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Governor signs ‘Illinois Works’ bill intended to support diverse workforce

As the state embarks on a $45 billion capital program approved this year, Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Tuesday that is intended to strengthen increase diversity in apprenticeships for construction and the building trades.

The Illinois Works Jobs Program will help ensure that Illinois residents from all communities not only benefit from capital projects, but also have access to careers in the construction industry and building trades.v

“We’re working with our partners to make sure every community in the state benefits from these good jobs – especially those who have been left out for far too long,” Pritzker said.  

The law makes a $25 million investment and works through community-based organizations to recruit new apprentices to work on the construction projects and sets strong apprentice participation goals of 10 percent on public works projects. 

Through this pre-apprenticeship program, bid credit program and review panel, the new law ensures the Illinois Works Jobs Program can deliver on its goal of building and maintaining a diverse workforce on Rebuild Illinois projects.
“In order to build a healthy and comprehensive economy, we must supply minority businesses with full and fair access to local and state contraction opportunities,” said Sen. Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey). “I hope to see local governments taking advantage of the business enterprise program to decrease the inequality gap for minority, veterans and female-owned businesses.”
“This legislation creates economic opportunity for working people that have typically been left out of the construction industry,” said House Assistant Majority Leader Will Davis (D- Homewood).

Senate Bill 177 takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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