For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
The New Skills Training Program Will Prepare Local Residents for Careers Supporting the Buildout of an Electrical Vehicle Charging Network and Will Support Growing Needs Across the Region
CHICAGO (August 3, 2023)—ComEd and HIRE360, a nonprofit connecting underserved minority businesses and communities to jobs in the building trades, today announced a first-of-its-kind program to prepare local residents for careers in the growing electric vehicle (EV) industry in Illinois. The new Take Charge: EV Charging Pre-Apprenticeship program will connect Chicago residents to skills training for construction trades roles that will support the industry's continued growth, including the buildout of EV charging infrastructure across the region. EV demand is rising in Illinois, thanks to the state's Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), which aims to get 1 million EVs on Illinois roads by 2030. According to a recent study commissioned, the transition to a cleaner energy future in Illinois, including EVs, is expected to create 150,000 new jobs by 2050, highlighting the urgent need for workforce training programs.
"ComEd is invested in growing a pipeline of diverse, skilled talent prepared to take on new roles powering EVs and the clean energy transformation in Illinois," said Louie Binswanger, SVP of governmental and regulatory affairs at ComEd. "Working in partnership with HIRE360 and Local 134, we are thrilled to launch this new program that will connect more local residents to careers offering a family-sustaining wage and building cleaner communities for the future."
Recruitment is now underway for the eight-week paid training program set to begin this fall, focusing on training in communities on Chicago's South and West sides. Interested candidates can learn more and apply at https://hire360chicago.com/comed/ by September 1, 2023.
"It is a privilege to partner with ComEd to launch the new Take Charge: EV Pre-Apprenticeship Program," said Jay Rowell, executive director of HIRE360. "Illinois clean energy and transportation jobs grew by almost five percent in 2021, with EV manufacturing jobs leading the way. Initiatives like this are critical to the growth and success of Chicago's EV industry."
The accelerated eight-week program kicks off in September to help job seekers develop the knowledge and skills required to enter the workforce and chart their paths toward journey-level careers in the EV industry. The program will prepare candidates to meet the entry-level requirements for ComEd's EV positions and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134.
Participants will undergo general training on the electrical industry and EV-specific topics, with unique presentations by industry leaders of IBEW-134 and ComEd. The classes will be held both virtually and on-site at McCormick Place and will include tours of the IBEW-134 Center located in Bronzeville, Chicago Drives Electric at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show and construction sites. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a stipend at the end of the program.
"IBEW is excited to support the launch of the new EV charging pre-apprenticeship program and for the opportunity to drive new candidates to Local 134's apprenticeship," said Gene Kent, Executive Director, IBEW-NECA Technical Institute. "We look forward to working with ComEd and HIRE360 in connecting the future graduates of the EV charging pre-apprenticeship program with opportunities to enter the unionized electrical industry and push green energy forward in Illinois."
The development of EV charging infrastructure is key to supporting consumers in transitioning to EVs, which are shown to lower tailpipe emissions pollution, enhance air quality, and generate net savings for customers using them. To promote increased EV adoption, ComEd is also making investments in the region through a new $231 million investment to accelerate the electrification of transportation, which is set to offer rebates to lower upfront purchase costs to EVs and charging infrastructure, promote fleet electrification, and incentivize the development of a network of charging stations across the northern Illinois region.
Applications are now open for Illinois residents 18 or older who are authorized to work in the United States, have a valid driver's license, possess a GED or high school diploma with a C or better in high school algebra and genuinely desire to seek a construction job. Applications are due by 10 p.m. Central on August 28, 2023. To apply and for more information, visit HIRE360Chicago.com/ComEd.
The new Take Charge: EV Charging Pre-Apprenticeship program is just one example of how ComEd is partnering with area organizations and investing in jobs training to connect more diverse, local jobseekers to the growing number of jobs that will support the clean energy transition in Illinois. ComEd also offers a range of in-depth job training and apprenticeship-style programs, including the CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy and the Craft Academy, among others.
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 benefited more than 2,000 residents. For more on ComEd 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 250 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.