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CISCO Scholarship Program Launches – Application Deadline: Feb. 22, 2019 

CISCO is now accepting applications for its 2019 Scholarship Program.  The three different categories enable a wider range of students of both union building trade members and union contractor employees to apply.

CISCO offers (3), four-year scholarships to high school seniors; (2), two-year awards for seniors planning on attending a community college; and (2), two-year continuing education awards to union members or contractor employees.

All applications and accompanying documents must be postmarked by February 22, 2019.  For more details, click here.  To download the applications, click on the following category options: 1) Four-Year for Seniors; 2) Two-Year Community College for Seniors; 3) Two-Year Continuing Education.

Apprenticeship Opportunities

Boilermakers Local 1 – Construction Boilermaker Apprentice

Applications will be accepted by the Great Lakes Area Boilermakers Joint Apprenticeship Committee at the following locations, dates and times:

Local One – 2941 Archer Ave., Chicago, IL 60608

  • Thursday, February 21, 2019; 8-10 am
  • Thursday, March 21, 2019; 8-10 am
  • Thursday, April 18, 2019; 8-10 am
  • Thursday, May 16, 2019; 8-10 am

The recruitment, selection, employment and training of apprentices during their apprenticeship shall be without discrimination because of race, color, religion, natural origin, age (40 or older), sex, sexual orientation, disability and genetic information. 

Every applicant must supply a copy of their BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA/G.E.D.  that the Committee can keep at the time of filing application for apprenticeship.  Each applicant must demonstrate that he/she has access to reliable transportation.

Welding qualification: Applicants that have a welding certification or welding training qualifications will have priority selection over applicants with no welding qualifications.  Applicants must provide a copy and proof of welding certification or welding training qualification at the time of application.

Plumbers Local 130 – Apprentice

The Joint Apprenticeship Committee for Local 130 will be accepting applications on a Tuesday, Wednesday OR Thursday starting on January 22, 2019 and ending on February 21, 2019.  All three of the following locations below will be open and accepting applications from 1:00 – 4:00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.  Extended hours will be available on Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at all three locations:

Chicago – 1400 W. Washington Blvd.

Joliet: 2114 South I-80 Frontage Road

Volo, IL: 31855 North US Highway 12

An application can be submitted in person only.  A $25.00 non-refundable application fee is required.  No cash or personal checks will be accepted.  You may pay by money order or cashier’s check, made payable to Plumbers JAC Local 130 or by VISA or Mastercard with a convenience fee.  All applicants must present the following at time of application:

Completed application – either on-site, OR download, complete and bring with you.

Valid driver’s license.

Birth certificate or U.S. Passport.

Proof of completion of high school – Original HS diploma, GED certificate, sealed official HS transcript, college diploma with transcripts, OR copy of veterans DD214.

$25.00 non-refendable fee – OPTIONAL: If you wishe to purchase the Test Taking Tip Book for $10, your total will be $35.00.

Qualifications – You MUST:

  1. Read, write and speak the English language.
  2. Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
  3. Pass an aptitude test.
  4. Pass a drug screen.
  5. Pass a physical exam.
  6. Pass an agility test.
  7. Always possess a valid driver’s license.
  8. Be at least 18 years of age (applicants who are 17 years may be placed on the eligibility list if proof is provided that he/she will be 18 prior to being registered by the JAC.

GLCA Recognizes CISCO’s Johnetta Ryan With Lifetime Achievement Award

The Great Lakes Construction Association (GLCA) recognized CISCO’s Director of Education-to-Careers Johnetta Ryan with the prestigious Robert W. MacGruder Lifetime Achievement Award recently at the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills, Illinois.  Pictured above (from left) are Dan Allen, CISCO Executive Director; Tim Marabella, GLCA Executive Director; Johnetta Ryan; and CISCO Board Members Jim Allen and S.J. Peters.  Peters is CISCO’s Board Vice President.

“Johnetta has been guiding students to our union trade apprentice programs and promoting careers in union construction via workshops, career fairs and presentations in Illinois for almost 20 years.”

Robert W. MacGruder was Executive Vice President of the Lake County Contractor’s Association (GLCA predecessor) from 1973-1996 before his death in March of 2017.

Nine Schools Attend Hands On Expo at Oak Park River Forest HS

With 7 building trades representatives on hand, CISCO orchestrated another successful Hands On Expo as nearly 100 students from nine different area high schools attended a two-session all-day event in Oak Park.

Students from Proviso West and East, Riverside-Brookfield and Ridgewood High Schools were present in the morning, followed by Oak Park-River Forest, East and West Leyden and Elmwood park High Schools in the afternoon.  They got a chance to talk to Apprentice Coordinators and instructors from the Boilermakers, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Laborers, Operating Engineers Local 150, Painters and Roofers Local 11.  To view all the pictures, click here.








