ComEd training programs yielded clean energy job preparation for more than 681 Illinois residents last year

Published on July 12, 2022 by Chris Galford

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Readying for the growing renewable energy job market, ComEd announced last week that more than 681 Illinois residents completed its clean energy job training programs in 2021, coupled with a high 83 percent job placement rate.

In a report to the Illinois Commerce Commission earlier this month, ComEd noted that its programs now boast an 89 percent graduation rate. The program, launched in 2017, has hosted 2,393 graduates, providing fresh blood for the industry as the clean energy expansion continues in Illinois. This year’s graduates earned 1,540 certifications, with three programs to guide them: the solar training pipeline, craft apprenticeship, and the multicultural job training program.

“ComEd is working to prepare our communities for the transition to a clean energy economy, which will bring new investment, air quality improvements, and jobs to our communities,” Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd, said. “Access to comprehensive training and education programs is essential for creating a talent pipeline to meet current demand and to expand solar and new clean energy technologies for the future. This will help ensure that more residents, who reflect the diversity of our communities, benefit from family-sustaining jobs created by clean energy growth right here in Illinois.”

In the case of the solar training pipeline program, students were readied for the solar industry, and contractors prepared to bid on solar projects. It consists of a solar bootcamp managed by Elevate Energy, Illinois Central College, OAI, Inc., and the Safer Foundation. The craft apprenticeship is guided by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Renewable Energy Fund. This program helped high school students on the path to various trade roles in the electric industry, an effort that expanded to more high schools last year. It also hosted the most trainees of all three programs: 410 in total.

Lastly, the multicultural training program focuses on training diverse and underserved communities with the help of the Chicago Urban League, National Latino Education Institute (NLEI), ASPIRA of Illinois, and Austin Peoples Action Center, as well as backing from multicultural industry organizations such as the Chatham Business Association and the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA).

The company said that some students have become solar installers, journeymen, laborers, and more.