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Apprenticeship & Training

The skill of the operating engineer construction craftsman and operating engineer construction driver is a basic natural resource of the industry. In order that there may be continuing activity in promoting the supply of skilled adaptable craftsman of uniform high quality to the industry, the standards set forth herein have been adopted as a joint Labor and Management undertaking. These standards have been adopted and agreed upon under applicable Federal statutes governing apprenticeship labor standards, to govern the employment and training of apprentices as defined to become effective upon their approval.

To administer this apprenticeship system, Management and Labor have set up a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee between various contractor associations engaged in Engineering, which associations are party to agreements in the State of Illinois with Operating Engineers Local 965 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (AFL-CIO).

Operating Engineers Local 965’s Apprenticeship and Skill Improvement Committee for Central Illinois training program will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship, and will operate its Apprenticeship Program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30, and Equal Employment Opportunity Regulations of the State of Illinois. The number of actual apprentice openings will vary each year based upon the projected workload in the IUOE Local 965 territorial jurisdiction.


Selections of apprentices under this Program are made from qualified applicants on the basis of qualifications alone without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, marital status or occupational irrelevant physical requirements in accordance with objective standards which permit review, after full and fair opportunity standards which permit review, after full and fair opportunity for application. This program shall be operated on a non-discriminatory basis.

Basic Qualifications

To be eligible for apprenticeship, the following requirements must be met:

  1. At least eighteen (18) years old.
  2. Have completed a minimum of two (2) years of high school. The applicant will be able to< provide a high school transcript and/or GED Certification for evaluation purposes.
  3. Have permanent residence in one of these Illinois counties for a period of not less than six (6) months prior to date of application, or who having had a permanent home in said area has temporarily left with the intention of returning as a permanent home: Adams, Brown, Cass, Christian, DeWitt, Logan, Macon, Menard, Morgan, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott or Shelby.
  4. Have a photo ID. (All successful applicants must have and maintain a valid driver’s license and insurance for the duration of the apprenticeship.)<
  5. Must be able to obtain a Commercial Drivers License in accordance with Federal Regulations and Illinois State Law.
  6. A statement from a licensed physician stating physical ability to perform the work of the trade will be required within 30 days of being indentured.
  7. Applicants will pay a $25.00 non-refundable administrative fee, cash only.
  8. All applicants will be able to proficiently understand, speak and write in the English language.


All applicants for the Operating Engineers Local 965 Apprenticeship and Training

Programs are required to make an application at our training site located at:

Operating Engineers Apprenticeship and Skill Improvement

Committee for Central Illinois
3208 Young Road
Mechanicsburg, IL 62545

A cash non- refundable administrative fee is required at the time of application. These forms will be available November 1st through December 22nd from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM Monday through Friday and must be completed at our training site. All applicants will be required to meet the minimum requirements, if the applicant satisfactorily meets the basic qualifications, notification will be made as to when and where step one of the selection process begins.

Applications will be retained for a period of two (2) years.

Apprenticeship applications must be completed onsite and are not permitted to leave the premises. Before an applicant may be considered in the Apprentice selection process</ the following must be accomplished:

    1. High school transcript or copy of equivalent certificate
    2. Copy of birth certificate.</ (Hospital records do not qualify.)
    3. Copy of military discharge DD-214 (If applicable)
    4. Copy of photo ID (Drivers License)
    5. Construction Experience: Copies of certifiable records of any construction experience are not required, but will benefit you as an applicant into the apprenticeship program.

Completed applications with supportive information will be recorded and filed for further evaluation. Applicants that complete the application process by the date and time designated by the Trustees as the cut off date shall be offered the opportunity to proceed through the selection process.


Qualified applicants are selected by the highest points starting with 260 points ranking in descending order beginning with the highest score.

There are three steps to the selection of qualified applicants;

Steps 1 and 2 will be held at:

IUOE Local 965

3520 East Cook Street

Springfield, IL 62703

Step 1: The Written Exam (100 points)

This portion of the process shall consist of a written exam. After completion of the written exam, the scores of all applicants shall be listed in numerical order and applicants shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest score. Applicants who score 75% or higher, shall advance to Step 2 the oral interview.

Step 2: The Oral Interview (100 points)

The oral interview shall consist of 19 questions, worth a total of 100 points. The oral interview is conducted by the Trustees of Local 965’s Training Program. The Trustees shall keep individual scores and upon completion of each interview, the Trustees shall turn in the scores of the applicant and those scores shall be added together and divided by the number of Trustees. This score will be added to the applicants written test score and applicants shall be listed in numeric order from the highest combined score to the lowest combined score. Depending on the number of apprentices to be selected, twice the number of Applicants with highest scores shall proceed to the hands-on and final portion of the process (i.e. if twenty apprentices are to be selected the top forty scoring applicants will advance to the hands-on- testing).

Step 3: The Hands-On Testing (60 points)

The hands-on testing will be conducted at the training site in Mechanicsburg, Illinois.

This portion of the process shall consist of three hands-on tests with each test being worth 20 points. After completing this portion, each applicant’s score shall be added to the other two parts combined score and the 3 part combined score of each applicant shall be placed on a list in numerical order from the highest to the lowest score. The Trustees shall then start with the highest score and in descending order select apprentices until the desired number is reached.

Successful applicants shall then be required to take and pass a drug screening. If any applicants fail to meet this requirement, they shall be disqualified. In this event, the Trustees shall have the option to fill those vacancies from the list starting with the highest score until the desired number is reached.

Applicants not meeting qualification requirements will be notified in writing, by the Coordinator-Administrator indicating the reasons and advising the applicants that they may re-apply after the receipt of written notice of rejection providing the program is open for applications.