OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (September)

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce


OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (September) (Essex, IL) — Each September, we take time to reflect on the hard work that makes our state and our country such a special place.

Labor Day, to me and my family, is much more than another holiday. It’s a chance to thank our working men and women for their sacrifices and service, and to put the spotlight on new opportunities to build meaningful careers and support our communities.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering $15 million in state grant funding to expand job training and career opportunities through the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship program. Illinois Works is the capital construction program that is putting thousands of people to work across the state by injecting billions of dollars in economic activity through repairs and improvements on our highways, schools, and other public buildings.

This new funding is a great opportunity for local small businesses who qualify to provide new career paths and the training needed to support new apprentices and prospective workers on area job sites. This investment in our local workforce will pay big dividends, now and well into the future.

I was also proud to announce this month the Illinois Department of Transportation is spending more than $400 million on road and bridge improvement projects around the 40th Senate District over the next six years. The funding is part of IDOT’s Multi-Year Plan under the state’s continuing efforts to rebuild our critical transportation infrastructure.

Two top projects for our area in this plan starting next year will be rehabilitating pavement and modernizing the roadway along IL 115 in Kankakee, and pavement preservation along Route 1 in South Chicago Heights. I will share more on these projects and others in the pipeline as construction moves ahead, and I look forward to seeing the jobs supported and economic growth that develops from extending our roads’ lifespan and usefulness.

Local leaders in Bourbonnais can celebrate for receiving a $3 million grant toward their Community Campus project, which I helped to support through the Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets funding program. The project will bring millions of dollars in investment, create jobs, and help the Village revitalize their Town Center and provide some really exciting recreational and entertainment opportunities for residents and visitors.

Also part of the Main Street grant program were $3 million for Route 50 corridor upgrades for the Village of Bradley, and nearly $2.5 million for downtown street reconstruction and streetscape work in the Village of Peotone.

These are great example of a local and state partnership that drives dollars into real results and puts people to work.

In November, voters will be asked to support labor collective bargaining through the Workers’ Rights Amendment on the fall ballot. I voted to put this question on the ballot when it was proposed in 2021, and I would encourage you to learn more about the issue before casting your vote.

I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at http://www.senatorpatrickjoyce.com/. I will continue to share the latest news on my website and on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/senPatrickjoyce40/.

Sen. Patrick Joyce

D-Essex, 40th State Senate District

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (September)


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