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ComEd celebrates the first class of the new professional training program

New Craft Academy program launched in August to prepare job seekers for the challenges of working on overhead power lines

CHICAGO, August 19, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ComEd today announced that the first-ever cohort of the ComEd Craft Academy program has graduated, with nine participants demonstrating the knowledge and physical skills needed to enter the craft workforce , including roles in the skilled trades, including entry-level positions such as linemen and construction workers. The Craft Academy was launched earlier this year to expand training opportunities for future skilled workers, a key objective of ComEd’s plan to grow its workforce to meet the demands of the clean energy transition underway in Illinois.

The men and women who work above and below ground and across Northern Illinois to maintain our grid are essential to the work we do to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to new million people in the region we serve,” said Diana Sharpe, acting vice president of workforce development for ComEd. “It has never been such an exciting time to join the energy field, and ComEd is investing in training programs that will help recruit more diverse talent to join our team and learn new skills needed to fuel our clean energy future. »

The launch of the program comes as ComEd announced a new hiring plan to expand its workforce to enable the clean energy transition, bringing on board 500 new entry-level artisan positions over the next three years. Craft Academy graduates will develop priority skills when taking on new frontline jobs at ComEd, including general assistant positions for which ComEd will begin accepting applications later this month.

ComEd worked with the local nonprofit and workforce training agency, Insituto del Progreso Latino, to recruit locally for the inaugural training program, which included mostly black and Latino participants.

“As a nationally recognized leader in career paths, Instituto is proud to partner with ComEd and its Craft Academy program as it connects our community to exciting careers within ComEd,” said Karina Ayala-Bermejo, CEO, Institute of Latino Progress. “Together, we strengthen the pipeline to successful careers within ComEd which, in turn, strengthen our communities.”

During the three-week program, participants were exposed to a range of subjects to prepare them for entry-level craftwork, which requires knowledge of skilled trades or construction. The training included: intensive preparation for the CAST exam, a requirement for trades and construction jobs; the basics of pole climbing; field courses given by ComEd experts; and preparation for interview coaching with the STAR method. Upon completion, all participants will receive a stipend of $800, in addition to scholarship eligibility.

“My education at Craft Academy will provide me with the tools and experience I need to pursue my career aspirations in the energy industry,” said Antuan Wilburn, a graduate of Lombard’s Craft Academy. “My journey started when I met ComEd at a job fair in June. I am so happy to have heard about this training program which will allow me to provide a better life for me and my family.”

The Craft Academy is ComEd’s newest workforce training program and part of an expanding portfolio of programs designed to meet job seekers where they are and broaden career pathways. access to specialized professions within the company. Last year alone, ComEd’s workforce training and STEM education programs reached more than 1,700 people in Northern Illinois.

ComEd supports a range of other training programs to prepare residents for jobs in the trades, including the CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy, the Chicago BUILDS program at Dunbar High School, and the Overhead Electrical Line Worker (OELW) program at Dawson Technical Institute , which has graduated over 435 residents of which 61% have been hired for ComEd. These programs focus on building a diverse and inclusive workforce, with opportunities available across the region and for a range of ages, from high school to adults opting for a career change.

These programs also provide participants with the training necessary to compete for growing jobs in the utility sector, an area that is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years to support the clean energy transformation underway in the world. ‘Illinois. The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) estimates that 2,000 new utility jobs will be created in the Midwest in the next three years alone. Utilities careers also offer job seekers competitive benefits and pay, with entry-level craftsman positions earning nearly $29 per hour, plus competitive benefits.

For more information on workforce training programs, please contact or visit the ComEd website.

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides services to approximately 4 million customers in northern Illinois, or 70% of the state’s population. For more information, visit ComEd.comand connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and Youtube.

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