CISCO and Building Trades Attend St. Leonard’s Career Fair

St. Leonard’s Ministries, located in Chicago’s West Side, held a Construction Skills Training Program & Career Fair recently that enabled residents to gain information about careers in the union building trades.

Apprenticeship Coordinators and instructors from the Bricklayers, Carpenters, Electricians, Laborers, Painters and Decorators, and Roofers provided information to residents on what is required, and how to be successful when applying into one of these apprenticeship programs.

The Career Fair was a helpful supplement to St. Leonard’s Construction Skills Program, which goes beyond career readiness and includes basic and advanced training skills in carpentry, plumbing, and electrical areas, as well as math curriculum.  For more pictures, click here.

CISCO Enjoys Another Successful Outing – Raises Nearly $3,000 for Charity

CISCO’s Annual Golf Outing was another big hit as the previous week’s rain moved out and delivered perfect weather, and the icing on the cake was a full house of golfers, who not only had fun, but generously contributed nearly $3,000 to the designated charity – Gateway to Learning – a special education and training center that provides services for individuals with intellectual disabilities.














As the photos above show, there was plenty of fun on the course, and numerous raffle prizes after lunch.  To view more outing pictures, just click here.

“Right To Work” (For Less) Is WRONG And It Hurts Working Families!

“Right to Work” is a false phrase – a misunderstanding-by-design piece of legislation that is intended to cripple labor-advocating unions but more specifically, harm workers by shrinking workplace wages, reducing and even eliminating benefits, diminishing job site safety, and stripping the ability of workers to collectively improve their workplaces.  To learn more about the devastating effects of Right To Work (for less) legislation, click here.






CISCO Annual Meeting “Impressive” as Sen. Dick Durbin is Guest Speaker

According to many of its guests, CISCO hosted an “impressive” Annual Meeting that featured guest speaker Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the presentation of its Pride in Construction Awards, and the reaffirmation of its 2019 Board of Directors.

In his remarks to a crowded room of 275 attendees, Senator Durbin declared that “In Illinois, the war on labor is over,” he said.  “We are going to start working together in this state again.”

Durbin also said that the creation of the middle class was due to the labor movement.  “After World War II, labor unions represented working men and women to make sure they took home a paycheck, could afford to a buy a house, a car and go on vacation, and have a savings account so that their children could go to college.  That was the strongest period of economic growth in modern history, and we need to get back to that, don’t we?”









After Durbin’s remarks, Executive Director Dan Allen introduced Educator of the Year Steve Cervenka, Teacher from the DuPage Tech Center (top left); Labor Advocate of the Year, Marc Poulos, Executive Director of III-FFC (top right); and Public Body of the Year The Chicago Transit Authority (Bottom photo).

Following that, the winners in six different categories of the Project of the Year Award were recognized as project teams stepped up to receive their awards.   To view more pictures from the event, click here.  The winning projects are shown below. To download the press release, click here.

The top projects were:

New Construction – Chicago (+ $20m): American Airlines Concourse L/Stinger; Submitted by F.H. Paschen – Chicago (Photo below)

New Construction – Suburbs (+ $20m): Luther Burbank Elementary School; Submitted by International Contractors, Inc. – Burbank, IL (Photo below)

New Construction – City/Suburbs (Under $20 m): Lincoln Park Zoo/Searle Visitor Center; Submitted by Bulley & Andrews – Chicago (Photo below)

Infrastructure: Albany Park Stormwater Diversion Tunnel; Submitted by Kenny Construction Co. -Chicago (Photo below)

Rehabilitation: David K. Hill Family Library at Harper College; Submitted by Legat Architects w/ Pepper Construction – Palatine (Photo below)

Residential: University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons; Submitted by Mortenson Construction – Chicago (Photo below)


Construction Expo Held in Chicago’s Hegewisch Neighborhood

CISCO and the Chicago & Cook County Building Trades recently teamed up with 10th Ward Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza to bring a Hands-On Construction Expo to Chicago’s East Side.

The event experienced a good turnout as resident had the opportunity to meet and talk to representative of 17 different building trades about how to get started in the application process and apply to one of the building trades apprenticeship programs. In addition, groups such as Access United and Chicago Women in Trades were on hand.

The award-winning Built To Last production crew was there to film scenes that will be used in upcoming programs that are highlighting the trades.  In addition to the photos below, click here to view more pictures.



Big Turnout for 3rd Breaking Boundaries Event at Lake Park HS

Approximately 180 people attended the third in a series of events called Breaking Boundaries, that explores the personal and financial benefits of women moving into nontraditional fields at Lake Park High School.

This installment featured keynote speaker Kayleen McCabe (above photo) of the DIY Network’s Rescue Renovation followed by an Employer & Career Path Showcase.  More than 20 employers/vendors/building trades organizations were on hand.  A few pictures are below, and click here for more photos.
















































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