The Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), Public Act 99-0906, became effective on June 1, 2017. A major, statewide investment in jumpstarting Illinois’ clean energy economy, FEJA includes investments in solar training programs for individuals from economically disadvantaged communities, alumni of the Illinois foster care system, and formerly incarcerated individuals to help ensure that the growing solar economy includes and benefits everyone.

FEJA authorized $30 million to develop and establish three clean energy-related job training programs to support the workforce needed to reach the state’s clean energy goals. FEJA requires these programs to be implemented by the utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd). The $30M is being allocated in three $10 million increments paid in the delivery years of 2017, 2021, and 2025, and spread across the three different programs.

Solar Training Pipeline Program

The Solar Training Pipeline Program is designed to establish a pool of trained solar installers from economically disadvantaged and environmental justice communities, alumni of the Illinois foster care system, and returning citizens, with at least half of trainees recruited from economically disadvantaged and/or environmental justice communities where the training will be provided.1 It receives $3M each delivery year, and has a job placement goal of 2,000 individuals by 2029.

Four training providers were selected through a competitive bidding process to provide training opportunities throughout the state: Elevate Energy, Illinois Central College, OAI, Inc., and Safer Foundation. More details regarding this program can be found on the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) site, here.

Solar Craft Apprenticeship Program

This program is administered by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134 in Chicago and receives $3M each delivery year. Under the Solar Craft Apprenticeship Program, IBEW Local 134 will:

  1. Implement solar training into existing apprenticeship programs at IBEW sites throughout Illinois.
  2. Implement solar training at select community college campuses in Illinois.
  3. Implement a high school solar curriculum at select high schools in Illinois.

More details regarding this program, including the community colleges and high schools participating in the program, can be found on the ISEA site, here.

Multicultural Jobs Program

This program receives $4M each delivery year and funds six job training programs through community-based, diversity-focused organizations that strive to provide participants with development, economic, or career-related opportunities. The organizations awarded include the Chicago Urban League, Hispanic American Construction Industry Association, National Latino Education Institute, ASPIRA, Inc. of Illinois, Chatham Business Association Small Business Development, Inc., and Austin Peoples Action Center. More details regarding this program can be found on the ISEA site, here.