Prepare-Train-Retain: Apprenticeship Resources for employers

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Tax Credit Information
​Effective January 1, 2020, employers are allowed a tax credit for qualified educational expenses associated with qualifying apprentices. Employers may receive a credit of up to $3,500 per apprentice against the taxes imposed by subsections (a) and (b) of Section 201 of the Illinois Income Tax Act and an additional credit of up to $1,500 for each apprentice if (1) the apprentice resides in an underserved area or (2) the employer's principal place of business is located in an underserved area.

Note: The total tax credits issued by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) under this program may not exceed $5 million in any calendar year, which shall be allowed on a first-come-first-served basis, based on the date on which each properly completed application is received by DCEO.

For more information, please email CEO.ApprenticeshipCredit@illinois.gov.

How to Get Started Creating an Apprenticeship Program

Create your future workforce, reduce turnover, and improve productivity.

Apprenticeships enable businesses to build in-house talent through the "earn-and-learn" program by combining formal learning with paid, on-the-job training. The high-quality career pathway is driven by growing and emerging industries. Apprenticeships are a win-win approach for businesses and job seekers.

Apprenticeship Illinois Navigators are a one-stop concierge service to help your business build a Registered Apprenticeship program.

Work with an Apprenticeship Navigator

Learn how Registered Apprenticeships can help your business build a skilled workforce that meets your needs by contacting an Apprenticeship Navigator in your region. Apprenticeship Navigators are available to answer questions about Registered Apprenticeships and assist employers with the program development and registration process at no cost.

Apprenticeship Navigators help employers:
  • Understand the Registered Apprenticeship training model
  • Identify existing models for occupations of interest
  • Connect you with appropriate resources to assist with your program
  • Draw up your Standards and Training & Education outlines based on your input
  • Submit registration paperwork to the U.S. Department of Labor for full recognition in the National Registered Apprenticeship System
  • Assist with program updates as your workforce needs evolve
  • Coordinate sector partnerships between interested employers.

Illinois has 10 Economic Development Regions (EDRs) and 22 Local Workforce Innovation Areas (LWIAs). For regions without an Apprenticeship Navigator, contact Kim Kuchenbrod via email at kmkuch1@ilstu.edu.

Justin Arnold

Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
(LWIA 17 & 18)

Region: 2

PhoneOffice: (217) 372-9714

Counties: Champaign, Ford, Douglas, Iroquois, Piatt, Vermilion

Irene Sherr

​Cook County Bureau of Economic Development
(LWIA 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, & 11)

Region: 4
PhoneOffice: (312) 603-1017

Counties: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will

Dianna Schuler

Business Employment Skills 
Team, Inc. (BEST)
(LWIA 4)

Region: 6

PhoneOffice: (815) 640-9406
PhoneCell: (815) 631-2990

Counties: Bureau, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Mercer, Putnam, Rock Island, Whiteside

Nate Carlson

Lake Land College
(LWIA 23)

Region: 7

PhoneOffice: (217) 238-8224

Counties: Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, Moultrie, Richland

Lucinda Phoenix

Management, Training and Consulting Corporation
(LWIA 25)

Region: 8

PhoneOffice: (618) 998-0970 ext. 202

Counties: Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson

Dirk Lefler

St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department
(LWIA 22 & 24)

Region: 9

PhoneOffice: (618) 825-3265
PhoneCell: (618) 971-1348

Counties: Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington

Dirk Lefler

Workforce Innovation Board of Western Illinois
(LWIA 14)

Region: 10

PhoneOffice: (309) 837-1280
PhoneCell: (217) 303-3424

Counties: Adams, Brown, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, Warren

Dirk Lefler

Workbased Learning and Talent Pipeline Administrator

Regions: 1, 3, 5

Email kmkuch1@ilstu.edu

Counties: Boone, Cass, Christian, DeWitt, Fulton, Greene, Logan, Macon, Mason, Macoupin, Marshall, McLean, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Sangamon, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Winnebago, Woodford

Employer Success Stories

Employer Success Stories highlight a business’ participation in an apprenticeship program and how the program helped change and grow their workforce.

Email Sign Up and Contact Form

DEIA Pledge
​A nationwide call to action was created by Jobs for the Future (JFF), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), to address the opportunity gap within apprenticeships and create greater access for underrepresented groups in apprenticeships. The Business Pledge to Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in Registered Apprenticeships calls for business leaders, policymakers, advocacy groups, and other apprenticeship stakeholders to support DEIA strategies in their recruitment, selection, and training of apprentices.

By taking this pledge, your business joins a community of local, state, and national employers and labor partners that believe in removing barriers to increase access and opportunity to underrepresented populations in high-quality Registered Apprenticeships. You will gain access to tools, resources, and information to help increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in your apprenticeship program. JFF may contact you to participate in events or be featured in materials that highlight promising practices in advancing DEIA practices in Registered Apprenticeships.

The Pledge:
I, the undersigned, do pledge on behalf of COMPANY to support a set of principles and practices to ensure that all Americans have access and opportunity to succeed in the workplace through the proven pathway of Registered Apprenticeships. I pledge to work towards removing barriers that may prevent qualified women, people of color, people with disabilities, workers who live in rural communities, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system from gaining access to high-quality apprenticeships, training, education, and good jobs/wages.

To fulfill the pledge, your company can take action to achieve the goals of promoting opportunity for all, eliminating barriers to entry into apprenticeship, and providing meaningful opportunities to succeed for people underrepresented in apprenticeship:
Revise Recruitment and Talent Attraction Strategies
  • Conduct purposeful and intentional outreach to underrepresented groups in apprenticeship, such as to local workforce boards, community colleges, community-based organizations (CBOs), and minority-serving colleges and universities.
Promote Fair and Equitable Hiring Practices
  • Engage human resources staff and hiring managers in implementing contemporary DEIA practices and make fair decisions regarding applicants without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, or background.
  • Review and revise human resources policies and practices to remove barriers for apprentices.
  • Reach out to local workforce agencies, community-based organizations, colleges, and others in your community to attract and recruit a wider range of talent.
  • Lead, join, or host apprenticeship opportunity events within your company or community.
  • Share promising best practices and success stories with other employers.
Take Action in Your Local Community
  • Start a Registered Apprenticeship program reflecting the demographics of your community.
  • Provide apprentices, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups, with access to continued learning, development, and advancement opportunities that support career development and provide for more equitable outcomes for all.
  • Conduct outreach to and support apprenticeships within local K-12 school districts, community-based organizations, community colleges, workforce boards, minority-serving institutions, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Set an Example for Other Businesses
  • Promote your commitment to the pledge.
  • Share and disseminate successes and lessons learned with JFF and DOL to encourage other employers and stakeholders to reduce barriers that contribute to the advancement of apprenticeships for all Americans.

The Business Case for Apprenticeships
Skilled Workforce

Skilled Workforce

Recruit and develop a diverse and highly-skilled workforce

Improve Productivity
Improve Productivity

Improve profitability and positive impact on your bottom line

Reduced Turnover
Reduced Turnover

Minimize cost with reduced turnover and liability
Customizable Training

Customizable Training

Create flexible training options that ensure workers develop the right skills

Retain Workers
Retain Workers

93% of apprentices continue employment after completing an apprenticeship


Foster a diverse and inclusive culture