ComEd chooses Libertyville for site of new regional training center
ComEd will create a regional training center at its north suburban headquarters in Libertyville to address a decreasing number of repair technicians and meet a future need for skilled jobs.
A portion of an existing building on the 24.6-acre campus will be converted for a classroom. But the main feature will be an outdoor training area for overhead line workers and those who maintain and repair increasingly complex electrical components and lines, according to the company.
The facility is an investment to recruit younger, more diverse line workers and to sharpen the skills of existing workers, ComEd officials say.
The Libertyville Overhead Training Center will be the company's first in the northern suburbs. It will expand offerings for overhead line workers now provided at training centers in Chicago, Joliet and Rockford, which are at capacity.
The company says it hopes to partner with community organizations as part of its workforce initiative for those seeking skilled, unionized trade careers in the northern suburbs, according to materials submitted to the village.
A study commissioned by ComEd indicates 150,000 jobs could be created by the clean energy transition in Illinois by 2050. The new center will enhance access to training to meet a growing demand for skilled workers, the company said.
"By and large, these investments in high quality training programs in Libertyville and across the region will open up doors for more area men and women to secure well-paying jobs and to play a role in building stronger and more climate resilient communities for our future," the company said in a statement.
The 1.67-acre center will be built on a largely unused parking lot at the southeast corner of the property, 1500 Franklin Blvd.
Training will include practice climbing areas on a series of 40-, 45- and 65-foot tall wooden poles, as well as ground-level equipment such as transformers.
Village officials last week approved changes to the original business park plan to allow for relocated parking, height variations, fencing and other elements. Groundbreaking is expected by mid-September, with completion anticipated by mid-December.
ComEd's north region center houses general operations, overhead and transmission crews, metering departments and other activities. Routine work and storm response are deployed from that location, which provides service from the Illinois/Wisconsin border south to Route 22 and west to Crystal Lake.
The center will fill a gap in the north region should crews need to be deployed in the middle of their training, the company said.