Under this Program, grants will be awarded to young adults accepted into qualified Apprenticeship programs in the Central Illinois area. The grants will be awarded for assistance with the purchasing of necessary tools, personal protection equipment and transportation costs in the pursuit of completing an Apprenticeship in a skilled trade. These grants of up to $500 will be awarded on a monthly or on an as needed basisis


  • Young Adults with a High School Degree or equivalent (GED) interested in pursuing an Apprenticeship in the skilled trades (e.g. electrician, plumber, and carpenter, steamfitters, etc.).
  •  Applicant will be accepted into a qualified Apprenticeship program, be willing to work hard and commit to a self-supporting career path. Refer to the following site for approved Apprenticeships– www.westcentralbtc.org
  •  Applicants must provide evidence of financial need. (Tax return or latest pay stub)
  •  Grants will be used to purchase tools and equipment directly or issued to the apprentice as applicable.
  •  Applicants must provide a copy of the letter of acceptance into the Apprenticeship program and statement from the organization advising the Foundation that the applicant is in good standing with the applicable program.

Mail one copy of a completed and typed application package to:

Jon Denzer Bear Hug Foundation
Apprenticeship Assistance Program

c/o Carol Denzer

3538 Westbrook Road Chillicothe, IL 61523

Or email to jonsbearhugfoundation@gmail.com (This includes application and letters of reference and proof of financial need)

Applications may be downloaded from the Jon Denzer Bear Hug Foundation website at:


Please submit any questions to: carol.denzer@gmail.com         Phone 309-256-7189