config

Rockford Literacy Council set to receive over $70,000 in adult literacy grants

adult literacy 070820ROCKFORD – To provide Rockford area residents with an opportunity to improve important life skills, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) announced that the Literacy Council in Rockford will receive more than $70,000 in grants from the secretary of state’s office to help adult learners develop reading, English-language and others skills. 

“Giving adults the ability to learn new skills not only provides them with new opportunities. It enhances the community they live in as well,” Stadelman said. “Everyone, no matter their age, should be given the chance to improve their skills and better themselves.”

More than 13,500 students will be served by adult literacy programs throughout Illinois. Supported by $5.6 million in state funds, the programs will depend on nearly 6,000 volunteer tutors to provide skills training for students, according to the secretary of state’s office. Adult literacy projects are focused on improving reading, writing and math and are targeted at Illinois adults who read below the 9th-grade level or speak English at a beginning level.

“I encourage Rockford-area residents to give back to their community and volunteer for this great program,” Stadelman said.

The Literacy Council in Rockford is set to receive a total of $70,690.

Those interested in volunteering should contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 800-321-9511.

Stadelman asks victims of fraud to come forward, help bring scammers to justice

UI fraudROCKFORD – To provide assurance to residents that are concerned about potential identity theft after recent claims of fraudulent unemployment cards, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is asking Rockford residents who believe they’ve been a victim to file a report with Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

“During this time of so much uncertainty, it’s sad that people are being taken advantage of,” Stadelman said. “If you believe you’ve been a victim of this scam, you can help other Illinoisans by filing a report with IDES. We need to hold these scammers accountable.”

Recent reports have shown Illinoisans have been receiving KeyBank debit cards and unemployment letters in the mail, despite never applying for benefits. According to IDES, individuals who received these mailings may be targets of fraud.

After receiving these reports, IDES launched an investigation into a national fraud scheme targeting claimants to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. IDES said unclear federal guidelines quickly developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, making claimants vulnerable to these scams. IDES also said this scheme is not associated to the PUA program issue experienced in May.

IDES employees are now working with people whose identities have possibly been stolen. The department is also working with local and federal law authorities to track down and prosecute those committing fraud.

Individuals who have received debit cards in the mail without applying for benefits should call IDES immediately at 1-800-814-0513 to report identity theft. Do not activate the debit card.

Victims of fraud are also encouraged to check their credit reports for possible suspicious activity, post a fraud alert and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for helpful tips on recognizing and reporting identity theft.

Stadelman announces additional funding for Rockford youth employment program

rockford park dist 071620ROCKFORD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) was joined by Governor J.B. Pritzker today to announce the expansion of the Illinois Department of Human Services’ COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program, creating additional employment opportunities for underserved youth in the Rockford area.

“This is an extremely important program. It gives these kids the opportunity to connect with each other and learn new working experience to prepare them for future careers,” Stadelman said. “This program can help level the playing field. It focuses on low-income kids in the community, giving them an opportunity they may have not otherwise had.”

Stadelman announces state broadband investment in Rockford area

Senator StadelmanROCKFORD – Rockford and Winnebago County will receive state and private funding to expand broadband internet to underserved residents as part of the state’s Illinois Connected Communities Grant Program. State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), who helped create the program, was pleased to see Rockford benefit from the first round of grants.

“One thing we’ve all learned during the pandemic is that access to broadband internet is a necessity,” Stadelman said. “Without reliable internet access, children can’t participate in e-learning, you can’t work from home, and you can’t easily access important services provided by the government and private companies.”

The program is directing $150,000 in small grants to 12 community and local government partners to develop plans to ensure access to high-speed broadband in their communities. The state grants will be paired with $150,000 in philanthropic matching funds. Together, these investments will help lay the groundwork for Connect Illinois, a $400 million broadband expansion program authorized by the General Assembly. Stadelman supported House Bill 62, which created the broadband program.

The Region 1 Planning Council, which is a regional government agency representing Northern Illinois, including Rockford and Winnebago County, is one of the 12 groups included in the first round of grant recipients.

The goal of Connect Illinois is to ensure that every Illinois resident has at least basic internet access by 2024.

“Internet access has become a basic utility, like electricity, water, or telephone service,” Stadelman said. “Whether you live in an urban neighborhood or country town, you can’t fully participate in today’s economy without the internet.”

Sen. Steve Stadelman

stadelman2014hs

34th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions; Higher Education; Public Health; Revenue; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Worked as a news anchor/reporter for WTVO-Channel 17 for 25 years, In 2003, his coverage of the state's death penalty earned him an Associated Press award for Best Documentary.

Associated Representatives:
John M. Cabello
Maurice A. West II