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Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program

About the program

Through the Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program, thirteen Workforce Hubs across Illinois will offer training, certification preparation, and skill development for entry-level jobs in clean energy-related industries. This program will utilize a Clean Jobs Curriculum developed by DCEO and its implementation partners and prepared via a broad stakeholder process. This curriculum will identify career pathways, a training curriculum, and skill sets needed for participants to enter clean energy jobs.

$24 million per year is allocated to this program. An additional $15 million per year will be allocated to the Workforce Hubs for the distribution of the Energy Transition Barrier Reduction services to offer wrap-around supports to program participants. DCEO will issue up to 13 awards for the combined $39 million per year in funding, subject to appropriation. DCEO will release a Notice of Funding Opportunity for this program in the spring of 2023. The program is expected to be open to applicants in the fall of 2023.

Hub locations

The Workforce Hubs will be geographically distributed across Illinois, serving people who reside in or near the following 13 hub areas: Chicago (South Side), Chicago (Southwest & West Sides), Waukegan, Rockford, Aurora, Joliet, Peoria, Champaign, Danville, Decatur, Carbondale, East St. Louis, and Alton. Workforce Hubs will offer training and services in or near these hub service areas.

Who can participate?

Participant placement will be prioritized as follows: 

  • One-third of program placements are for people residing in an area that is BOTH an R3 area and an environmental justice community.
  • One-third of program placements are for people who reside in EITHER an R3 area OR an environmental justice community. Preference will be given to applicants who face barriers to employment, such as low educational attainment, prior involvement with the criminal legal system, language barriers, and applicants that are graduates of or current members of the foster care system.
  • Priority for the remaining placements must be given to displaced energy workers or persons who face barriers to employment (as defined above).

What will be taught?

The Workforce Hubs will train people for entry-level jobs in solar, wind, building energy efficiency, and electric vehicle maintenance. Workforce Hubs will utilize a clean jobs curriculum framework, which provides requirements and guidance on the training content and how it should be taught. Workforce hubs will have the flexibility to determine the specific focus of their training based on employer needs and regional labor market analysis.

Throughout the fall of 2022, DCEO convened a broad stakeholder engagement process to gather input on the curriculum framework. The team also drafted an Illinois Clean Energy Jobs and Training Program Inventory report to inform curriculum development. DCEO and their partners consulted stakeholders to review the curriculum framework to ensure that it meets industry needs, as well as the needs of target populations.

Learn More

Read our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about this program.