Rep. Schmidt: Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program Awards Grants to Two Metro East Organizations

East St. Louis, IL…State Representative Kevin Schmidt (IL-114) is pleased to announce grants have been awarded locally to Teens Against Killing Everywhere (TAKE) and Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC).

“I am grateful for the work TAKE has accomplished and continues to strive for in our community,” Representative Kevin Schmidt said. “I congratulate them as a new Grantee of the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program. I’m excited to see how they use these funds to make the Metro East a stronger community on every front. TAKE has a strong history of strengthening the economy of the Metro East, and I’m confident that these funds will allow them to not only continue but expand their work. I’m also glad to know that Southwestern Illinois College has had their grant renewed so that they can continue to offer new and exciting programs to further the education of students in Illinois.”

Teens Against Killing Everywhere (TAKE), an organization devoted to the development of Metro East communities, was awarded a $400,000 grant last week as part of an expansion of the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

The mission of TAKE, according to their website, is “to assist the residents of the Emerson Park neighborhood and its surrounding communities in achieving their full human potential.” This mission is realized through housing and economic development, education and job training, and community advocacy.  Since its inception, TAKE has partnered with over 100 agencies, including corporate, public, private, religious, and governmental to enrich the lives of the people they serve.

Southwestern Illinois College, also in the 114th District, received a renewed grant of $295,071.82. Established in 1946, SWIC serves over 300,000 residents across their campuses. SWIC offers over 150 degree and certificate programs.

Launching in 2021, the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program was created with the goal of increasing diversity and access to apprenticeship programs across the state. These programs aid participants in obtaining long-term employment in the construction trades. During its first year, Illinois Works awarded $10 million in funding that supported 1,024 participants from diverse backgrounds across the state.

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program was created to serve historically underrepresented populations by helping provide them access to employment with substantial income. During the 2022 program, 85% of participants came from the Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American populations while 21% percent of those participants were women.

“Apprenticeships lead to stable, good paying careers and the Illinois Works program increases access to this critical pathway for historically underserved communities,” said DCEO Acting Director Kristin A. Richards. “We’re excited to expand the program to more locations across the state and serve more students as we work build a pipeline of diverse, qualified apprentices.”

Participants in the program attend tuition-free. They also receive a stipend and other helpful resources that help them find their way into the construction industry. Upon completion of the program, they receive the necessary certifications that qualify them to enter a registered apprenticeship trade program.

Rep. Schmidt proudly serves the people of the 114h District of Illinois. For more information, you can contact his District Office at 618-215-1050.