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‘Illinois Works’ bill signed into law to keep construction jobs local

CHICAGO (WREX) — While Illinois is undergoing a $45 billion capital program named Rebuild Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law Tuesday to make sure construction jobs stay local.

The Illinois Works Job Program makes a $25 million investment into community-based organizations to recruit apprentices. The apprentices will then get the training to work construction jobs in their area.

Through this pre-apprenticeship program, bid credit program and review panel, the new law aims to ensure the Illinois Works Jobs Program can deliver on its goal of building and maintaining a diverse workforce on Rebuild Illinois projects.

“In order to build a healthy and comprehensive economy, we must supply minority businesses with full and fair access to local and state contraction opportunities,” said Sen. Napoleon Harris III (D-Chicago). “I applaud Gov. Pritzker for seeing the significance of this measure and hope to see local governments taking advantage of the business enterprise program to decrease the inequality gap for minority, veterans and female-owned businesses.”

“This legislation creates economic opportunity for working people that have typically been left out of the construction industry,” said House Assistant Majority Leader Will Davis (D- Homewood). “The Rebuild Illinois capital program makes an unprecedented investment in our state, and we’re making sure that benefits all of our communities.”

Senate Bill 177 takes effect January 1, 2020.

Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga is the content manager at 13 WREX. She joined the team in 2015 as the 5, 6 and 10PM news producer after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She was 13 WREX’s assignment editor from 2017 to 2018.

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