Technical Opportunities Program
Interested in a construction career, but don’t know where to start?
TOP is a Union Construction preparation pre-apprenticeship program.
Our FREE 12-week, 180-hour training program will help you learn about all the different Trade options you could pursue as a career; like Carpenters, Electricians, Ironworkers, Pipefitters, Laborers, Plumbers, Painters, Sheet Metal Workers, Bricklayers, and much more!
In TOP, you'll learn hands-on skills, job site safety, physical strengthening, and classroom work to prepare you to successfully take the different Union Apprenticeship aptitude entry exams.
We also assist with applying to the Union Trade Apprenticeship program openings of your interest.
- FREE 12-week, 180-hour NCCER accredited Pre-Apprenticeship
- TOP is 3 days a week
- Two weekday evenings per week (6 pm–9:30 pm)
- Every Saturday (7:30 am – 3 pm)
- Strict Attendance Policy
- Math Comprehension
- Apprenticeship Entry Exam Preparation
- Physical Strengthening
- Basic Construction Safety
- Job Readiness Skills
- Resume Building
- Apprenticeship Application Support
- Post-graduation Case Management
- Hands-on Workshops
- Field Trips to Apprenticeship Training Centers
- Mock Interviews with Industry Professionals
- High School Diploma or GED
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificate or other proof of eligibility to work in the United States
- Social Security Card
- 6 months of past income/paystubs
- Physically fit
- Pass our Program Entry Aptitude Test
- Pass a drug test
Frequently Asked Questions
No - Graduating from the TOP Program does not have a direct entry with an apprenticeship program. However, 70% of TOP graduates are successful in entering an apprenticeship training center of their choice.
TOP provides general preparation that applies to the majority of the Illinois Union construction industry. Program graduates have gone on to become successful electricians, carpenters, bricklayers, plumbers, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, laborers, ironworkers, cement finishers, painters, drywall finishers, and more.
This training is available free of charge to participants!
However, it is not free to provide, so we are looking for applicants whose commitment to this career path is deserving of the investment made by our funders.
Apprenticeship Training Centers open for new applications at various times throughout the year. Keep in contact with us so we can continue to get you the most up-to-date information.
For more information about apprenticeship programs and construction careers, please attend an information session at CWIT.
Register for an information session held every Wednesday.
10:30 a.m. the first & third Wednesday of every month
5:30 p.m. the second & fourth Wednesday of every month
Register below to join us on our Zoom Information Session!Register for an information session.
- Math Comprehension: Fractions, decimals, ratios and percentages, area and perimeter, square roots, exponents, feet and inches and basic algebra
- Apprenticeship Entry Exam Preparation: Spatial relations, mechanical reasoning, and numerical reasoning
- Physical Strengthening: Stretching, stamina, balance, endurance and weight-lifting exercises
- Basic Construction Safety & Skills: Jobsite safety, tool recognition, tool safety, measuring, and blueprint reading
- Job Readiness: Goal setting, interviewing, resume building, financial budgeting, apprenticeship application guidance
- Hands-on Workshops: Learning basic experiences in carpentry, electrical, laborer, plumbing, pipefitting, bricklaying, and more instructed by experienced tradeswomen.