$30 Million Funding to Help Train Workforce for Future Energy Jobs

Posted by Darryl on July 31, 2017 2:45 pm

CHICAGO–()–A combination of six business associations and social institutions have
been named as recipients of funding for
the development and administration of future energy jobs training as a
part of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). Chicago Urban League, Austin
People’s Action Center, ASPIRA, HACIA, Chatham Business Association and
the National Latino Education Institute (NLEI) will develop training
programs related to solar and energy efficiency as a part of the FEJA’s
goal to prepare a workforce ready for the future energy industry.

ComEd, the Clean Jobs Coalition, and the grantee groups came together at
Austin People’s Action Center today to mark ComEd’s filing of the FEJA
Jobs Training plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission. Passed by the
Illinois Legislature in 2016, and effective June 1, 2016, FEJA allocates
$10 million every four years in 2017, 2021, and 2025—a total of $30
million– for solar pipeline training programs,
craft apprenticeships and multicultural training for individuals from
diverse and/or underserved backgrounds.

“Today’s filing with the ICC marks a critical milestone in bringing
this Jobs Training program to life,” said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd
President and CEO. “This training program is one of several of the
Future Energy Jobs Act’s elements that help set a course for Illinois’
energy future — the gateway to clean energy and $4B in anticipated
energy efficiency savings already have been set in motion and now we
launch training for new economy jobs.”

Stakeholders and training organizations were engaged to help develop a
collaborative plan. ComEd will continue working with these partners
to design programs that will involve a breadth of organizations from
various communities, and which ensure accountability and shared

The six grantees of the multicultural jobs program are:

  • Chicago Urban League: $1,000,000 to a community-based civil
    rights and human services not-for-profit organization that provides
    economic development, human capital, and education program services.
  • National Latino Education Institute (NLEI): $500,000 to
    a not-for-profit organization that is also an education institution
    that offers training programs approved by the Illinois State Board of
    Education and United States Department of Education with the goal of
    providing workforce initiatives leading to economic independence.
  • ASPIRA: $500,000 to a not-for-profit organization dedicated to
    developing the educational and leadership capacity of minority youth
    through the operation of schools, youth leadership clubs and youth
    development centers
  • HACIA: $1,000,000 to a not-for-profit organization dedicated to
    providing equal access to opportunities in the construction industry
    that offer training programs that include Occupational Safety and
    Health Administration 10 and 30 certifications, Environmental
    Protection Agency Renovation, Repair and Painting Certification and
    Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Green
    Associate Exam preparation courses.
  • Chatham Business Association: $500,000 to a non-profit
    organization that has a proven record of successfully implementing
    utility industry training programs, with expertise in creating
    programs that strengthen the economics of communities including
    technical training workshops and economic development through
    community and financial partners
  • APAC: $500,000 to a nonprofit organization that provides family
    services, housing education, job and career education opportunities
    that has successfully partnered with the utility on electric industry
    job training.

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition spokesman Pastor Booker Vance of Faith in
Place said, “We stand in support of ComEd’s filing of a Jobs Training
Plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission; a key joint initiative of
the Future Energy Jobs Act that not only provides training but set forth
the career pathway to create job opportunities for returning citizens,
Foster Care Alumni and minorities and women contractors.”

“Today, ComEd has taken its commitment to building a skilled, diverse
workforce to an entirely new level,” said Shari Runner, President and
CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “Because of this generous contribution,
the League is empowered to make an even greater impact in the
communities we serve. We’ll increase the delivery of critical job
training programs so that our clients will secure employment to improve
the quality of their lives and that of their families.”

“This program will dramatically change the lives of National Latino
Education Institute (NLEI) graduates, by preparing and positioning them
in the market to find excellent jobs in the new energy economy,” said
NLEI Executive Director Elba Aranda-Suh. “A partnership like this, which
brings good jobs to the people who need them and highly-trained
applicants to the employers who need them, is the kind of innovative
approach that is going to propel Illinois forward, and NLEI is ready to
lead the way in this field of job training.”

“Aspira is excited to join forces with ComEd and other organizations to
prepare a diversified, well educated workforce. FEJA will help create a
brighter future for underrepresented, talented youth by offering
training and career opportunities in the emerging solar industry,” said
Dr. Wanda Figueroa-Peralta, President & CEO, Aspira. “It will also help
our state to serve as a national model for responsible economic
development, innovation and collaboration.”

“We are thrilled that HACIA has been selected to participate in the
Future Energy Job Act Training Program,” said Jorge Perez, Executive
Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association
(HACIA). “We have a strong legacy of providing training for Hispanic and
minority contractors that gives them capacity building skills,
certifications and knowledge they need to grow their businesses. The
FEJA Act will provide a new market place with tremendous potential for
contractors to enter and grow their business.”

