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.