ComEd, YMCA of Metro Chicago Launch New High School Training Program to Boost Preparedness for the Trades

Local students invited to apply now for new CONSTRUCT Youth Academy beginning in July

ComEd today called on Illinois high school students to apply for a new summer job training program, CONSTRUCT Youth Academy, launching next month in partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, to help more students from the area pursue a career in the construction and utilities trades. The CONSTRUCT Youth Academy is a paid, three-week program that will expose high school juniors and seniors to training needed to succeed in the skilled trades. Students interested in the program are encouraged to apply now through June 24th.

The new program marks the latest investment by ComEd to increase access to job training programs that will prepare more residents for jobs in the growing energy sector in Illinois. A recently commissioned study by ComEd reveals that, by 2050, as many as 150,000 new clean energy jobs will be added in Illinois.

The new CONSTRUCT Youth Academy builds on the success of the CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy, ComEd’s premiere workforce development program to help prepare residents for craft roles in the utilities and construction fields. To date, the program has graduated more than 800 residents, with a majority of participants from diverse communities, and a more than 70 percent job placement rate.

"To ensure a pipeline of diverse, skilled and local talent that will power the clean energy transformation in Illinois, ComEd is committed to expanding proven job training programs to reach more young people across our communities," said Louie Binswanger, SVP of governmental and regulatory affairs at ComEd. "In partnership with the YMCA of Metro Chicago, the CONSTRUCT Youth Academy expands on the impact of our CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy, focusing on helping more young people from our communities pursue good paying careers in the trades. Through this program, local students will learn firsthand about how they can play a role in addressing climate change and creating a cleaner energy future.”

The CONSTRUCT Youth Academy program is designed for rising high school juniors and seniors to build knowledge and awareness about jobs and careers in the construction and energy fields. The program introduces students to entry-level craft positions, including the construction worker and overhead helper roles. Hiring is now underway by ComEd to bring aboard 500 additional entry-level craft roles to support the clean energy transition in Illinois.

ComEd is teaming up with the YMCA of Metro Chicago to recruit and conduct interviews for students interested in the program. Once enrolled, students will attend classroom sessions held at the YMCA’s South Side location, located at 6330 S Stony Island Avenue, three times a week, with ComEd offering field trips to expose students to career opportunities in the energy sector, including the demanding physical nature of performing work on the grid.

“Equipping young people with knowledge and connections through experiences like the CONSTRUCT Youth Academy not only empowers them to discover and explore new career possibilities, it also activates a longer runway to prepare for post-graduation life,” said Dorri McWhorter, President & CEO, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. “The seeds that ComEd, the Y, and our partners are planting through this program will grow into lifelong opportunities for this inaugural youth cohort and, ultimately, the communities we serve.”

Students will also have a chance to enhance their soft skills, receiving training on interview preparation, presentation skills and professional networking held throughout the course of the summer program.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be a rising junior or senior in high school. The program is set to begin on July 10th, and students will receive a stipend upon completion of the program. YMCA will provide CTA passes for participants traveling to the South Side YMCA Center for classes. Those interested in applying for the program should fill out this form: YMCA + ComEd CONSTRUCT Interest Form (

ComEd also offers a range of in-depth job training and apprenticeship style programs, including the Craft Academy, the Dawson Tech Overhead Electrical Line Workers training program – a partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago – along with college scholarship programs designed to spur an interest in STEM careers. As a result of its growing investment in career readiness and education across the region, ComEd's job training and STEM education programs last year directly benefitted nearly more than 2,000 local residents.

For more on ComEd career readiness programs, please visit

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.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is the leader in accessible, inclusive programming for more than 300,000 individuals each year, strengthening community by connecting people to their purpose, potential, and each other. The YMCA of Metro Chicago is evolving to become a 21st-century social enterprise for the region, through an association of 14 centers, 5 overnight camps, and 100 extension sites throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. Learn more about the Y's locations and our programming at


ComEd Media Relations


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