Mark's News | USDOL
As an alderman, mayor, and now as County Board Chairman, Mark is fighting hard to bring quality jobs to St. Clair County. Mark has always ensured that the citizens of St. Clair County have a strong voice in the political process. Mark is dedicated to making our community a great place to raise a family and build a business.
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St. Clair County Earns Certification by the USDOL – First in Illinois

“St. Clair County receives approval and designation as the first Local Workforce Development Area in the State of Illinois to be certified as a Registered Apprenticeship Program Intermediary/Sponsor”


Today it was announced the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department (Grants Department) will be the first Local Workforce Development Area in the State of Illinois to be certified by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) as a Registered Apprenticeship Program Intermediary/Sponsor.


This designation will allow the Grants Department’s Workforce Development Group to work with local employers to help them hire and train individuals who will receive occupational credentials from USDOL  after they successfully complete a USDOL Registered Apprenticeship Program.


Signing the Standards of Apprenticeship agreement today in the County Board Office were Kim Jones from the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark A. Kern. Ms. Jones is the State Director for the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship. The approved agreement is now registered as part of the National Apprenticeship Program in accordance with the basic Standards of Apprenticeship established by the Secretary of Labor.


“We are very honored to be the first Local Workforce Development Area in the State to receive this designation,” remarked St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark A. Kern. “Our staff at the Grants Department has been working diligently with the United States Department of Labor preparing for this day”, Kern added.


Information regarding the Registered Apprenticeship Program:

There are five core components in the Registered Apprenticeship Program: classroom training, on the job training (OJT), work mentorship, progressive wages, and national occupational credentialing.


The Standards negotiated between USDOL and the Grants Department use a competency-based model which allows expedited advancement based on demonstrated performance rather than a minimum timeframe spent in training. Companies that hire eligible workers are eligible to receive partial reimbursement of wages for up to six months during the training period.


What is an apprenticeship and what is a registered apprenticeship?

USDOL defines an apprenticeship as an arrangement that includes a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component where an individual obtains workplace-relevant knowledge and skills. Registered apprenticeships are high-quality, work-based learning, and post-secondary “earn-and-learn” models that meet national standards for registration with the USDOL.


What’s in it for job-seekers?

A registered apprenticeship program is a great way for job-seekers to start a new career. Here are some great reasons to do an apprenticeship.


  • Begin earning a paycheck from day one (Earn & Learn)
  • Learn a skill or trade through on the job training and have the potential to earn college credit
  • Succeed in a long-term career while earning a competitive salary
  • Increase wages as skill level increases
  • Receive nationally recognized certification
  • Gain valuable skills needed to succeed in your career


What’s in it for participating businesses?

Advantages of registered apprenticeship for businesses looking to recruit new talent and fill open positions:


  • Helps recruit and develop a highly skilled workforce.
  • Reduced turnover rates
  • Improves productivity and the bottom line
  • More diverse workforce
  • New pipeline of workers
  • Creates industry-driven flexible training solutions to meet local and national needs