“ComEd and Chatham Business Association piloted a workforce training
program pairing employment opportunity for local residents with energy
efficiency consumer education, resulting in significant energy savings
for an entire community,” said Melinda Kelly, Chairman, Chatham Business
Association. “We are proud to be a partner in a program that is creating
innovative model programs that will ensure jobs with economic value show
up in our communities.”

“Austin Peoples Action Center is dedicated to changing lives in our
neighborhoods. As an organization and as a greater community we need to
look around and see what we can change to make people’s lives better,”
said Cynthia Williams, President and CEO, Austin People’s Action Center.
“This program is what this community has been waiting on: the
opportunity to participate in Solar training pipeline and other
recognized programs for crafts, trades, and skills in the electric
industry, with a fresh air of possibilities for the disadvantaged and
minority members of our communities.”

“The FEJA program will provide many new employment opportunities for
citizens across the State of Illinois,” said Donald Finn, Business
Manager, IBEW 134. “Solar technology is changing on a daily basis;
therefore solar training is critical for the Illinois solar program to
be successful. IBEW is very happy to be part of this training program.”

About ComEd

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy
provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides
service to approximately 3.9 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 and YouTube.

About the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition

The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is made up of Illinois businesses
and organizations representing the state’s environmental, business and
faith communities. Coalition members are working to improve public
health, help consumers, better the environment, and create tens of
thousands of new clean jobs across the state.

About Faith in Place

Faith in Place empowers Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders
in caring for the Earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and
advocate for healthier communities. Since 1999, Faith in Place has
worked with over 1,000 houses of worship throughout Illinois to protect
our common land, air, and water. With outreach staff working across the
state and offices located in Chicago, Lake County, and Central Illinois,
Faith in Place inspires faithful people to care for the Earth through
four program areas: Energy & Climate Change, Sustainable Food & Land
Use, Water Preservation, and Advocacy.

About the Chicago Urban League

Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works for economic,
educational and social progress for African Americans and promotes
strong sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration and
innovation. For more information, visit 
Find us on 
Facebook and
follow us on 

About NLEI

The National Latino Education Institute, formerly the Spanish
Coalition for Jobs, offers a broad array of accredited training programs
in both the business and medical fields specially designed to help you
gain employment after graduation. As a non-profit we provide training
and services at significantly affordable rates without sacrificing the
quality of training.


ASPIRA (Spanish for “Aspire”) is a historic Puerto Rican, non-profit,
national organization that prepares Latinos and other minority youth to
achieve academic excellence, contribute to society, and become leaders
in their communities. ASPIRA fosters equity and achievement through
education leadership and community. ASPIRA operates a youth development
center, four schools, leadership clubs, mentoring and workforce
development programs. For more information, visit


A 501 (c) (6) organization founded in 1979, the Hispanic American
Construction Industry Association (HACIA) works to ensure the equitable
participation of its members in the design, engineering and construction
industry, while also promoting the growth, quality of work,
professionalism and integrity of these individuals and businesses. With
over 300 members, HACIA members have an annual economic output of $700
million a year. In addition, the organization works to provide
scholarships for Hispanic College students and training for contractors
looking to increase their firms’ capacity in construction.

About Chatham Business Association

Chatham Business Association Small Business Development Inc. (“CBA”)
is a non-for-profit organization formed with a mission to promote
political and economic stability in Chatham over 45 years ago.
then as a result of our expertise in small business growth and
development our market has expanded to serving businesses throughout the
City of Chicago and State of Illinois.
CBA’s purpose is to serve
as a vehicle for enhancing social and economic growth in the southern
region of Illinois by creating opportunities and programs that promote
community stability.

About Austin People’s Action Center

APAC’s Board of Directors and staff believe that people deserve the
right to have adequate nutrition, medical care, job opportunities,
affordable housing and access to educational opportunities. We believe
that if people get help and support through the crisis periods in their
lives, education in all phases of daily living, job opportunities,
career education opportunities and encouragement to participate in their
community, they will derive strength, dignity and self-esteem and become
citizens who contribute to growth and economic development of their
community, no longer having to depend on the welfare system.

About IBEW Local 134

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134 (“IBEW
Local 134”) is a 501(c) (5) labor organization in operation for over 115
years that serve Cook County. IBEW Local 134 has operated and continues
to operate Department of Labor (“DOL”) certified apprenticeship programs
for a variety of areas in the electrical industry, such as electrical
construction and electrical communication. For more information, please
visit us at

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