This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) sets forth the requirements for funding pre-apprenticeship programs as specified by the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act ("Illinois Works Act"), 30 ILCS 559/20-1. It is in the public policy interest of the State of Illinois (the "State") to ensure that all Illinois residents have access to State capital projects and careers in the construction industry and building trades, including those who have been historically underrepresented in those trades. To ensure that those interests are met, the General Assembly created the Illinois Works Pre-apprenticeship Program, the Illinois Works Apprenticeship Initiative, and the Illinois Bid Credit Program.
The goal of the Illinois Works Act is to ensure that all Illinois residents have access to State capital projects and careers in the construction industry and building trades, as well as provide contracting and employment opportunities to historically underrepresented populations in the construction industry and the trades. The Illinois Works Pre-apprenticeship NOFO and program is a critical component in the success of the Act, by increasing the number of qualified construction and building trades apprentices who are women, people of color, veterans or from otherwise underrepresented populations and preparing them to enter full apprenticeship programs on their way to careers in the construction and building trades.
In 2022, DCEO through the Office of Illinois Works awarded roughly $12 million to 29 programs in six DCEO regions to deliver pre-apprenticeship programs. Together, these programs are slated to serve over 1,300 Illinois residents. The 2023 NOFO opportunity's goal is to expand the network of providers by providing up to 20 additional awards and funding up to $10 million.
Funding is open to all DCEO regions; however, community-based organizations from the following regions are highly encouraged to apply:
- Central Region (Region 1) - Sangamon County
- North Central Region (Region 3) – Peoria County, McClean County
- Northeast Region (Region 4) – DeKalb County, DuPage County, Kane County, Kankakee County, Kendall County, McHenry County, Suburban Cook County, Will County
- Northwest Region (Region 6) – LaSalle County, Rock Island County, Whiteside County
- Southern Region (Region 8) – Jackson County
ILW is also seeking to increase recruitment, training, and transition for populations that are currently underserved specifically Veterans, Asian Americans, and Women, among others.
Read the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's (DCEO) press release about this funding opportunity.
Governor Pritzker Announces $10 Million for Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program