Illinois has been named the number one leader for workforce development in the Midwest region for the second year in a row!

The Site Selection magazine ranking annually recognizes states that performed well given their employment climate, listing Illinois first for the state’s dedication toward creating high quality jobs.

Illinois' workforce development has consistently evolved in equity and innovation, including apprenticeship programs at every level and has over 400 registered apprenticeship programs for more than 20,000 active apprentices.

Under these apprenticeships, Illinois has focused seven key elements to ensure that every applicant receives high quality development with a focus on their career path including: diversity, quality and safety, supplemental education, being a paid job, industry led, able to earn credentials, and structured on-the-job learning/mentorship. With these categories in mind, Illinois has covered the essential bases for every apprenticeship to be a success story.

Workforce development programs have grown expeditiously in Illinois, focusing on access to certification programs, custom training programs, apprenticeships and sponsored college degrees.

One such program that has provided countless providers to work with is the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program, which has increased access to good-paying jobs in the trades since 2021.

Under this program, support services are also available based on the participant’s needs including mental health counseling, housing assistance, childcare, transportation assistance, and math and reading tutoring to ensure every Illinoisan is given an equal opportunity to develop and focus on their career path.

For a complete list of Pre-Apprenticeship Program Providers visit the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity website.