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Rep. West Announces $400K in Grant Funding to Increase Diversity in Building Trades

Representative West announced $400,000 in grant funding for EDDR Foundation Rockford which will be used to expand the talent pipeline and boost diversity for the rapid expansion of well-paying jobs in the construction industry and building trades. These funds are part of the $9.6 million in statewide grants Governor Pritzker and DCEO announced this week under the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.

“The trades offer people in our city an opportunity to develop skills and engage in a well-paying, lifelong career,” said West. “I am excited that these funds will not only help create a pipeline of talented workers that will keep our trades strong but will also work to break down barriers and provide services to ensure our trades workers are more representative of our community.”

According to a 2020 report from the Illinois Department of Labor, only 4% of Illinois apprentices are women and only 29% are people of color. This lack of diversity points to the urgent need to invest in equity and inclusion programs that create a qualified talent pipeline in construction and the trades while also ensuring a more diverse and inviting trades environment for all Illinoisans.

For those interested in learning more about EDDR Foundation Rockford, their current programs, and future offerings, please reach out by phone at (312) 852-7331 or email


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