• glowiak 040419OAKBROOK TERRACE – Illinois now has new laws in place to encourage residents to pursue vocational training programs.

    State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) supported three new laws that will help expand and attract students to vocational and apprenticeship programs to help expand the state’s economy.

    Glowiak Hilton, an engineer herself, passed a new law that will require the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to conduct a study on the potential expansion of apprenticeship programs.

    The study outlined in Senate Bill 2024 will focus on underserved communities with high unemployment. The Commerce Department will report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by June 1, 2020.

    “This study will ensure that the state dedicates more time to research how we can better meet the needs of employers across Illinois, Glowiak Hilton said. “Our goal is to ensure the state’s workforce is meeting the needs of employers to maximize opportunities to grow our economy.”

    Glowiak Hilton also supported two measures to increase enrollment in apprenticeship and workforce development programs in Illinois.

    The first, Senate Bill 1167, creates the Adult Vocational Community College Scholarship Program, administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.  The program would help support non-traditional students. The scholarship would be enough to cover the cost of tuition and fees to attend the community college without exceeding $2,000 per recipient per academic year.

    “This new program will open up the doors for non-traditional students who are struggling with the costs of vocational programs,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Removing financial blocks will help equip Illinois workers with the training to be successful in jobs of the future.”

    The second, Senate Bill 1591, creates a tax credit of $3,500 to incentivize employers to assist apprentices with tuition at Illinois community colleges. The credit is limited to employers engaged in a registered apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor.

    “By investing in our workforce’s education, we are investing in our state’s future and economic prosperity,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Let’s continue to work together to ensure workers are ready to meet the needs of the companies of the 21st century and beyond.”

    Fifty-three percent of Illinois jobs require more than a high school degree but less than a four-year college degree, yet only 43 percent of Illinois workers are trained at that level.

    These measures received bipartisan support. Senate Bill 1167 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 while Senate Bill 1591 and Senate Bill 2024 go into effect immediately.

  • gillespie 052119CHICAGO – A bill sponsored by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) that would give employers a tax break for assisting apprentices with tuition was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker today.

    “When I came to Springfield, I wanted to provide young people with affordable, alternative learning opportunities,” said Gillespie. “This credit will incentivize employers to make meaningful investments in their labor force and give young people marketable job skills.”

    Senate Bill 1591 creates a tax credit of $3,500 to incentivize employers to assist apprentices with tuition at Illinois community colleges. The credit is limited to employers engaged in a registered apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor. This measure is an initiative of the Office of the Governor.

    Senate Bill 1591 is effective immediately.

  • sims 032719SPRINGFIELD—A plan to make Illinois more competitive in the data centers industry is one step closer to becoming law.

    Under the plan sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), companies operating data centers in Illinois would not have to pay sales or use tax for materials used in the construction or operation of a data center.

    “Illinois has the opportunity to be a leader in the data center industry,” Sims said. “Right now, we are fourth in the nation in this fast-growing industry. Investing in companies that bring data centers to Illinois will bring revenue and jobs to the state.”

    To qualify for the tax exemption, a data center must be located in Illinois, create at least 20 new jobs over a 60-month period and be carbon-neutral or get a certification under green building standards.

    New data centers must have $250 million in new capital over a five-year period. Existing data centers must make that same amount over five years on or before Jan. 1, 2020.

    Indiana and other neighboring states are building data centers that border the state of Illinois, putting the pressure on Illinois to stay competitive, Sims said.

    “We cannot allow states like Indiana to monopolize this industry,” Sims said. “This tax exemption would make Illinois very attractive for those looking to start or relocate in this growing business.”

    Senate Bill 1591 passed out of the State Revenue Committee Wednesday. It is set to head to the Senate floor for consideration.