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October 2019

Walsh Construction welcomes second Pre-Apprenticeship class to Cook County Hospital renovation project

CHICAGO – Walsh Construction welcomed four Chicago pre-apprentices into its project team at the old Cook County Hospital renovation on the city's Near West Side.

Four new pre-apprentices were greeted by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board Commissioner Dennis Deer, Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. (27th Ward), as well as project leaders from Walsh Construction, Murphy Development Group, MB Real Estate, Granite Companies, The Target Group and Communities Empowered Through Construction. After a series of applications and interviews, these individuals were chosen to participate in a program that will provide industry-based training and preparationto succeed in the construction industry.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for these individuals to start their construction careers," said Jeff Pezza, vice president at Walsh Construction. "This program has the support of so many people, and we look forward to seeing these pre-apprentices excel in our industry."

The Pre-Apprentice Program, sponsored by Walsh Construction is an eight-week exposure program where candidates will gain construction experience by participating at the old Cook County Hospital job site. Pre-Apprentices will shadow management staff, superintendents. They will select a trade of their choosing and shadow the foreman for the last four weeks of the program. Industry-based training is also made available, including but not limited to OSHA 10 Hour, Flagging Certification, Fall Protection, Confined Space and First Aid.

“We are rooting for you and we want you to succeed," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said to the pre-apprentices during the kick-off event. "Construction jobs are great jobs that will help you support yourselves and your family."

The old Cook County Hospital building, which stood vacant for 16 years, is being redeveloped into a dual branded hotel along with retail and medical office space. The redeveloped structure will serve as the cornerstone to the new Harrison Square Chicago. The redevelopment of the old Cook County Hospital building is expected to be complete in mid 2020.

“This opportunity is not giving you a job, it's giving you a career.” remarked Alderman Walter Burnett.

Walsh Construction's first pre-apprentice program at the Cook County Hospital renovation project saw four out of five pre-apprentices gain employment with union subcontractors.



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