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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois

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Jobs, Skills & Innovation: Congresswoman Kelly Introduces Today’s American Dream Act

Feb 22, 2017
Press Release

University Park, IL – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly introduced the Today’s American Dream Act (H.R. 1084). She announced the bill and outlined its provisions at a press conference hosted at Governor's State University.

“For too many Illinois families, the recovery hasn’t come quickly or completely enough. They are still struggling to make ends meet, let alone live the American Dream,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “We have to act to empower these struggling families with the security of a good job, marketable skills, a quality education, health care and homeownership. We also need to re-invest in our communities so Illinois becomes a place people move to, not away from.”

University Park Mayor Vivian Covington and Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg joined the Congresswoman for the bill announcement, along with representatives from OAI; Manufacturing Renaissance, Chicago and Young Manufacturer’s Association.

“While I’m honored to introduce this bill – it isn’t my bill; it’s YOUR bill. It’s the product of listening sessions and town hall conversations – a product of the hardest working hands, the best and brightest minds and the most compassionate hearts of our community coming together to outline a clear pathway that establishes security for all families. The security of a good job, of a home you own and of a quality education; the security needed to hope for a better future,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly.

The Today’s American Dream Act is already winning support from major economic organizations.

"We admire and support Congresswoman Kelly's vision for community development," said Dan Swinney, Executive Director of Manufacturing Renaissance.  "This bill calls for the kind of investment in the education and training infrastructure that will help close the skills gap in our regional manufacturing sector in a scalable way, getting thousands of people access to career-track jobs and getting companies access to the kind of talent they need to be successful in today's global economy."

The bill contains several provisions including:

  • Addressing the skills gap that’s leaving 15,000 Chicago-area manufacturing jobs unfilled by expanding student aid for career and technical education programs;
  • Allowing states to use Hardest Hit Program funds to remove commercial blight, something that costs local taxpayers millions each year;
  • Empowering mature workers [1] with targeted job training programs including computer literacy and resume writing;
  • Helping young people [2] launch successful careers through business tax credits for internship programs, apprenticeships, expanded work opportunity tax credits and greater program flexibility to allow for innovation, and
  • Preparing students [3] for the jobs of tomorrow by recruiting and training a generation of highly qualified STEM teachers today.

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 [1] Half of all mature workers (55+) who lost their jobs between 2010-2014 were still not working after 5 years.

[2] The youth unemployment rate (16-19) is more than tree times the national unemployment rate.

[3] At present, just 25 percent of all high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) computer science courses.

Robin Kelly

 

 

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