If you've ever considered a career in the construction or utilities trades but aren't sure how to get started, a local program is offering a way to get your foot in the door.
The YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is now accepting applications for this year's 11-week CONSTRUCT@YWCAChicago, which pays its trainees a stipend to learn the basics of those trades. Classes start Feb. 6; the application deadline is Jan. 27. Eligible participants need to be unemployed, 18 years or older with a high school diploma and valid driver's license.
“[It’s a] life-changing job training program that offers a unique curriculum designed to provide information, guidance and support to women and minorities interested in entering entry-level construction and utility-related careers,” said Latecia Patton, vice president of economic inclusion and strategic partnership. “We have found that people just didn't know how to get into the utility and construction field, so this definitely provided that opportunity and bridged a gap for those who just didn't have the information, the tools, the resources, the guidance of how to work for these big major utility companies.”
Patton said she would love to see more women, in particular, apply to the program.
She said the program “was really designed to build a stronger and more diverse workforce in the construction and related industries in the state of Illinois. It also provides a way to reduce the gap for those who reside in underserved and underdeveloped communities. We've really seen our participants go from surviving to thriving. Their lives have been transformed.”