CEJA Workforce Programs
Interested in providing input about one of the CEJA workforce programs or applying for funding to deliver these programs? Please see our Notice of Funding Opportunities and Requests for Information.
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Have a question about CEJA? View our FAQ page or email us at CEO.CEJA@illinois.gov.
Here is an overview of the CEJA workforce programs DCEO will administer:
- Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs Network Program. 13 hub sites across the state will offer training, certification preparation, and skill development in clean energy-related industries. This program will utilize a Clean Jobs Curriculum framework developed by DCEO and their partners and prepared via a broad stakeholder process. This curriculum framework will identify career pathways, a training curriculum, and skill sets needed for participants to enter clean energy jobs.
- Returning Residents Clean Jobs Training Program. This program will utilize the Clean Jobs Curriculum to provide clean energy job training for individuals in the Illinois Department of Corrections custody.
- Climate Works Pre-apprenticeship Program. Three hubs in Illinois will provide pre-apprenticeship training to prepare people for careers in the construction, building trades, and clean energy jobs.
- Energy Transition Navigators will perform outreach, education, and recruitment to eligible individuals to participate in the workforce and contractor programs and work with local job markets to help place trainees in careers.
- Energy Transition Barrier Reduction Program will provide supportive and financial assistance services to individuals participating in CEJA workforce programs to overcome barriers to engaging and completing the programs.
- The Craft Apprenticeship, Multi-cultural Jobs, and Solar Pipeline Training Programs are three solar energy workforce programs authorized under the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). CEJA reassigned the administration of these programs from the public utilities to DCEO.
Clean jobs curriculum development
The clean jobs curriculum framework is currently under development by DCEO and their research and engagement partners. Throughout the fall of 2022, DCEO convened a broad stakeholder engagement process to gather input on the curriculum. Findings will be summarized in a stakeholder engagement report. The team also drafted an Illinois Clean Energy Jobs and Training Program Inventory report to inform curriculum development. DCEO and their partners will be consulting stakeholders as they continue to develop the curriculum framework to ensure that it meets industry needs, as well as the needs of target populations.
You can review reports and drafts here and provide input on these documents through a request for information (provide a link to NOFO and RFI page).
- Illinois Clean Energy Jobs and Training Program Inventory report
- Stakeholder Engagement Report. In October and November of 2022, the DCEO CEJA Implementation Team conducted a stakeholder engagement process to inform the development of the CEJA training curriculum and workforce programs. Read a short summary of the findings, and a longer slide presentation of the findings. We thank the many people who participated in this engagement process.
- Curriculum Framework (coming soon)
Program design development
DCEO and its partners will be developing the overall design of the CEJA workforce programs with broad input from stakeholders. Please respond to a Request for Information to provide feedback on how specific programs should be run.
Clean job focus
The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) prioritizes jobs in solar energy, wind energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, solar thermal, green hydrogen, geothermal, and electric vehicle industries, as well as other renewable energy industries. It also focuses on jobs that support these industries, such as administrative, sales, and manufacturing jobs. See our Illinois Clean Energy Jobs and Training Program Inventory Report (coming soon) to learn more.
CEJA workforce program participants
CEJA’s workforce programs will significantly benefit people and organizations throughout Illinois. It will provide training, jobs, and funding for various organizations and communities involved in clean energy industries. It will contribute to reducing carbon emissions and the economic burdens of communities and individuals.
In particular, the training programs will prioritize individuals from Environmental Justice Communities and Restore, Reinvest, Renew (R3) areas harmed by violence, excessive incarceration, and economic disinvestment. The workforce training programs will grow clean energy businesses and lead to thousands of jobs in these communities. The programs also prioritize foster care alums and people who have been incarcerated.
The CEJA workforce programs will start in the spring or summer of 2023. There have yet to be any details on how to enroll. We will announce the program launch on our announcements page when they are available.
CEJA workforce program delivery
Community-based organizations (including educational institutions) can apply to deliver workforce training programs. They can subcontract with other organizations, labor organizations, or educational institutions to provide program services and training. Organizations interested in applying for funding to deliver workforce training, manage one of the workforce hubs, or be an energy transition navigator are encouraged to respond to a Notice of Funding Opportunity. We anticipate that the NOFOs will go out in early 2023.
Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs Network Program
The Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs Network Program is defined in Section 5-20 of the Clean Energy Jobs Act. The program creates a network of 13 Program delivery Hub Sites with program elements delivered by community-based organizations and their subcontractors geographically distributed across Illinois, including at least one Hub Site located in or near: Chicago (South Side), Chicago (Southwest & West Sides), Waukegan, Rockford, Aurora, Joliet, Peoria, Champaign, Danville, Decatur, Carbondale, East St. Louis, and Alton. A community-based organization shall provide program elements of the Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs Network program. The Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs network will:
- Coordinate with Energy Transition Navigators to increase participation in the Clean Jobs Network Program; coordinate recruitment, communications, and ongoing engagement with employers, including, but not limited to, activities such as job matchmaking initiatives, hosting events like job fairs, and collaborating with other Hub Sites to identify and implement best practices; and leverage community-based organizations, educational institutions, and community-based and labor-based training providers to ensure program-eligible individuals across the state have dedicated and sustained support to enter and complete the career pipeline for clean energy and related sector jobs.
- Develop partnerships between community-based organizations and entities that provide clean energy jobs, including businesses, nonprofits, and worker-owned cooperatives, to ensure Program participants have priority access to employment training and hiring activities.
- Implement the Clean Jobs Curriculum to provide training, certification preparation, job readiness, and skill development, including soft skills, math skills, technical skills, certification test preparation, and other development needed by Program participants.
The general locations of the 13 hubs have already been selected. Per the legislation, hub sites will be located in or near each of the following areas: Chicago (South Side), Chicago (Southwest and West Sides), Waukegan, Rockford, Aurora, Joliet, Peoria, Champaign, Danville, Decatur, Carbondale, East St. Louis, and Alton. Specific locations for the hubs and the organizations that will manage and house the hubs will be determined through a NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) process. Interested parties can respond to a request for information to provide input on how the Clean Jobs Workforce Network program should be run and where the hubs should be located.
Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA)
In 2017 the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) was implemented to improve energy efficiency by scaling up clean energy and the jobs that support it. FEJA allotted $10 million annually to fund job training programs in renewable energy. The administration of the programs authorized under the FEJA were assigned to the Illinois Department of Commerce in 2022 through CEJA [see Public Act 102-662]. Three job training programs through FEJA were transferred to DCEO. These include:
- Craft Apprenticeship Program – which is authorized under 220 ILCS 5/16-108.12(a)(2) and provides $3,000,000 in funding for “an accredited or otherwise recognized apprenticeship program”. Apprenticeship programs may be offered over a period “not to exceed four years, for particular crafts, trades, or skills in the electric industry that may, but need not, be related to solar installation.” Illinois IBEW Renewable Energy Fund is the grantee for the Craft Apprenticeship Program.
- Solar Training Pipeline Program – that establishes a “pipeline,” or “pool of trained installers,” for projects authorized under the Illinois Solar for All Program and the revised RPS. See 220 ILCS 5/16-108.12(a)(1); 20 ILCS 3855/1-56(b). Among its unique features, this program includes funding for programs that provide training to individuals who are or were foster care alumni or returning citizens transitioning into the workforce. The statute set aside funding in the amount of $3,000,000 to administer this program. Grantees are listed below:
- Central States SER
3948 W 26 St., Suite 213
Chicago, IL 60623
- Illinois Central College
1 College Drive
E Peoria, IL 61635
- OAI, INC
180 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601
- Quad City Urban League
1685 Farnsworth Ave
Aurora, IL 60505
- Safer Foundation *Referral Partner
571 W Jackson Blvd.
Chicago IL 60661
- UCAN *Referral Partner
3605 W. Fillmore St.
Chicago, IL 60622
- Multi-Cultural Jobs Program – which is authorized by 20 ILCS 5/16-108.12(a)(3), provides $4,000,000 to fund multi-cultural jobs programs which may, but need not, be related to solar installation, over a period “not to exceed four years, by diversity-focused community organizations that have a record of successfully delivering job training.” The statute prescribes a funding allocation to individual programs. Grantees to be announced.