SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The 21st Century Employment Grant Program, to be created through a measure backed by state Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, will bring community colleges, high schools, and employers together to prepare workers for high-wage jobs and expand the Illinois economy.
“Employers across Illinois are facing a shortage of workers who have the skills and training needed to succeed in today’s workforce,” said Costa Howard. “We need to invest in vocational and technical training for the next generation, to make sure they have the right qualifications to get high-paying jobs and enjoy fulfilling careers. With the 21st Century Employment Grant Program, we’re working with employers and educators to build a prosperous future for all of us in Illinois.”
Costa Howard supported Senate Bill 1919, which creates the 21st Century Employment Grant Program. Under this legislation, employers who need workers with specific skills can enter into public-private partnerships with high schools and community colleges to create customized job training programs. The bill, backed by the Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and other business groups, passed the Illinois House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“To rebuild Illinois’ middle class, we need to make sure that our young people have the skills that are highly valued in today’s economy,” Costa Howard said. “Every young person in Illinois deserves the opportunity to access training programs, transition smoothly into the workforce, and make a real contribution to our state economy. I am proud to support this investment in our state’s workers, and I urge the governor to sign this legislation and help Illinois employers to create more good jobs.”