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 Department 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 the Department.

Download the Tax Credit Application and the Request for Tax Credit

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

How to Get Started Creating an Apprenticeship Program

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

Apprenticeships are “earn-and-learn” programs that combine formal learning with paid, on-the-job training experiences. Apprenticeship enables your business to build the talent it needs in-house. Apprenticeship is a high-quality career pathway driven by growing and emerging industries. Apprenticeship is a win-win approach for business and job seekers.

Apprenticeship Illinois Navigators are a one-stop concierge service that will help build an apprenticeship program with your business.

Work with an Apprenticeship Navigator

Learn how registered apprenticeships can help you build a skilled workforce that meets your needs. To get started, you can contact an Apprenticeship Navigator in your region. Apprenticeship Navigators are available to answer your questions about registered apprenticeship and assist employers with the program development and registration process at no cost to your business.

Apprenticeship Navigators can help employers:

  • Understand the registered apprenticeship training model

  • Identify existing models for your occupations of interest

  • Connect you with appropriate resources to assist with your program

  • Draw up your Standards and Training & Education outline based upon your input

  • Submit your registration paperwork to the USDOL for full recognition in the National Registered Apprenticeship System

  • Assist you with program updates as your workforce needs evolve

  • Coordinate sector partnerships between interested employers 

Illinois has 10 Economic Development Regions or EDRs and 22 Local Workforce Innovation Areas. For regions without an Apprenticeship Navigator, contact Kim Kuchenbrod 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) 603-1023
PhoneCell: (312) 350-6925

Counties: Cook, De Kalb, Du Page, 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, La Salle, Lee, Mercer, Putnam, Rock Island, Whiteside

Dirk Lefler

Workforce Innovation Board of Western (LWIA 14)

Region: 10

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

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

Nate Carlson

Lake Land College (LWIA 23)

Region: 7

Phone(217) 238-8224

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

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

Lucinda Phoenix

Management, Training and Consulting Corporation (LWIA 25)

Region: 8

Phone(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
Cell: (618) 971-1348

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

Employer Success Stories

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

Email Sign Up and Contact

DEIA Pledge
​JFF, in partnership with DOL, is calling for businesses to take the Business Pledge to Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeships, a nationwide call to action to accomplish the Business leaders, policymakers, advocacy groups, and other apprenticeship stakeholders must address the opportunity gap within apprenticeship. 3 shared goal of creating greater access and opportunity for underrepresented groups to join apprenticeship programs. The pledge asks employers to support DEIA strategies in their recruitment, selection, and training of apprentices.

By taking this pledge, your business is joining 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 support, promising practices, and tools to assist you in upholding your pledge. To encourage other employers and stakeholders to participate, you may be contacted by JFF to share promising practices in reducing barriers and adopting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) policies that contribute to the advancement of apprenticeships for all Americans.

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 the 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, and individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system from gaining access to high-quality apprenticeships, training, education, and good jobs and wages.

To fulfill the pledge, your company can take the below actions 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 on implementing contemporary DEIA practices and make fair decisions regarding applicants without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, ability, 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 to 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

94% of apprentices continue employment after completing an apprenticeship


Foster a diverse and inclusive culture