SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie’s plan to get more social workers into the employment pipeline quicker in Illinois passed the Senate Thursday.

Senate Bill 1888 would allow students who are completing their social work master’s degrees to sit for licensure exams in the final semester of the program, rather than having to wait to pursue a license after they have their degree in hand.

“We have a well-documented shortage of social workers in Illinois. Streamlining the process for obtaining a license will help these professionals more quickly find jobs in communities where their expertise is desperately needed,” said Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat.

The legislation is an initiative of the National Association of Social Workers.

“This is such a critical bill to address the workforce shortages we are having throughout the state, but particularly in rural areas,” said Kyle Hillman, director of legislative affairs for the organization’s Illinois chapter. “If we can get social workers licensed quicker, we can get these practitioners into our agencies quicker to provide the needed mental health care in such demand.”

Category: News

03282019 Gillespie

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois would identify gaps between workforce needs and available apprenticeship programs under a plan by State Senator Ann Gillespie that was approved by the Senate Wednesday.

Senate Bill 2024 passed with bipartisan support and no opposition. It was Gillespie’s first time presenting a bill before the Senate.

The legislation requires the state to study apprenticeship programs and workforce needs in Illinois and file a report with the General Assembly.

“My goal is to see what we can do in Illinois to close the gap between workforce needs and available apprenticeship programs,” said Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat who has made career and technical education one of her priorities. “Under this plan, the state would devote more time to studying demographic and regional workforce trends so that we can better prepare to meet the needs of employers and employees in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 2024 would require the state to research existing apprenticeship programs, assess the workforce and apprenticeship needs in each region of the state, identify regional gaps, identify funding streams for programs, compile data on trends and industrial needs of each region, identify job fields that have high participation rates among diverse communities, and more.

Proponents include the Technology and Manufacturing Association, Associated Builders and Contractors and the Young Invincibles.

Category: News

gillespie 032119SPRINGFIELD – A successful grant program that is putting people to work in central Illinois would be available to community colleges in the suburbs and elsewhere throughout the state under a proposal from State Senator Ann Gillespie.

The proposal would establish the manufacturing training grant program. It 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.

“This is a phenomenal program, and I think it could be replicated at community colleges throughout Illinois with the state’s help,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “With the proper investment and strong partnerships, we can put people to work in manufacturing, health care and technology jobs in communities statewide.”

Read more: Gillespie sets sights on boosting career and technical education

Category: News

Vaping350SPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans would have to be 21 to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes under a measure approved by the state Senate Wednesday.

State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) is a co-sponsor of the legislation, House Bill 345.

“The medical evidence is clear and irrefutable: smoking imperils the health of children and young adults,” Gillespie said. “The sooner we implement this law, the fewer children we’ll see on the path to long-term smoking and the life-altering medical consequences that come with that choice.”

Raising the smoking age is expected to reduce the overall smoking rate by about 12 percent.

Under House Bill 345, consumers must be at least 21 to purchase tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products.

Category: News

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Springfield Office:
108D Capitol Building
Springfield IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-4471

Arlington Heights Office:
171 W. Wing St., #202
Arlington Heights IL 60005
Phone: 847-749-1880