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New grant money to bring diversity in construction jobs

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Rep. West says the grants will help boost diversity and better serve the community.

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Grant money is coming to the Stateline in hopes to boost inclusivity in construction.

State Rep. Maurice West says $400,000 in grants will be awarded to the EDDR Foundation Rockford. The grant money will be used to speed up the process of bringing construction jobs to the Rockford area.

Rep. West says the grants will help boost diversity and better serve the community.

"The trades offer people in our city an opportunity to develop skills and engage in a well-paying, lifelong career," West says. "I am excited that these funds will not only help create a pipeline of talented workers that will keep our trades strong but will also work to break down barriers and provide services to ensure our trades workers are more representative of our community."

A report from the Illinois Department of Labor says less than 5% of apprentices in the state are women and only 29% are people of color.

West says investing in inclusion can build talent in the business and will make the trades environment more inviting.

The grant money comes from $9.6 million in statewide grants announced under the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.

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