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How to Get Started

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

Build in-house talent through the "earn-and-learn" program that combines 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 for businesses and career seekers.

Connect to the one-stop concierge service to build a Registered Apprenticeship program from start to finish at no cost. Apprenticeship Specialists are highly trained Business Services representatives who work for your region's Integrated Business Service Team, a network of local Workforce Development partners that includes frontline WIOA staff, adult education, multiple state agencies, economic development organizations, and local community college providers.

Apprenticeship Specialists help employers:
  • Understand the Registered Apprenticeship training model.
  • Identify existing models for occupations of interest.
  • Connect to accredited training solutions and providers.
  • Draw up Standards and training plus education outlines based on input.
  • Submit recognition paperwork for the National Registered Apprenticeship System.
  • Assist with program updates as workforce needs evolve.
  • Coordinate sector partnerships between employers.

Find your local Apprenticeship Specialist, listed below by County.

Nate Carlson

Nate Carlson
State Apprenticeship Mentor

Not sure who to connect with?
Don't see your County listed?
Contact the State Mentor!
Illinois workNet Center
Sara Espeland
County: Lake


PhoneOffice: (847) 377-3448
Berenice Jaquez
Berenice Jaquez
Counties: Boone, Stephenson, Winnebago

PhoneOffice: (815) 395-6619
Illinois workNet Center
Dianna Schuler
Counties: Bureau, Carroll, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Putnam, Whiteside

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

workNet DuPage
Griffin Leininger
County: DuPage


PhoneOffice: (630) 955-2049
Kathleen Brannigan
Kathleen Brannigan
County: Cook



PhoneOffice: (312) 805-0458
Sarah Cleveland
Sarah Cleveland
Counties: Henry, Mercer, Rock Island



PhoneOffice: (309) 393-2590
Dirk Lefler
Dirk Lefler
Counties: Adams, Brown, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, Warren

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

Norm Griffin
Norm Griffin
Counties: Fulton, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Tazewell, Stark, Woodford

PhoneOffice: (309) 321-0255
Taylor Black
Taylor Black
Counties: Champaign, Douglas, Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, Vermilion




PhoneOffice: (217) 369-6593
Bonita (Bonnie) Forker
Bonnie Forker
Counties: Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington



PhoneOffice: (618) 825-3270
PhoneCell: (618) 631-5091
Jamie Corda Hadjaoui
Jamie Corda-Hadjaoui
Counties: Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, Moultrie, Richland


PhoneOffice: (217) 238-8224
Emily Perks
Emily Perks
Counties: Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson

PhoneOffice: (618) 998-0970 ext. 202





Tax Credit Information
​The Illinois Apprenticeship Education Expense Tax Credit Program offers employers a tax credit for educational expenses of up to $3,500 per qualified apprentice and an additional $1,500 for each apprentice if:
 The apprentice resides in an underserved area or
Employer's principal place of business is in an underserved area.
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity may not issue more than $5 million in total tax credits in a calendar year through this program, which is on a first-come-first-served basis from the date applications are received.
Download the Tax Credit Application and the Request form. Contact CEO.ApprenticeshipCredit@Illinois.gov for information. 

Why Apprenticeship?

DEIA Pledge
​Illinois is committed to making apprenticeships a safe, equitable opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds. As part of this commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, apprenticeship employers have signed the DEIA Pledge.
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