trades releaseCHICAGO — More people in the 20th District will have the opportunity to participate in pre-apprenticeship programs with the help of funding from the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program to support Metropolitan Family Services, State Senator Natalie Toro announced.  

“Trades and construction work is vital to our infrastructure and economy. We need to not only encourage more people to work in these industries, but also break down barriers to entry for people who are interested in these careers,” said Toro (D-Chicago). “I am hopeful this funding will encourage people to pursue apprenticeship programs and support organizations facilitating these opportunities.”

Thirty-six organizations around the state received grants through the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program, including $550,000 to Metropolitan Family Services. While the program launched in 2021, this is the first year Metropolitan Family Services has received funding to help increase diversity and access to apprenticeship programs.

Pre-apprenticeship programs give people hands-on experience to learn essential skills, improving their eligibility for apprenticeship programs and increasing their chances of securing employment in the construction or trades industry. The Illinois Pre-Works Apprenticeship Program invests in select organizations to help create a more diverse pool of talented and qualified candidates in construction and building trades.

“I am thrilled to see more women with careers in the trades than ever before,” said Toro. “I look forward to seeing the impact this funding has on the diversity of this industry, because it’s a field that all people are capable of doing and can be much more reflective of the diversity in our communities and state than it is currently.”

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