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Northwestern to Launch Pre-Apprenticeship Program, Aid in Push for Local Hire

Renderings of proposed NWU construction projects abound

Renderings of proposed NWU construction projects abound

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The town of Evanston, Illinois will partner with Northwestern University and local unions to create a pre-apprenticeship program for city residents.  The program has been a labor of love for Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

With construction at Northwestern’s campus making up a major portion of the city’s development, Tisdahl wanted to help residents find their way to high-paying, high-skilled union careers.  

The hope is that the pre-apprenticeship program will help create career opportunities for the city’s younger residents and help unions replace retiring tradesmen and women.  When the program begins, Mayor Tisdahl hopes contractors will prioritize local hiring. “These are not jobs Evanston residents are getting,” Tisdahl said. “I hope (contractors) have a policy of looking at Evanston residents first.”

A press conference will be held in late February to announce further details of the program.  In its experimental phases, the program will include 25 Evanston residents before expanding in the future.

Collaboration between Northwestern University and its public information office,  Evanston’s Youth and Young Adult Program, and Evanston’s Community Engagement Division made the project possible.  The parties turned to local unions in order to ensure fair treatment and decent pay for the workers they are looking to help out. Kevin Brown, from the city’s Youth and Young Adult Program, told the Daily Northwestern” “The city and Northwestern tries to create a pipeline for Evanston residents to qualify for union membership. The way to do that is through the apprenticeship.”


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