Empowering Communities

Training Program Powers Generations in the Community

May 11, 2018

Recent college graduates Damier and Dexter Allison were looking for the next big step in building successful careers. They didn’t have to look very far: Their father, Dexter Allison, Sr., graduated from the Construct Job Training Program in 2015 and was hired shortly afterward by Intren, one of many construction and professional services companies that participate in the unique program. The former Construct graduate recently watched his own sons graduate from the program as part of the 2018 class.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said the eldest Allison about the program. “These companies, the contractors…you just do not meet these people every day.”

Construct began as an idea and pilot by ComEd in the summer of 2013 with seven construction companies, labor, and three social service agencies. It has since grown into a mature program that goes beyond jobs in construction to also include professional services and the building trades. Construct today includes some of the largest contractors in the state, 38 construction and engineering companies, additional labor groups, three utilities, and eight social service agencies. They work together to provide training, professional introductions, and employment opportunities that would not otherwise have been available to many participants.

“Jobs are the lifeblood of our communities, providing them with economic strength and vitality. We understand the importance of being a local employer and we are proud to offer a pathway to our industry for people of our communities,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd.

A second training track focused on project management was added to the 2018 program to build on the construction focus. Additional coursework included renewable energy, such as solar. Students also had the opportunity to job shadow, and attend a career fair to learn about a range of local job opportunities in the industry.

How to Apply for Construct

While completion of the program does not guarantee a job, people who complete the program successfully are trained to be qualified, knowledgeable, and ready to compete for construction jobs in Illinois. Anyone interested in applying should contact the participating agencies directly:

  • ASPIRA of Illinois: 773-252-0970
  • Austin Peoples Action Center: 773-378-8760
  • Chicago Urban League: 773-285-5800
  • National Latino Education Institute: 773-247-0707, ext. 223
  • Quad County Urban League: 630-851-2203, ext. 222
  • St. Sabina’s Employment Resource Center: 773-783-3760
  • SER Jobs for Progress: 773-542-9030
  • YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago: 773-955-3100

Construct 2018 participating companies include: Intren, Labor organizations – IBEW Locals 9, 15, 134, 196 and Chicago Area Laborers, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, ABB, Inc., Aldridge, Ardmore Roderick, Builders Association, Burling Builders, “D” Construction, Inc., David Mason + Associates, d’Escoto, Inc., Electric Conduit Construction, Environmental Design, Inc., F.H Paschen, Groundhog Utility Construction, HBK Engineering, Henkels & McCoy, John Burns Construction Co., KDM Engineering, Lindblad Construction, LiveWire, Magellan Development Group, James McHugh Construction, Meade, Midwest Access Solutions, MJ Electric, MZI Group, Inc., Nash Brothers Construction Company, Inc., NPL Construction, Olenick & Associates, Osmose Utilities Services, Inc., PMI Energy Solutions, Primera Engineers, Rabine Group, The BarTech Group, Trice Construction Company, United Scrap Metal, V3 Companies and Trinidad Construction. ​​