ComEd CONSTRUCT and Craft Academy Graduates Train for Careers in Construction, Energy Industries
Community members and corporate and workforce partners joined ComEd today for a graduation ceremony celebrating the newest cohort to complete the CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy and Craft Academy job training programs. Today, more than 80 local residents graduated from these programs, which develop a skilled and diverse talent pipeline to support the clean energy transition in Illinois.
A recent study reveals that the clean energy transition could bring as many as 150,000 jobs to Illinois by 2050. To ensure that local talent is available to maintain and operate the electric grid and enable the clean energy transition, ComEd has pledged to hire additional entry-level trades roles, and has continually invested to expand workforce training programs such as CONSTRUCT and Craft Academy.
“Our move to a cleaner energy future requires swift action and skilled talent, which is why we are investing to grow training programs that will prepare people from our communities to take on the jobs of the future,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. “Programs like CONSTRUCT and Craft Academy are essential to our efforts to prepare the electric grid to meet future demand and provide our community members the key to earning not just a job, but a family-sustaining career in our fast-growing industry.”
Today’s graduates represent diverse backgrounds and every corner of the ComEd service region, including 49 different Illinois zip codes; 98% of the graduates are people of color and 21% are women. The CONSTRUCT and Craft Academy programs increase the pool of qualified female and minority candidates for construction jobs in Illinois by strengthening job readiness and life skills and preparing for industry-required testing.
CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy:
Now in its 11th year, CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy is an 11-week program that prepares individuals for careers in the skilled trades. Since its launch, nearly 800 participants with diverse backgrounds have completed the program, boasting a more than 70% percent job placement rate.
CONSTRUCT exposes students to innovative solar and energy efficiency technologies to help prepare them to join the local future energy workforce. Participants gain knowledge and experience that helps qualify them for entry-level jobs with good-paying, livable wages. Participants can earn various certifications, including a Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 10-hour safety training certification via City Colleges of Chicago's Olive-Harvey College. CONSTRUCT participants also receive a stipend to supplement expenses during training.
“CONSTRUCT has been a life-changing investment for me,” said Brieanna Ware, a 2023 CONSTRUCT graduate. “I knew I wanted a career change, and this program has shown me all the interesting opportunities that are available. I am looking forward to entering this industry. As a single mom, it is important that my son and I both have a secure future. I am grateful to ComEd and the YWCA for this amazing opportunity.”
Since its launch, the CONSTRUCT program has greatly expanded and now includes more than 40 partners – including organized labor, construction companies, educational institutions and 10 workforce community organizations – working to recruit, train and prepare area residents for well-paying construction and related careers. Illinois American Water is ComEd’s newest corporate partner, joining the program this year.
“We are proud to partner with ComEd in developing the next generation of talent and leadership in this industry,” said Jennifer Morrison, Program Director, Supplier Diversity and Community Outreach of Illinois American Water. “ComEd along with their many agency partners have done a remarkable job selecting the right talent and supporting and nurturing them along the way. They are making an incredibly positive impact on the communities that they serve.”
Craft Academy, which lasts three weeks, prepares students for utility and construction roles that require pole climbing and other specific physical attributes. The program is designed to increase knowledge, awareness, and capabilities – with an emphasis on field roles that require physical aptitude to increase the success rate of employment offers. At the conclusion of the program, students are prepared for entry-level roles, including construction worker and overhead helper.
CONSTRUCT and Craft Academy participants must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED equivalent, a valid driver's license, and able to pass a background check and admission interview.
ComEd offers a range of exposure and career readiness programs for adults and youth at every stage of their career journey, and last year alone these programs reached more than 2,000 people in the service territory. For more information on how to enroll in ComEd training programs, please contact WorkforceDevelopment@ComEd.com or visit ComEd's website.
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.
ComEd Media Relations