2019 DuPage County Trade Apprenticeship Expo

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Eighteen Building Trade organizations set up booths for the 2019 DuPage County Trade Apprenticeship Expo.

“It’s our opportunity to open the doors wide open to all the building trade organizations in DuPage County and have the residents come in, students, parents, teachers, to learn what each trade is about,” said PowerForward DuPage Executive Director Karyn Charvat, who also organized the trade apprenticeship expo.

A Hands-On Experience

Soon-to-be apprentices were able to get up close with solar panels, pipe bending, and even virtual heavy machinery.

And while they did that, they spoke with trades workers who explained the benefits of an apprenticeship.

Filling A Need

The expo started last year when Charvat noticed a gap forming in the trade industries.

“With the baby boomers retiring, they are really going to be leaving quite a gap in the workforce,” she said. “And realizing that younger generations don’t necessarily have the interest in the trades that other generations before them did, we realized there needed to be some external effort, not only on our behalf but all the trades.”

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates about 500,000 Americans have started an apprenticeship since the start of 2017.

Laying the groundwork to keep the trades thriving.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.