JOLIET – State Senator Rachel Ventura announced that Lewis University in Joliet has received funding through the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program.

“In times where it is difficult to find good paying jobs, this initiative aims to help diverse communities across our district secure pre-apprenticeship skills training to advance their careers,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Through Lewis University’s efforts, people will gain valuable information and skills necessary for a stable income.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded over $18 million in grants to 36 recipients through the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program, including $550,000 to Lewis University in Romeoville. The program creates a diverse pool of talented and qualified candidates in construction and building trades, as well as helps participants to secure employment and establish a career in the field.

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program launched in 2021 with the goal of increasing diversity and access to apprenticeship programs. Pre-apprenticeship programs are comprehensive and help participants gain admission to apprenticeship programs, which provides a greater opportunity for obtaining employment in the trade of construction, and securing a lifelong career.

“Grants provided by the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship program will equip Illinois’ workforce with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive and succeed,” said Ventura. “Investing in programs that provide these valuable training skills is an investment in our communities and workforce.”

To learn more about the grant funding and program and view the full list of recipients, visit here.