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For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
CONSTRUCT Business Operations Academy grads gained core competencies for job placement in energy, construction industries
CHICAGO – (Nov. 4, 2022) – ComEd today hosted community and workforce development partners for a graduation event honoring 36 new graduates of the 2022 CONSTRUCT Business Operations Academy program, which increases the pool of qualified minority candidates for entry-level administrative and project coordinator roles in the energy and construction industries.
The program, launched last year, is part of ComEd's ongoing work to scale job training and education programs that will prepare communities for growing roles in the utility and construction industries.
"To ensure a pipeline of diverse, skilled and local talent that will power the clean energy transformation in Illinois, ComEd is deeply invested supporting and expanding job training and education programs," said Louie Binswanger, SVP of governmental and regulatory affairs at ComEd. "Programs like the CONSTRUCT Business Operations Academy play a critical role as we work to connect more residents to skills training needed to take on jobs in energy and infrastructure. Congratulations to the graduates for completing this program which will prepare them for meaningful, well-paying careers in our field and a chance to impact their communities for the future."
During the six-week program, participants learned the basics of business operations and project management, developed professional skills needed to succeed in an office environment, completed a capstone project with industry-specific case studies, and received job placement and support services from ComEd and its workforce agency partners. Participants who successfully completed the program received a $1,000 stipend and a Business Operations 101 certificate from St. Augustine College, as well as networking opportunities that can lead to key roles with local utility or construction companies.
"Participating in the ComEd Business Operations Academy has given me the confidence I need as I take next steps to pursue a career in project management," said Jasmine Henderson-Dixon, a 2022 Business Operations Academy graduate and resident of Chicago's Roseland community. "I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn through this 6-week program, which challenged me in the best way possible, and also gave me a chance to receive support and guidance form ComEd, my instructors, as well as my classmates. I'm proud of my accomplishments and look forward to next steps as I now feel I am ready to take the PMP exam."
The program first launched in 2021 and prepared a cohort of primarily Black women for roles with ComEd's administrative, project coordinator and customer service roles. The current graduating class is highly diverse, with nearly 90 percent minority graduates, and 21 total female participants in the graduating class. Participants represent communities across the entire region, with 27 zip codes represented in the class.
The Business Operations Academy training program is administered with support from several workforce agency partners, including Cara Collective, the Chicago Urban League, the Quad County Urban League, the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and INTREN, which funds the program alongside ComEd.
"We are honored to partner with ComEd on their CONSTRUCT Business Operations Academy. Cara Collective's mission is to build an inclusive economy by developing employment pathways," said Kathleen St. Louis Caliento, President and CEO of Cara Collective. "Programs like CONSTRUCT help make those pathways a reality. Now, our job seekers are not only able to build an array of skillsets, they have the opportunity for gainful employment in the utilities and power industry."
"INTREN is proud to have worked with CONSTRUCT for the last 10 years to support ComEd's commitment to invite and train local, diverse candidates into the construction field," said Matthew Turk, COO of INTREN. "Once again ComEd has creatively and boldly developed a new path forward, the Business Operations Academy, to introduce and train candidates for the backoffice and field work in the utility construction industry. We stand with ComEd in the goal to change lives and communities."
ComEd's investments in training and recruitment help create a local talent pipeline that is prepared to meet future demands, as clean energy jobs are on the rise. Last year alone, the U.S. energy sector added more than 300,000 new jobs, outpacing overall U.S. employment growth (USEER 2022). Growth of the energy sector is expected to skyrocket thanks to significant federal investments that will help catalyze clean energy infrastructure development via the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
ComEd offers a range of in-depth job training and apprenticeship style programs, including the CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy, Dawson Tech Overhead Electrical Line Workers training program – a partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago – and scholarship programs to support students in obtaining STEM degrees. As a result of its growing investment in career readiness and education across the region, ComEd's job training and STEM education programs last year directly benefitted nearly 1,700 local residents.
For more on these career readiness programs, please visit www.comed.com/cleanenergyjobs.
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ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 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.