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For Immediate Release

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ComEd Media Relations

Media Hotline number: 312-394-3500

ComEd Job Training Program Perseveres Through Pandemic

Virtual CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy graduates 79 diverse candidates  

CHICAGO (Dec. 09, 2020) – For the eighth consecutive year, more than 75 students have graduated from the ComEd CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy, a job training program that increases the number of diverse, skilled candidates for employment opportunities in construction and engineering in Chicagoland and parts of northern Illinois.

This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the program went virtual. Students participated in one of two tracks: Construction & Skills Trades or Project Management. Both tracks include a robust curriculum of life-skills training, basic construction industry education, and career guidance for when they complete the program.

"Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented in our communities, ComEd successfully graduated 79 students from this year's CONSTRUCT program," said Diana Sharpe, vice president of economic and workforce development with ComEd. "The construction and labor industries are essential to our society, and now more than ever, we see the importance of having skilled essential workers available to keep our communities growing and functioning. ComEd congratulates the graduates for persevering to achieve their goal."

Part of ComEd's commitment to expand and diversify the local workforce, the CONSTRUCT program provides a nine-week skills development curriculum that prepares local residents to obtain and retain entry-level positions in construction and related fields.

ComEd works with nine training affiliates and more than 40 partnering agencies to recruit and help candidates matriculate through the CONSTRUCT program. A newly added partner for 2020 is Chicago Women in Trades (CWITS), an apprenticeship program that advocates for women to achieve high wage careers in union construction trades and manufacturing.

Since 2013, nearly 600 students have completed the program with 70% of them securing employment shortly after graduating – many of them women, African Americans, and Latinos who historically have faced barriers to entering these industries.

The CONSTRUCT program exposes candidates to innovative solar and energy efficiency technologies to help them become competitive candidates for the local future energy workforce. 2020 candidates also had the opportunity to earn their Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 10-hour safety training certification. Candidates are better prepared to enter into related fields with the knowledge and training that qualify them for entry-level jobs with good-paying, livable wages.

"The CONSTRUCT program gives individuals the skills, knowledge and confidence to seek new career opportunities," said Enrique Avila, ASPIRA participant and 2020 CONSTRUCT graduate. "It has impacted my life greatly, by showing me so many new career paths I was never aware were available."  

Candidates for the 2021 CONSTRUCT program should be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a valid driver's license, and able to pass a background check and admission interview. Applications will be available in February 2021 at ComEd.com/CareerTraining.

"CONSTRUCT has created a WIN-WIN-WIN for the participant, employment partners, and ultimately the communities that benefit from these career opportunities," said Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. "We are proud to be a partner on this innovative way for corporations to create greater community impact."

PROGRAM PARTNERS:
CONSTRUCT is powered by an alliance of social service agencies, companies, and labor unions that are committed to enhancing opportunities for individuals interested in the construction industry. In addition to ComEd, the program workforce partners include:

  • ASPIRA Inc. of Illinois
  • Austin Peoples Action Center (APAC)
  • Central States SER, Jobs for Progress, Inc.
  • Chicago Urban League
  • Chicago Women in Trades (CWITS)
  • National Latino Education Institute (NLEI)
  • Quad County Urban League
  • St. Sabina Employment Resource Center
  • YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

CONSTRUCT corporate partners include:

  • Aldridge Electric, Inc.
  • Builders Association,
  • Burling Builders, Inc.
  • David Mason & Associates
  • d'Escoto, Inc.
  • Electric Conduit Construction
  • Environmental Design, Inc.
  • Groundhog Utility Construction
  • HBK Engineering, LLC
  • Henkels & McCoy, Inc.
  • KS Energy Services
  • INTREN
  • John Burns Construction Company
  • Kairos Consulting Worldwide
  • KDM Engineering, LLC
  • Lindblad Construction Company of Joliet
  • LiveWire Electrical & Construction
  • Magellan Development Group, LLC
  • James McHugh Construction Company
  • Meade
  • Midwest Access Solutions
  • MJ Electric
  • MZI Group, Inc.
  • Nash Brothers Construction Company, Inc
  • Nicor Gas
  • NPL Construction Co.
  • Olenick & Associates
  • Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.
  • Peoples Gas
  • PMI Energy Solutions, LLC
  • Primera Engineers
  • RCN
  • Rabine Group
  • The BarTech Group
  • The Roderick Group
  • Trice Construction Company
  • Trinidad Construction, LLC
  • United Scrap Metal
  • V3 Companies; Chicago Area Laborers
  • IBEW Local 9
  • IBEW Local 134
  • IBEW Local 196

For more information or questions about the CONSTRUCT program, contact WorkforceDevelopment@ComEd.com

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Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.



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