Chicago-based ComEd said it would work with a coalition of employers to launch a training program designed to build a pipeline of technical talent to support the clean energy transition in Illinois. 

The “Power Up Academy” began recruiting in July for a 10-week training program to prepare residents for entry-level technical roles that support engineering teams.

The program aims to scale the energy workforce to meet demand for talent in the clean energy sector, including those required to maintain and operate the grid. As many as 150,000 new clean energy jobs are expected to be created in Illinois by 2050 to support the clean energy transition, according to company statement.

The program seeks to recruit and train local residents for entry-level technical roles at ComEd and external engineering firms, including Design Techs, Engineering Associates, and Project Coordinators among others. These roles develop construction drawings and material requirements for projects associated with utility infrastructure installation, removal or modification. They also support field engineering teams, providing engineering designs and supporting project managers. Trainees who complete the program are expected to have the opportunity to apply for roles at ComEd, as well as with engineering firms sponsoring the program, including Burns & McDonnell, HBK Engineering, KDM Engineering, Milhouse, Primera Engineers, V3 Companies, and Sargent & Lundy.

Candidates must be 18 and pass a selection process conducted by Revolution Workshop, a ComEd partner in the program. 

ComEd and co-sponsoring engineering firms developed program curriculum. Participants are expected to receive field-based study with classes held at Revolution Workshop, located on the near west side of Chicago. Through the program, participants will be exposed to core requirements of technical roles in the energy and utilities sector, including program management and AutoCAD, a software program used by architects, engineers and construction professionals to create 2D and 3D drawings. At the end of training, participants will receive an OSHA 10 certification.

ComEd offers other job training and apprenticeship programs, including the Craft Academy, the Dawson Tech Overhead Electrical Line Workers training program, and the CONSTRUCT Youth Academy to expose high school students to trades pathways.

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