“Illinois needs more affordable career training opportunities, and this program is helping people across the state take advantage of those opportunities,” Reitz said. “Our communities are combatting a shortage of skilled workers in Illinois right now, but we can fix that shortage and build a stronger Illinois. I’m proud to stand with countless graduates who are working hard to improve their lives and the lives of people around them.”
The HCCTP, an initiative run by the Illinois Department of Transportation in collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration, is funded by the bipartisan balanced budget Reitz helped pass last spring, which provided money for economic stimulus programs and practical, affordable jobs training initiatives such as this. The goal of the program is to offer vocational training opportunities and future employment prospects to qualified candidates, especially in minority and disadvantaged groups. It provides a free alternative to costly on-the-job training initiatives that often insufficiently cover critical elements of vocational education, and can lead to low-quality work, safety hazards and even injuries.
“While we were putting together this year’s bipartisan balanced budget, I fought to ensure that funding for apprenticeship programs like these got the money they needed to provide Illinoisans with affordable jobs training,” Reitz said. “Good-paying jobs are the foundation of a robust economy that works for everybody and we are going to help bring those employment opportunities to our community.”