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Jones law will improve minority representation in apprenticeship programs

jones 073019SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) that will increase access to apprenticeship programs in the construction industry for African Americans was signed into law.

Jones's legislation creates the Bureau on Apprenticeship Programs within the Illinois Department of Labor and creates an advisory board of 12 legislators (three from each caucus, appointed by the caucus leader). The goal of the commission is to increase minority participation in apprenticeship programs.

“This law will ensure African Americans have equal access to apprenticeship programs so that they can earn a more suitable living wage,” Jones said. "Most importantly, this is the first step in providing a better foundation for minorities to obtain an exceptional career in the construction industry."

Illinois' workforce stands at about 6 million, and there are about 16,000 active apprenticeships in the 13 basic crafts in the state's 102 counties.

Senate Bill 534 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.    

Senator Emil Jones III


14th District

Years served:
2009 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Higher Education; Licensed Activities (Chairperson); Transportation; Veterans Affairs.

Biography: Born May 16th, 1978, in Chicago; son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. and the late Patricia Jones; graduated from Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights; attended Chicago State University and Robert Morris College in Chicago; former administrator at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Associated Representatives:
Robert Rita
Justin Slaughter