ICC Highway Construction Career program accepting applicants for its next class

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A program at Illinois Central College is accepting fewer applicants for one of its construction training programs due to COVID-19.

The Highway Careers Construction Training program is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation and has classes at 12 different locations around Illinois.

The program’s goal is to increase the number of minorities, women, and disadvantaged individuals in the construction industry. The program has been going on at ICC for 10 years.

The program focuses on workplace and technical skills that students would need to go into the construction industry. Skills will include OSHA safety training, tool identification and use, welding, and resume building.

The goal of the program is to help students get apprenticeships and jobs in the Highway construction industry. Students of the program could end up working on local projects like the McClugage Bridge, or join other local contractors.

The class size for the program has been reduced to 10 students due to COVID-19. All classes are still in person, but with required social distancing and mask-wearing.

Highway Construction Careers Coordinator Susan Sherwood said about 36 percent of program participants will get an apprenticeship in the construction industry, and almost all the rest will get better jobs than they had going into the program.

“Because we do focus on building workplace skills, most of our students who leave the program are actually able to acquire a better job than when they came into the program,” Sherwood said. “Ultimately, I think that should be the goal of any workforce development program.”

Sherwood was a member of the 13th class of the program at ICC and encourages anyone interested in the industry to apply.

“The Union construction industry has wonderful wages and benefits, you just have to want to work your way through the apprenticeship, and eventually you’ll become a journeyman, and the benefits are amazing,” Sherwood said.

Anyone can apply for the next class. Applicants must fill out an application, and be able to pass a math proficiency test at the eighth-grade level. The next class will start at the end of January.

Anyone who wants to apply should contact Susan Sherwood at: susan.sherewood@icc.edu.

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