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ComEd Expands Job Training Program to Increase Minority Employment Opportunities


CONSTRUCT program welcomes largest training class to date; expands region’s job opportunities in construction, engineering, solar power, and energy efficiency

CHICAGO – ComEd has brought together 38 construction industry companies, two local utilities, and eight social service agencies for the sixth year of CONSTRUCT, a jobs training program that increases employment opportunities for minorities in Chicago and northern Illinois neighborhoods.  A record 108 students will go through the nine-week program and receive training and information needed to compete for entry-level jobs in construction-related fields.

New this year, the curriculum has been divided into two tracks.  The Construction and Skilled Trades track will include courses in rigging and basic hand tools, construction flagging, commercial driving skills, meter reading and safety.  The new Project Management and Planning track will include courses in Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, Customer Service, and engineering basics. Both tracks will offer students training in basic math, interviewing skills, resume writing, and general business etiquette.  All students will participate in a two-day solar workshop and two-day job shadowing.

“As a large local employer, we are committed to working with our communities to develop the workforce of the future with people from within our neighborhoods,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president, and CEO of ComEd. “CONSTRUCT ensures diverse candidates are given the access, training, and tools needed to get good-paying jobs. We are delighted with the program’s results and appreciate our partners from other local utilities, labor, and community organizations who have joined us in this effort to prepare tomorrow’s workforce.”

The program welcomes a new social service agency, St. Sabina’s, to the existing agencies, which include ASPIRA of Illinois, Austin Peoples Action Center, Chicago Urban League, National Latino Education Institute, Quad County Urban League, SER Jobs for Progress, and YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago and South Suburbs-Homewood. These agencies will help identify and train program participants using common eligibility and completion requirements, and provide job counseling and placement services.

ComEd launched CONSTRUCT with 10 companies and three social service agencies in 2013. The program has grown to include the three major utility companies in northern Illinois, 38 construction companies and seven social service agencies. In addition to ComEd, participating companies include:

Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, ABB, Inc.; Aldridge, Ardmore Roderick, Builders Association, Burling Builders, “D” Construction, Inc.; David Mason + Associates, d’Escoto, Inc., Electric Conduit Construction, Environmental Design, Inc., F.H Paschen, Groundhog Utility Construction, HBK Engineering, Henkels & McCoy, INTREN, LLC; John Burns Construction Co., Kairos Worldwide, KDM Engineering, Lindblad Construction, LiveWire, Magellan Development Group, James McHugh Construction, Meade, Midwest Access Solutions, MJ Electric, MZI Group, Inc.; Nash Brothers Construction Company, Inc.; NPL Construction, Olenick & Associates, Osmose Utilities Services, Inc., PMI Energy Solutions, Primera Engineers, Rabine Group, The BarTech Group, Trice Construction Company, United Scrap Metal, V3 Companies and Trinidad Construction  Labor organizations – IBEW Locals 9, 15, 134, 196 and Chicago Area Laborers provide support.