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ComEd, HIRE360 Celebrate New Graduating Class of EV Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Take Charge: EV Pre-Apprenticeship Program graduates 16 local residents ready for trades careers supporting Illinois’ fast-growing EV sector

ComEd and HIRE360 today recognized a new class of graduates of the Take Charge: EV Pre-Apprenticeship program, a program launched last year to prepare local residents for careers supporting the fast-growing electric vehicle (EV) industry in Illinois. A diverse class of 16 graduates from across the Chicagoland area has completed the eight-week training program, preparing them to meet entry-level trades roles at ComEd and at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134.

Through the Take Charge program, ComEd aims to provide skills training needed to meet the evolving demands facing the power grid and our communities today. Steady growth in EV adoption, fueled by a state goal aimed at adding one million EVs to the roads by 2030, and steady growth in business expansion projects tied to the EV industry, creates new career opportunities for the communities of Illinois. In fact, a recent study estimates that as many as 150,000 new clean energy jobs will come to the state by 2050.

“We know the talent needed to support the clean energy transition resides here in our vibrant Chicagoland communities,” said Louie Binswanger, Senior Vice President of Government Regulatory and External Affairs for ComEd. “Through our partnership with HIRE360, IBEW-134 and workforce agencies across the region, ComEd is working to create skill building opportunities that allow our residents to benefit from new economic opportunities created by the growth of EVs and other clean energy industries, while ensuring we have the talent needed to maintain the most reliable grid in the U.S.”

This year’s Take Charge program featured a diverse class of trainees from across the Chicagoland area, with 15 individuals of color and four women. As part of a commitment to enhancing diverse representation in the trades, HIRE360 prioritized recruitment of diverse candidates, including women and people of color, from across the region, especially from communities in the south and west sides.

"We are incredibly proud to announce the graduation of the second cohort from the Take Charge program who were able to learn vital technical and soft skills necessary to thrive in the growing clean energy sector,” said Jay Rowell, Executive Director of HIRE360. “The success of our graduates is a testament to the robust partnership between HIRE360 and ComEd. Together, we are creating sustainable career pathways, particularly for underrepresented groups including women, and Black and Brown individuals, to build a diverse talent pipeline that will drive the clean energy transformation in Illinois and beyond."

The program introduces participants to the EV and electrical industries, helping them develop knowledge and skills for careers in these fields. The eight-week curriculum included off-site learning and networking opportunities with ComEd fleet managers and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), where participants received a behind-the-scenes look into CTA’s electric buses and charging facilities, and toured the IBEW Local 134 Center in Bronzeville.

During the program, candidates were equipped with industry certifications like OSHA-10 and CPR, and prepared for the CAST (Construction and Skilled Trades) and IBEW tests – industry-required exams. New to the program this year, participants earned Flagger, Fall Protection, Rigging Hazard Awareness, and Scaffolding Awareness certifications – further preparing them for apprenticeship programs.

“The Take Charge program gave me hope for the future,” said Ivan Arizmendi, a Take Charge graduate and Pilsen resident. “I’m now aware of the vast opportunities coming to the energy sector and by participating in the program, I prepared myself to land a well-paying job in the trades and help support my parents who have sacrificed so much for me and my siblings.”

The Take Charge: EV Pre-Apprenticeship program is just one example of the wide range of job training and pre-apprenticeship-style programs offered by ComEd in partnership with community-based organizations. Last year, ComEd’s job training and STEM education programs collectively reached 3,500 people across the region. For more on ComEd career readiness programs, please visit

About ComEd

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 250 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About HIRE360

Launched in December of 2019, HIRE360 is an Industry Led, Community Focused nonprofit ensuring that our city’s future is inspired by all the communities that call Chicago home. Our “demand” driven approach to workforce development allows a direct connection with employers and unions to develop workforce recruitment and training programs that meet the specific and timely employment needs of the hospitality and construction sectors. As a workforce intermediary, we identify, recruit, skill up and help community members navigate the apprenticeship process. Our business development program creates wealth and career opportunities in Chicago’s communities by investing capital, time and mentorship to help Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises start, grow and thrive. Learn more at


ComEd Media Relations


Brianna Moreland

Rise Strategy Group

C: (773) 494-4569

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