SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Nathan Reitz, D-Steeleville, recently supported new legislation to create the 21st Century Employment Grant Program, which will bring community colleges, high schools, and local employers together to prepare workers for high-wage jobs and expand the Illinois economy.
“As a former member of IBEW Local 51 and a Plant Supervisor at Baldwin Power Plant, I know that our state economy has a serious shortage of workers for skilled, high-wage jobs, so I am taking action to help prepare the next generation of skilled workers,” said Reitz. “I understand that training employees can be a major expense for businesses. This legislation will offset the cost for employers to invest in vocational and technical training, which will support local labor and help to build a skilled workforce.”
Reitz supported Senate Bill 1919, which creates the 21st Century Employment Grant Program. Under this legislation, employers can enter into public-private partnerships to create customized job training programs specific to the skills they are looking for in workers. The measure was also backed by business groups including the Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, and recently advanced to the governor for consideration.
“I am committed to building a stronger Illinois by building a stronger middle-class, and that includes investing into an economy that creates high-wage jobs,” continued Reitz. “Workers that are trained in trades are critical to our community, so investing into a skilled workforce will translate to growth in our economy. I urge the governor to sign this legislation to help fuel Illinois’ economic potential.”