CHICAGO, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten construction industry employers, three Chicago-area not-for-profit organizations, and ComEd joined forces today to announce a new Construction Jobs Educational Pilot Program to provide candidates interested in construction fields with the training, information and guidance needed to compete for good-paying, entry-level jobs in construction-related fields. ComEd, Aldridge, Asplundh, HBK Engineering, Intren, Lindblad Construction, Meade, M.J. Electric, Primera, PSC, and USIC have come together in an unprecedented move to support this effort, which will be run in parallel at three sites across the Chicagoland area by Bethel New Life, Chicago Urban League, and the National Latino Education Institute. The pilot is designed to address the construction industry's overall need to increase the pool of qualified minority candidates for construction jobs in Illinois. The pilot aims to provide 30 participants with career guidance, life skills training, and practical education about the construction industry, as well as the requirements for entering this industry. Each of the participating companies will also provide multi-day job shadowing experiences. "This program provides access to affordable training to prepare candidates for construction career opportunities" said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president, governmental and external affairs, ComEd. "At ComEd, we are committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the communities we serve. Through this program—and working collaboratively with our partners—we can make a real difference in these communities." The 11-week pilot, which is expected to launch this summer, will help participants develop the core competencies required in the industry, strengthen job readiness and life skills, and prepare for industry-required testing that is often a prerequisite for employment. It also includes job shadowing to give candidates an up-close look at the various career paths available. The agencies, using experienced trainers, will run the classes at their facilities, provide individual job counseling and guidance, and work with enrollees on job placement opportunities.