Businesses and community groups from Illinois are working together to create solar job training programs with $30 million through the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). The training programs are expected to improve underserved economies, create sustainable job growth and create multicultural diversity throughout the renewable energy workforce in Illinois.
ComEd and the Clean Jobs Coalition filed a petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to begin the initial steps to establish the programs. Through FEJA, Illinois has committed to awarding $10 million every four-years until 2025 to businesses and non-profit organizations to create renewable energy industry workforce initiatives in their communities.
“Today’s filing with the ICC marks a critical milestone in bringing this Jobs Training program to life. This training program is one of several of the Future Energy Jobs Act's elements that help set a course for Illinois' energy future, the gateway to clean energy, and $4 billion in anticipated energy efficiency savings already have been set in motion and now we launch training for new economy jobs,” said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd president and CEO.
In this round of funding, grants of varying amounts were given to 6-nonprofit organizations overseen by ComEd and the Clean Jobs Coalition. The Chicago Urban League and the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association received $1 million, while the National Latino Education Institute, ASPIRIA schools, Chatham Business Association and the Austin People’s Action Center were each awarded $500,000.
“ComEd has taken its commitment to building a skilled, diverse workforce to an entirely new level. Because of this generous contribution, the League is empowered to make an even greater impact in the communities we serve. We’ll increase the delivery of critical job training programs so that our clients will secure employment to improve the quality of their lives and that of their families,” said Shari Runner, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League.
Beyond investing in job training, FEJA is expected to preserve 4,200 clean energy industry jobs and create $1.2 billion in economic activity. FEJA will allocate almost $750 million until 2025 to low-income communities to develop solar programs, increasing statewide access to affordable and clean electricity. The state will also invest between $180 million and $220 million per year to expand rooftop, utility-scale and community solar projects throughout the state until 2025.Tweet