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ComEd Graduates Largest Overhead Class in Company History

Jan. 5, 2023
The utility graduated 121 local residents from ComEd's Overhead Training Programs in Chicago, Rockford and Joliet, Illinois in mid-December.

 ComEd leaders joined IBEW Local 15 and members of the community on Dec. 16, 2022, to recognize 121 local residents as they graduated from training programs required to become full-time lineworkers with ComEd. Graduation events held by the company recognized newly hired pre-apprentices now on track to begin an overhead apprenticeship school in 2023. This on-the-job training is a requirement for performing the role of a lineworker, a key role helping to ensure reliable power is safely delivered to communities across northern Illinois.

Today’s graduation represents one of the largest overhead classes in recent history, as ComEd has expanded investments in training and committed to hire hundreds of additional entry-level craft workers in the next couple of years to prepare for the state’s clean energy transition.

“ComEd is working to ensure that as we grow and move toward a clean energy future, we are creating equitable opportunity for diverse, local talent to join our company and to play a role in addressing climate change,” said Terence Donnelly, president and COO of ComEd. “Congratulations to our newest class of overhead trainees for taking essential steps forward in your career journeys, and for your dedication to this challenging yet rewarding work to deliver safe, reliable and resilient power to all our northern Illinois communities in the years ahead.”

Today’s graduates have completed required skills training across the company’s three regional facilities: the Chicago Training Center, the Joliet Training Center and the Rockford Training Center. ComEd craft trainees receive competitive pay of $29 an hour on average at the time of their hire and are paid during their training. More information on the training progression for entry-level craft roles can be found here.

The latest class of graduates is diverse with more than 32 percent minorities, 12 percent veterans and an increase in female hires to join the workforce as well. Additionally, graduates hail from all corners of the service region, representing 89 unique zip codes from across northern Illinois.

"Working with ComEd, we are committed to building a diverse talent pipeline to prepare residents for the growing numbers of clean energy jobs in Illinois,” said Terry McGoldrick, President of IBEW Local 15. “By expanding access to our apprenticeship training programs, we’re working to invite more men and women of all backgrounds to learn a skilled trade that will be critical to powering communities, and the economy, for years to come.”

New entry-level craft positions – including the overhead helper position and other entry-level union roles – will play a key role in building and operating a more resilient grid that can withstand increasingly severe weather and meet the increased demand for renewable energy and electric vehicles. Jobs in the clean energy space are on the rise today, as Illinois transitions to a clean energy future and as the energy industry outpaces growth of other industries nationally, adding more than 300,000 jobs last year alone (USEER 2022).

To prepare to meet these demands, ComEd has been working to expand the reach of its career readiness programs, including hosting more frequent climb clinics, expanding test prep, and boosting the capacity of its apprenticeship schools to reach more residents interested in careers in utilities. As a result, ComEd has nearly doubled participation in the overhead apprenticeship program in the past two years.

Since announcing it would expand craft hiring earlier this year, ComEd has extended hiring offers to over 200 candidates for roles including overhead helpers, as well as construction workers. As interest in craft careers at ComEd has increased, so too has diversity: More than 75 percent of applications to craft roles in 2022 were for minority candidates, and 15 percent for women. This record level of diversity follows on efforts by the company to bolster outreach and recruitment in communities across the service territory and to reduce barriers to help more qualified applicants get the training they need to compete for these new careers.

For more information on how ComEd is helping job seekers prepare for entry-level craft roles, please visit www.comed.com/cleanenergyjobs.

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