Mid-Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters - The JATC Apprenticeship and Training Program

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The JATC Apprenticeship and Training Program

Carpentry is one of the oldest and most respected professions in the world. It requires a wide variety of skills and offers a magnitude of challenges. It is also one of the most exciting and satisfying careers you can choose. The future is in your hands - and we have a plan that can help you obtain not just a job, but a rewarding career.

The Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Southern Region covers 41 counties throughout central Illinois. Our apprenticeship and training facility is located at 904 Brenkman Drive in Pekin, Illinois. Our training program combines hands-on classroom education by qualified instructors with on-the-job training. This "earn while you learn" approach gives you the opportunity to earn a good living while developing highly marketable skills...for life. This is an exciting and satisfying career.

Our on-site facilities include a dormitory for students living outside a 50-mile radius of Pekin, giving you the opportunity to take advantage of the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program, no matter where you live within the district. The dormitory features a comfortable, home-like setting with recreational facilities and catered meals free of charge for all apprentices.

An apprentice is someone who is learning a trade by working under the guidance of skilled workers called journeyman. Apprentices start at 50% of the journeyman's pay rate. Wages are increased at periodic intervals until graduating to journeyman status.

Apprentices are required to attend school for four weeks each year for a period of four years. The training is free; however, you will not receive wages while attending school. Failure to attend scheduled classes will terminate you from the program.

Applying is easy. Anyone wishing to enter the Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program may do so by meeting the following qualifications and submitting an application.


  • Residency within the territorial area of Mid-Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters. This includes the following counties: Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Cole, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Ford, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Knox, Livingston, Logan, McDonough, McLean, Macon, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Tazewell, Vermilion, Warren and Woodford.
  • Minimum age: 17
  • Education: You must possess a high school diploma or a GED equivalency certificate.
  • Other: Applicants must have a valid driver's license and must be drug free and physically able to perform the work of the trade.

Application Process

Applicants qualifying for the program must complete and submit an application to join.

(Application is an Adobe PDF file. You will need the free Adobe Reader to view and print it.)

Applications are accepted at 904 Brenkman Drive, Pekin, IL, 61554 on a daily basis, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., except for holidays. To be considered complete, your application must include:

  • Copies of your birth certificate, driver's license, high school diploma (or GED)
  • A DD-214 to verify any military training and/or experience
  • A $10 administrative fee (cashier's check, money order or cash only - no personal checks accepted)

The recruitment, selection, employment and training of apprentices during their apprenticeship shall be without discrimination because of age, race, color, religion, national origin or sex. The sponsor will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the Apprenticeship Program as required by the rules of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training; U.S. Department of Labor; and Title 29 Part 30 of the code of Federal Regulation.

Once your application is complete, you are placed in an eligibility pool. At that point, two conditions are necessary for the intake of new apprentices from the eligibility pool:

  1. There must be low employment (30% or less) of apprentices within the local union where you live; and
  2. There must be jobs available in your area.

When these conditions are stable, you will be informed of the time and place to take a qualifying test, developed and validated by the local JATC. If you pass the test (achieving a score of 70% or higher) you will be notified of a meeting to attend to receive your letter of introduction and list of signatory contractors.

Once you are hired, have your contractor complete the letter of introduction and report (with completed letter) to your local union office. You will then fill out the necessary paperwork and be referred to the job.


You will be placed on a 120-day probation period upon acceptance. During this period, termination/withdrawal may be made by the Joint Apprentice and Training Committee at the request of either party in the agreement you will be asked to sign. After the probation period, the committee may cancel the agreement for due cause, such as lack of progress or lack of interest on your part as an apprentice.

The Next Level

Once you acquire journeyman status, you will be among the most respected professionals in your field. As a union carpenter, millwright, millcabinet, floor coverer or piledriver, you will also receive numerous benefits, including a work contract, health insurance, a retirement program and much more. Becoming a union member can open the door to a solid future.

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