable access to apprenticeships in renewable energy, electrification and energy efficiency industries.

Three regional centers are to recruit, prescreen and provide training free of charge with a stipend, which will include one in southern Illinois. Approximately 500-700 pre-apprentices are expected to enroll in the first year.

Individuals encouraged to apply include women, people of color, veterans, people from underrepresented populations, those who graduated from the foster care system or were formerly incarcerated.

“The future of Illinois is bright as we work towards creating jobs that will contribute to a robust economy, while building a clean energy environment that benefits all communities,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton when the program was announced. “This pre-apprenticeship program seeks out and shapes talent, and addresses their needs equitably so they are set up for success. This is how we uplift communities to access the opportunities to thrive.”

Last week DCEO announced that the deadline for the program notice of funding opportunity has been extended to 5 p.m. on July 3. This deadline is for the regional centers, with as much as $6.5 million for each center.

Organizations considering applying to be a Climate Works program center should visit the DCEO website at for details on how to apply.


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