New Body Aims To Address Diversity In The Trades

Jan 1, 2020

Starting next year, the Illinois Department of Labor will have a new way to address diversity in apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeship programs fall under the various building trades, such as electricians, ironworkers, bricklayers, and pipefitters. The Department’s Deputy Director, Jason Keller, said  a state law creates a new body in the Department as part of an effort to increase diversity in the trades.  It’s called the Bureau on Apprenticeship Programs.

“We want to be able to help identify those barriers, remove them, and make those recommendations to see how we can increase those numbers," Keller said.

In addition to reporting on these “barriers,” the Bureau will also compile statistics on race and gender from labor union members and contractors whose projects are publicly funded.