Durbin Announces $2.5 Million In Federal Funding For EV Infrastructure And Workforce Training

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced $2.5 million in new federal funding he secured to support electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and workforce training that will lead to good paying jobs in the electrical industry. In the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus appropriations bill, Durbin secured $500,000 for IBEW to support its career training program at local high schools and $2 million for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to upgrade its 103rd Street bus garage to accommodate electric buses and charging infrastructure.

“The Chicago region has the workforce, institutions, and leadership to play an important role in the EV revolution. With the funding I secured in the FY22 omnibus appropriations bill and passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are poised to be a national leader in building a cleaner, stronger economy,” Durbin said. “IBEW is leading the effort to train the next-generation of skilled workers to build and install new EV infrastructure, and the CTA is committed to building a more efficient and environmentally friendly network of electric buses. I will continue working to provide federal support for these initiatives that will improve our infrastructure and economy.”

“IBEW Local 134 has been at the forefront of the energy transition, training a diverse and inclusive workforce through partnerships with area high schools, community colleges, and community-based organizations. With the support of addition funding secured by Senator Durbin, IBEW will be able to expand our programming to additional schools and reach more students.  These programs are designed to create a pathway to good paying, union careers in the electrical industry that provide economic stability and a solid footing in the middle class to benefit future generations,” said Gene Kent, Director at IBEW NECA Technical Institute (IN-Tech).

Durbin secured $500,000 for IBEW to support their career training program for high school students in the Chicago region. This program will bolster the pipeline to unionized jobs in a growing industry and increase the number of qualified workers in Illinois for EV-related projects. As green-industries continue to grow, highly-skilled electrical workers with experience working on EV and renewable energy infrastructure will be in high demand.  Further investments from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law by President Biden last year, could lead to even higher green job growth in Illinois.

Durbin also secured $2 million for the CTA’s 103rd Street Bus Garage, which will allow the CTA to redesign the garage to accommodate electric buses and charging infrastructure. The CTA has committed to transitioning its bus fleet to 100 percent electric by 2040, and redesigning their main bus garages on the South and West sides will allow electric buses to better serve routes across areas of Chicago that historically have had some of the worst air quality in the city. To date, Durbin has helped secure more than $70 million in federal funding for the CTA to electrify its bus fleet, and IIJA includes $5 billion in competitive grant funding for low emission transit buses, which the CTA is eligible for.