CISCO Announces Scholarship Program Underway for 2021 Awards

CISCO has begun to accept applications for its long-standing Annual Scholarship Awards Program.  Applications for for this program are available by clicking on one of the three types of scholarship awards below. 

The three scholarship program categories are: 1) Four-year college scholarships for high school seniors; 2) Two-year awards for seniors planning on attending a community college; and 3) Two-year continuing education awards to union members or contractor employees.

For more information or questions, call CISCO at (630) 472-9411.

Apprenticeship Opportunities

Sheet Metal Workers/SMART Local 265
Due to the pandemic, applications for an apprenticeship will be taken by appointment only.  Please call the education office to schedule an appointment at 630-668-0110, ext. 29.

Qualifications for all new apprentice applicants are as follows:

  1. Applicant must be a minimum of 17 years of age.
  2. All applicants must submit the following information: a) Completed application, b) Birth certificate, c) High School diploma or G.E.D. certificate, d) Valid Illinois driver’s license, e) Military Discharge papers (if applicable.
  3. All apprentice candidates must pass an aptitude exam (given and administered in English on an assigned date) appropriate to the Sheet Metal or Service industry.
  4. Applicants who are accepted into the program will be required to provide their own transportation, and must be insurable to drive a company vehicle in order to work.
  5. All applicants must be available to work within the territorial jurisdiction of Local #265, which is: DuPage, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, Livingston and Will Counties.
  6. Apprentice candidates will be required to pass a physical exam and drug screen at a clinic to be designated by the Apprenticeship Program.
  7. There will be a $25 fee payable by check, cash or money order ONLY to Sheet Metl Workers Local 265 Education Fund, brought in with you at the time of application.

Note: If all required documents are not provided at the time the application is submitted, the application will NOT be accepted.  The acceptance will start promptly at 8:00 am and end at 11:00 am sharp.

For more information, contact 630-668-0110 and ask for the Education Department.

IDOL Reminder To Contractors: Begin Filing Certified Payroll After Sept. 1st

The Illinois Department of Labor is reminding contractors who perform construction work on public works projects in Illinois that they must begin filing their certified payroll with the department after September 1st.  Public works projects include any construction work funded in whole, or in part, by state or local public tax dollars.

In 2018, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to make changes to the certified payroll portion of the Prevailing Wage Act.  When Governor Pritzker took office in 2019, SB 203 was signed into law (PA 100-1177).  Prior to the law, certified payrolls were submitted to the local or state public body funding the project.  Under the new law, the Illinois Department of Labor is charged with developing and maintaining an online portal where all prevailing wage construction contractors file their certified payrolls with the department, otherwise known as Certified Transcript of Payroll portal. 

The Illinois Department of Labor recognizes that there have been bumps in the road in implementing the new law.  That being said, IDOL staff has worked nights and weekends to streamline the portal for contractors.  In addition, the Department has held multiple trainings on this new law, and has and will continue to answer all questions. 

In summary, after 12am on September 1st, all certified payrolls for work performed on current or new public works projects must be filed with the Illinois Department of Labor.  You may find PA 100-1177 here:  https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/100/PDF/100-1177.pdf

St. Paul Church’s FREE COVID Testing Event Provides 369 Tests






Exactly 369 residents of Chicago received FREE COVID-19 tests on Monday, August 17th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Participants had the option of either walking up or driving up to go through the 5-minute test procedure. 

Lyons & Pinner Electric’s Videos Promote Local 9 Training Facility And Neighborhood Good Deeds

Lyons & Pinner Electric Company, Inc.in LaGrange, Illinois has recently produced two videos to promote the Local 9 Training Center in University Park, as well as a recent project to help repair homes in low-income areas in Bellwood.

The first video contains an interview with one of the Lyons & Pinner employees who is installing 5G cell phone infrastructure and who received his training from the Local 9 training facility in University Park.

The second video describes the company’s recent initiative in conjunction with Local 134 and NECA Chicago to give back to the community by repairing homes in Bellwood.


Construction Deemed An Essential Service During “Shelter in Place” Order

As you know by now, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide “Shelter in Place” order starting TODAY (3-21-20) at 5:00 p.m. through April 7th. The shelter in place directive allows workers who provide “essential services” to provide those services. The Executive Order can be read in its entirety by clicking here. “Essential Infrastructure” services are outlined in Section 9 on page 4, and Section 12 (h), which is provided in paragraph 3 below.

Pursuant to the order, construction is deemed an essential infrastructure exception. Construction projects may continue as long as management and workers comply with social distancing requirements, which include maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands. Many construction projects have implemented more stringent infection control measures, and if so, those should continue as well.

