SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As technological advancements cause manufacturing to require a more skilled workforce, state Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, passed a measure out of the House that would introduce a new state program aimed at educating underserved students.
“When young people finish high school, the skills that they learned often do not provide as many opportunities for employment without having an advanced degree, keeping good people from find good-paying jobs,” said Flowers. “The point of our public school system is to prepare these young people with the training they need to be successful and clearly the options need to be expanded to fit today’s needs.”
Flowers is the sponsor of House Bill 5062, a bipartisan measure that requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to develop and maintain a program aimed at facilitating education in advanced manufacturing technical skills. The bill provides that, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, the new program should be implemented in at least 12 high schools throughout the state. The goal of the program is to bring disadvantaged students so ISBE must introduce these programs in at least two schools on the south side, two schools on the west side and two in the south suburbs of the City of Chicago, where many underserved students have difficulty finding gainful employment upon graduation.
“If we don’t put resources in place to help young people in our community get the relevant skills to find employment, then we simply aren’t doing our jobs,” said Flowers. “The goal here is to provide pertinent information to reduce unemployment and bring stability to families in communities that have been underserved for far too long.”
House Bill 5062 passed out of the House on Wednesday with bipartisan support. It has been placed on the Senate calendar and is expected to be heard for consideration next week.
State Rep. Mary Flowers represents the 31st district, which includes portions of the Auburn-Gresham community in Chicago, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Countryside and others. For more information, please contact Rep. Flowers’ constituent service office at 773-471-5200 or email her email@example.com.