CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Illinois’ clean energy transformation requires a highly trained energy workforce, and ComEd is investing to expand apprenticeship pathways and to recruit more diverse, local talent to meet future demand. To prepare for clean energy growth and electrification of transportation and other sectors, ComEd today announced that it will hire 180 new entry-level employees in 2022 and fill 500 entry-level roles in the next three years.
On May 23, ComEd will begin the next phase of its hiring efforts for the year by inviting local job seekers to apply for 70 new overhead helper jobs posted to its online job board. Qualifying candidates will begin a paid apprenticeship program with ComEd, where they will make $28 an hour during training, and have a chance to earn full time employment as a union line worker with the company upon completion.
Industry data show that careers in the utilities offer a competitive wage – as much as 35 percent higher than other U.S. industries. At ComEd, the average starting salary for an overhead helper is upwards of $80,000 a year. Additionally, employees have access to benefits including full medical, dental, and retirement (401k and pension), and continuous professional development.
“At ComEd, the men and women serving as utility and construction workers play a critical role in delivering safe, reliable and resilient power that over 9 million people in our communities depend upon every day,” said ComEd CEO Gil C. Quiniones. “As we work to expand clean energy access and meet new demands in today’s climate and economy, ComEd is investing to expand the pipeline of diverse, local talent, and will bring aboard more skilled workers from our communities who want to play a role in powering our clean energy future.”
ComEd will accept applications May 23 through June 9, 2022. To raise awareness, ComEd is urging interested candidates to prepare to apply now. To be considered, applicants must meet minimum qualifications, including having a GED/high school diploma, driver’s license and the ability to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL) permit A. Candidates with overhead line experience, climb or trades school training, military service, and skilled trades experience will be given priority consideration.
Hired overhead helpers will take part in an initial paid three-week training in November and, upon completion, go on to a paid apprenticeship program to become a line worker with IBEW Local 15. ComEd offers training at three state-of-the-art facilities: the Chicago Training Center, Rockford Training Center, and the Joliet Training Center.
“The new clean energy law in Illinois will create exciting opportunities to prepare the grid for new EV technologies and to protect us against climate change – all of which must be powered with the help of the men and women of the electric trades," said Terry McGoldrick, President of IBEW Local 15. “Working with ComEd, we are committed to building a diverse talent pipeline to achieve these goals. By expanding access to our apprenticeship training programs, we’re working to invite more job seekers to learn and excel at a skilled trade that will be critical to powering communities, and the economy, for years to come.”
This is the latest example of how ComEd is expanding training and job placement to scale its workforce to meet the goals outlined in the new clean energy law, CEJA. To help build a diverse workforce that reflects the makeup of its communities, ComEd has worked to expand job training programs, including its Tools for the Trade, CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy, and Craft Academy.
“Becoming a line worker at ComEd has changed my life, and shown me first hand that as women, we can do whatever we put our minds to,” said Savoya Taylor, who made history as ComEd’s first woman overhead electrician specialist. “If you are someone that enjoys making a difference in your community, bringing solutions to problems, and the camaraderie of being on a team – then I encourage you to consider applying to join ComEd’s frontline.”
To help residents overcome barriers to employment, ComEd also offers a variety of free one-day training programs that target local and diverse job seekers. These include climb clinics, math clinics and interviewing workshops. Additionally, applicants can take an online practice CAST test, an industry entrance exam that tests math and reading skills.
“One of the best violence prevention strategies is access to training and jobs that provide household sustaining wages and new career paths,” said Pastor Chris Harris of Bright Star Church in Chicago. “Because ComEd is providing these opportunities, families and our communities will be better as a result. More companies need to do this.”
Additionally, ComEd sponsors the Overhead Electric Line Worker training program at City Colleges’ Dawson Technical Institute, which helps candidates earn an advanced certificate. Coursework includes physical training, and classroom preparation needed to pass the construction and skilled trades (CAST test), and fundamentals of electricity to perform work safely.
These programs are focused on preparing diverse and female applicants for the entry level roles. A longstanding partnership with Chicago Women in Trades enables ComEd to recruit women candidates for the CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Training Academy, which just recently graduated a new class, with women accounting for 45 percent of new trainees.
Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.exeloncorp.com/careers to apply or set up a job alert notifying them of when new positions are posted. For more information on how to enroll in ComEd job training programs or resources to prepare for the selection process, visit www.comed.com/workforce or contact WorkforceDevelopment@ComEd.com.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.