BennettTechnicalSPRINGFIELD- A survey released earlier this year revealed there will be more than 500 new jobs in central Illinois that will need to be filled by those trained in career and technical programs such as welding, trucking and design engineering.

However, employers will be unable to fill these jobs due to workforce shortages in the region.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced Senate Bill 1393 to promote a career and technical education to help alleviate workforce shortages in Illinois.

“Not all students are interested in four-year degrees. Career and technical training is an opportunity for students to jump start their training while in school and find good-paying jobs immediately after graduation,” Bennett said. “We need to match Illinois residents with high-demand jobs to keep employers and workers in Illinois.”

SB 1393 requires the Illinois State Board of Education to identify industries and occupations in Illinois that face workforce shortages or a lack of adequately trained, entry-level workers and award grants of $1,000 per pupil to school districts for each student who successfully completes an industry-recognized certification program that was designed to mitigate workforce shortages.

“There are real jobs here at home. This initiative will ensure we continue to work to guarantee Illinois’ workforce meets the demands of our economy,” Bennett said.

The measure passed the Senate’s Education Committee and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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