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$30M investment helps expand apprenticeships across the country

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 23, 2020

Within the span of a year, the apprenticeship program at College of Lake County (CLC) developed in eight fields of study, partnered with nine employers and enrolled 49 apprentices. This impressive feat is part of a larger effort in the Chicago area co-founded by global professional services firm Aon plc, in 2017. That effort is about to expand across the country with the help of a $30 million investment from the company. 

“This isn’t an Aon effort, this is a collective effort,” said Aon Chief Executive Officer Greg Case at a recent Chicago Apprentice Network (CAN) meeting. “It’s brought so many talented colleagues into our firm and we’ve seen it time and time again for companies around the Chicago area.” 

Siemens ApprenticeshipAon aims to launch new apprentice networks in Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. in the next year, leading to 10,000 apprenticeships by 2030. That includes the continued growth of the network here in Illinois. 

“We need tens of thousands of new skilled workers to continue to meet the growing demand for talented employees in Illinois,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “The Chicago Apprentice Network is providing life-changing opportunities and the Illinois Apprenticeship Program is on track to support an additional 17,000 participants by the end of this year.”  

CLC’s own apprenticeship program will also continue growing. At a meeting of the CAN during national apprenticeship week, CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick told the meeting attendees the future was bright for employers and job-seekers alike.  

“We look forward to continuing to build out those partnerships and grow the number of apprentices as we launch our advanced technology center to support the manufacturing industry and other fields of interest,” she said. “College of Lake County is committed to being a leader in innovative solutions in education and workforce. We can be a part of building out a diverse skilled workforce talent pipeline to meet the needs of our industry partners.” 

CLC apprentice Darrell Berg recently spoke on how the program made a positive impact on his career. His is a story of success likely to be told time and time again as the apprentice networks grow.  

“I hope you can feel this opportunity,” Case said. “Feel how it’s building, the impact and what it means for all of us.”  

About College of Lake County: 

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation. Learn more at www.clcillinois.edu or call (847) 543-2000.