handymanCHICAGO – The Community Youth Development Institute of Chicago will receive a $500,000 grant thanks to a $9.6 million state investment program, State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

“Funding apprenticeship programs funds job opportunity and supports the diversification of the state’s most important workforces,” Collins said. “I am honored to represent a community organization that is committed to creating, crafting and assisting the careers in our local economies.”

The Community Youth Development Institute of Chicago focuses on the development of skills needed to thrive in students’ careers. The program offers an array of areas in which to conduct work-based learning. Activities are designed to provide students with the resources needed to access local career fields despite economic and other forms of disadvantage.

“Just as increasing representation in other fields allows for important and relevant information exchange, equity in the construction industry opens the door for our underrepresented populations and prepares them for the essential work they do for our state,” Collins said. “This is an opportunity to advance our communities of color, giving them the exposure and connections they need to launch successful and fulfilling careers.”

The $9.6 million grant comes from the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act. Funds are disbursed to organizations that will provide pre-apprenticeship training and supportive services in the construction industry as part of the Rebuild Illinois initiative, which seeks to expand equity in Illinois’ construction workforce. Diverse communities have not been appropriately represented in the construction industry and the trades, and the funds awarded through the grant program help overcome systemic barriers that inhibit entry into the trades for diverse populations.
Supporting pre-apprenticeship training programs that primarily serve underrepresented groups helps establish a pipeline of qualified candidates for the future. More information on Illinois Works can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

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