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Jim Underwood completed an apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 146 Decatur in 1982 and worked 13 years as a journeyman wireman before becoming an assistant business manager/organizer with the Local in 1995. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies in 2000 and started a career in state government in 2001 as Division Chief of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Physical Services building tradesmen and women. He was Personnel Manager and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Correctional Industries at the Illinois Department of Corrections before joining CDB as Deputy Director of Construction in 2008. Underwood served as the Executive Director of CDB from 2011 to 2015, and after four years as the Chief Procurement Officer for the Illinois State Treasurer, he returned to the role of Executive Director in May of 2019.