A Laborers’ apprenticeship is not only a decent career path, it’s also a higher education path. Tracy Coats, who completed her Laborers apprenticeship in November 2017, also completed an Associates degree at Heartland Community College in December. The community college recognized her Laborers training hours as equivalent to college credit. Coats had to take extra classes in math, English and science to gain her Associate’s degree. She completed those classes at Illinois Central College. “I wanted an Associate’s Degree,” she said. “I had the hour, I had to take a few extra classes. I’m hoping this will push me toward other opportunities, along with the combined experience in my field.” Coats said she enjoys outdoor work; “Laborers work is different all the time; I’m not an inside person,” she noted. She worked on pipelines and a variety of other projects. Laborers Local 231 business manager Bob Schroeder commended Coats. “Going through a successful apprenticeship takes self-initiative and a willingness to tackle different kinds of work. Tracy Coats went above and beyond that, using her Laborer apprenticeship hours to complete this degree. That shows initiative and a worker willing to go the extra mile. This makes Laborers 231 proud. She is an asset for any contractor who engages her.”
After a relatively heated Democratic Primary Election season, Illinois AFL-CIO endorsed candidate for Governor, JB Pritzker easily won the nomination by nearly 20 points with 45 percent of the vote in the six-candidate primary.
Pritzker won overwhelmingly, taking 98 of 102 counties and all regions of the state. He will face incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner, who barely escaped a primary upset - winning by a razor-thin 2.76 points over arch-conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives.