welder1SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved State Senator Ann Gillespie’s plan to establish a statewide workforce training grant that’s modeled after a successful program at a community college in central Illinois.

Senate Bill 1919 creates the 21st Century Employment Grant Program, which will bring together state and local resources to support career training programs at community colleges and high schools. The measure received bipartisan support and was approved by the Senate with no opposition.

“Illinois desperately needs to establish a pipeline of skilled workers for manufacturing, health care and technology careers. This measure will help us do that,” Gillespie said. “Career and technical education is a priority of mine, and I am excited to advance this important legislation.”

Under the plan, participating community colleges or high schools would train students for a career but also teach them professional skills that are needed to be successful in the workplace, such as preparing a resume, effective communication and time management.

The legislation requires community colleges or high schools to create an advisory board or partnership with local employers and economic developers. Furthermore, it requires state officials to track the progress of each grant recipient, analyze whether the programs are closing the employment or education gap for the labor needs of the region, and offer suggestions for additional training programs to support the labor needs of prospective businesses looking to locate in Illinois.

The measure is modeled in part after a job skills training initiative at Richland Community College in Decatur, which received a $1.5 million state grant in 2018. The collaboration of state, local and private resources in that community is expected to put as many as 225 people to work.

Category: News

04102019 Gillespie Sikh

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie is honoring Sikh Americans with a Senate resolution declaring April 2019 Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month.

Sikh is a well-established religious, social and ethnic group. It is the fifth-largest religion in the world, with more than 30 million Sikhs worldwide. An estimated half-million Sikhs live in the United States, and Illinois is home to about 25,000 Sikhs.

“Sikhs are a vital part of Illinois’ cultural and economic fabric, particularly in Chicago and the suburbs. It is important that we make an effort to better understand and appreciate the rich history and shared experiences of Sikh Americans,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said.

Senate Resolution 209, adopted by the Senate Wednesday, notes that Sikh Americans have distinguished themselves by fostering respect among all people through faith and service.

On Wednesday, Rajinder Mago with the Sikh Religious Society in Palatine delivered the invocation to the Illinois Senate. The Sikh Religious Society is in the 27th Senate District that Gillespie represents.

Category: News

GillespieSuffrage

State treasurer to issue commemorative medallions

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie is marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, as well as Illinois’ key role in the historic moment, with a pair of measures in the Illinois Senate.

Senate Resolution 79 declares June 10, 2019, as 19th Amendment Ratification Day in Illinois. Senate Joint Resolution 28 authorizes the Illinois treasurer to issue a commemorative medallion this year to mark the anniversary of women’s suffrage.

On June 4, 1919, Congress passed the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or the 19th Amendment, giving women the full right to vote. Illinois was the first state to vote to ratify the amendment on June 10, 1919.

“Women today have the ability to wield great power over the future of their communities, their state and this nation, all because women a century ago refused to give up their quest for the right to vote,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said. “Women may not be unified on every issue, but our desire to be engaged in government and informed about the world around us is what always brings us together.”

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said he is honored to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with a commemorative coin.

“The perseverance, hard work and sacrifice from women’s suffrage organizations, including those in Illinois, have paved the way for future generations of women to exercise their vote with strength and pride,” he said. “Let this commemorative coin serve as a celebration of the trailblazers who changed the course of history for all women.”

 

Fact sheet: The road to women’s suffrage in Illinois

  • In Illinois, women’s suffrage movements began as early as the 1860s.
  • An 1873 state statute gave women the opportunity to run for any school office not created by the Illinois Constitution. Women were given the right to vote for school officers in 1891.
  • Women’s suffrage organizations, such as the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, the Illinois Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Chicago Political Equality League, worked for more than a decade to secure women’s suffrage in Illinois. Prominent citizens, including Jane Addams and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, were part of the women’s suffrage movement in Illinois.
  • On June 26, 1913, Gov. Edward Dunne signed a law that gave women the right to vote for president and for local officers, making Illinois the first state east of the Mississippi River to give women the right to vote for president.
  • The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, gives women the right to vote in all elections nationwide.
  • In May 1919, U.S. Rep. James Mann of Illinois, a Chicago Republican who was born in McLean County, sponsored the 19th Amendment. It was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919. Mann was chairman of the House Woman Suffrage Committee.
  • Illinois was the first state to vote to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, 1919. Two other states, Michigan and Wisconsin, ratified the amendment on the same day.
  • The amendment cleared its final hurdle Aug. 18, 1920, when Tennessee became the 36th state to vote for it. U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on Aug. 26, 1920, ending decades of protest, marching, lobbying, picketing and civil disobedience by women’s rights advocates across the country.
  • On Nov. 2, 1920, more than 8 million women nationwide voted in elections for the first time.
  • Today, more than 4.2 million women are registered to vote in Illinois, accounting for more than half of the state’s 8.1 million registered voters. More than 525,000 more women are registered to vote than men, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Category: News

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