Section 12 (h) of the Governor’s Executive Order states the following: “Building and Construction Tradesmen and Tradeswomen, and other trades including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Business and Operations;”

A heartfelt thank you to all our tradespeople, contractors and sub-contractors for their tremendous dedication and service in keeping our nation moving forward in these unprecedented and challenging times.
















































  New Apprenticeship Guide Available
CISCO has received a new batch of updated Apprenticeship Guides. This 90-page booklet is loaded with information about each of the building trades apprentice programs, including requirements to apply. To view and download the Guide, go to www.cisco.org/apprenticeship/

Project of the Year Award Program  – Deadline Nears: Dec. 4, 2020

CISCO’S Project of the Year Award is kicking off its 16th year of accepting applications for some of the best construction projects of the past 18 months. (June 2019 – December 2020).The award gives general contractors, owners, engineers and architects a chance to submit projects in six different categories that include the areas of new construction, renovation/rehabilitation, residential construction and infrastructure.The deadline for applications is 5:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. To download the application form, click here.  For more information, contact Gary Karafiat, Director of Communications & Public Affairs at 630.472.9411 or via email: gary@cisco.org.

Sprinkler Fitters Local 281 Completes Our Lady of Angels Installation
Recently, members of Sprinkler Fitters Local 281, the Chicago Fire Department and officials at our Lady of Angels Church, celebrated the installation of a modern fire sprinkler system throughout the same building that sits on the site of where one of this country’s most devastating fires occurred.

Local 281 donated the money to cover labor costs from the U.S. Alliance Fire Protection, which in turn, donated the design, engineering and materials for the project. Also, sprinkler fitter, plumbers and pipefitter unions installed the system free of charge.

The $400,000 project was overseen by Local 281. Business Manager Tom Collins said he was in disbelief when he learned the building only had fire sprinklers in the basement.

“We are extremely proud and happy that we were able in some small way to assist Our Lady of Angels’ mission and the last memory of those who perished on that fateful day,” he said.

Contractors Step Up For CISCO Community Partner
Another great story of 2020 started with a drinking fountain.

One of CISCO’s Community Partners – Gateway to Learning (GTL) – a Chicago-based special education and training center, needed a new drinking fountain that was more COVID-19 friendly.

When PCAGC Executive Director S.J. Peters learned of the need, the CISCO Board VP contacted one of his own board members – John Baethke, Director of John Baethke & Son Plumbing in Chicago to install the drinking fountain.

Next up, Powering Chicago and the IBEW volunteered to assist Gateway to Learning by hard wiring their building for proper connectivity after hearing the WiFi infrastructure needed an upgrade and the students were in danger of the upcoming school year being compromised.

“Gateway needed to have hardwire ethernet connectivity throughout their facility. When we were first confronted with the ask, Jamerson and Bauwens Electric — one of our Powering Chicago partners — was eager to be put to the task to provide them with their service,” said Powering Chicago Director Elbert Walters III.

But the giving didn’t stop there!

Gateway to Learning’s Executive Director sent this thank you to CISCO Executive Director Dan Allen:
“ A huge thank you to CISCO, the contractors, workers and the work done last year by the Carpenters, who all made this dream a reality,” said Kathryn Lavin, GTL’s Executive Director.
“Through the support of an anonymous donor, we will be adding new computers to each classroom to expand both e-learning and program resources. This is a game changer, and we are so grateful.”

Workers’ Compensation Emergency Rule Withdrawn

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) voted unanimously today to withdraw the Emergency Rule it passed on April 16, thus reversing the decision that shifted the burden of proof from the employee to the employer, requiring the employer to present evidence that the employee did not contract the corona virus at work.

There were two people who provided public comment – Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea and Mark Denzler, President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Drea spoke on behalf of workers who were deemed “essential” by the Governor. He said that the emergency rule would protect essential workers on the frontlines who contracted the virus citing grocery workers, healthcare workers, first-responders and construction workers and others who were risking their lives and the lives of their families by performing their jobs.

Denzler reiterated the commitment that his members and other associations have initiated to prioritize worker safety during the pandemic. He said many precautions to keep workers safe were put in place, however the undo burden and economic hardship the rule would have placed on retailers, manufacturers and contractors caused them to reach out to the IWCC.

It is likely that the Commission will create a task force to work on a new rule and there may be legislation filed in the General Assembly. CISCO will continue to monitor this issue.

Webinar Addresses Skilled Labor Shortage And Rising Construction Costs

A recent webinar presented by BISNOW Chicago and PowerForward DuPage with nearly 250 registered participants focused on a perceived labor shortage and the concern of rising construction costs. 

The webinar, titled, “Chicago Deep Dish: The Construction Labor Shortage – What Can Be Done About Skilled Labor Shortages and Rising Construction Costs?” was sponsored by  CISCO,PowerForward DuPage, Powering Chicago and Structures Chicago. 

To access the post-webinar blog, click here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Resources

Please use the resources below for the latest information and guidance on COVID-19:

State of Illinois ​Coronavirus (COVID-19) ​​Response Website

Illinois Department of Public Health Coronavirus Updates

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization Latest Updates

United States COVID-19 Interactive Maps

OSHA: COVID-19 Pandemic & Recordkeeping

OSHA Clarifies Coronavirus Reporting Requirements for Employers

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 Newsroom

For our members and friends in the six-county area that we serve, here are links to each county’s Health Department websites:

Cook Coronavirus Information

DuPage Coronavirus Information

Kane Coronavirus Information

Kendall Coronavirus Information

Lake Coronavirus Information

McHenry Coronavirus Information

































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