pexels anete lusina 4792479ROCKFORD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is pleased that the Education Design Development and Research Corporation (EDDR) Foundation will receive a $400,000 investment toward pre-apprenticeship programs.

“This investment will provide the EDDR Foundation with the support necessary to further provide pre-apprenticeship training and wraparound support for its participants, while creating a larger space for those who have been underrepresented in the construction industry,” Stadelman said. “I am excited to see the ways Rockford will prosper because of it.”

The average grant awarded is $417,000, with all projects focused on supporting workforce priorities, such as equity and inclusion, and creating a qualified talent pipeline in construction and the trades.

Non-profits, community-based organizations, industry associations, community colleges, and more were among the 23 organizations to receive a total of $9.6 million in grant funding to support construction pre-apprenticeship programs.

Comprehensive pre-apprenticeship programs can help participants gain admission to apprenticeship programs, which provide a greater opportunity to obtain employment in the construction trades.

“This initiative will provide workers with sustainable wages and increased job opportunities,” Stadelman said. “Investing in our labor force and in our economy is vital to our community’s overall wellbeing.”

In addition to delivering technical instruction and industry-recognized certifications, these programs include transition services to help participants enroll in Department of Labor registered-apprenticeship programs. All programs also include stipends for participants in the program and workplace experience that provides them with hands-on exposure to construction job sites.