Senator Collins standing on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) issued the following statement Wednesday following Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget proposal address:

“The proposed budget brings meaningful investment in community-based programs that prevent, reduce and interrupt the violence within our neighborhoods. In addition, I am interested in preserving housing stability by working with the governor to address the disparities in home appraisals that continue to contribute to the racial wealth gap.”

“This budget proposal prioritizes building community, which is especially prevalent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Building community means supporting and protecting the entities aiming to reform oppressive systems that target Black and Brown populations, entrench racism and motivate violent behavior.”

“I look forward to beginning negotiations on creating and refining the most equitable financial plan possible.”

computer with marketing chartCHICAGO – Local businesses in the 16th District were recently awarded $1.8 million in funding from the Back to Business Program thanks to advocacy and support from State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago).

“Businesses across the state have been our front line defense against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Collins said. “These grants are giving our local businesses a much needed boost to get back on their feet as they continue to recover.”

The B2B grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget. So far – thanks to strong support from Senator Collins – DCEO has provided $111 million in B2B grants to nearly 3,000 small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on disproportionately impacted areas.

“The B2B program focuses on businesses in hard-hit sectors –restaurants, salons, fitness centers and organizations,” Collins said. “I am proud to see worthwhile investments in our local businesses to help them cover the costs of staying open and keeping our community members safe during these unpredictable times.”

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Visit the DCEO website for more information on the B2B program and view a full list of grantees here.

handymanCHICAGO – The Community Youth Development Institute of Chicago will receive a $500,000 grant thanks to a $9.6 million state investment program, State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

“Funding apprenticeship programs funds job opportunity and supports the diversification of the state’s most important workforces,” Collins said. “I am honored to represent a community organization that is committed to creating, crafting and assisting the careers in our local economies.”

The Community Youth Development Institute of Chicago focuses on the development of skills needed to thrive in students’ careers. The program offers an array of areas in which to conduct work-based learning. Activities are designed to provide students with the resources needed to access local career fields despite economic and other forms of disadvantage.

“Just as increasing representation in other fields allows for important and relevant information exchange, equity in the construction industry opens the door for our underrepresented populations and prepares them for the essential work they do for our state,” Collins said. “This is an opportunity to advance our communities of color, giving them the exposure and connections they need to launch successful and fulfilling careers.”

The $9.6 million grant comes from the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act. Funds are disbursed to organizations that will provide pre-apprenticeship training and supportive services in the construction industry as part of the Rebuild Illinois initiative, which seeks to expand equity in Illinois’ construction workforce. Diverse communities have not been appropriately represented in the construction industry and the trades, and the funds awarded through the grant program help overcome systemic barriers that inhibit entry into the trades for diverse populations.
Supporting pre-apprenticeship training programs that primarily serve underrepresented groups helps establish a pipeline of qualified candidates for the future. More information on Illinois Works can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Semi truck and sunriseSPRINGFIELD – Restaurants and truck stops will provide their employees with trainings and protocols to recognize the human trafficking problem in the state thanks to a law sponsored by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) that took effect Jan. 1.

“Human trafficking is a form of industrialized kidnapping and modern-day slavery that hides in plain sight,” Collins said. “Measures like this begin to confront the problem, which disproportionately affects the number of missing Black girls and women in Illinois.”

Collins’ new law brings awareness to state businesses and informs employees on how to report human trafficking to protect potential victims in all corners of the state. The training teaches employees to recognize the signs of human trafficking, allowing them to then enact protocols that signal the appropriate authorities.

The law also follows recent appointments to the Human Trafficking Task Force, which was created by a measure Collins sponsored. The Task Force is responsible for studying the growing number of missing women and girls in the state and giving recommendations to the General Assembly on how to fight it.

“I am proud to sponsor legislation that keeps the safety of at-risk Illinois residents in mind,” Collins said. “These efforts make our communities more aware of the situation while also equipping them with the knowledge they need to act accordingly.”

Human trafficking is an ever-present issue in every corner of the country. In passing the law, Illinois increases the protection of its residents.

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