elgin business district ResizedELGIN – To foster economic growth and ensure area residents and businesses are supported in their recovery from the pandemic, Elgin and Kane County will see more than $180,000 in relief grants thanks to the support of State Senator Cristina Castro.

Through the Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery (RISE) program, Elgin and Kane County will see grants to help local governments and economic development organizations develop and create plans to foster relationships with business.

“Funding local economic development organizations helps ensure that families and businesses alike will benefit from this investment,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “These grant funds empower our communities to address the pandemic’s impact on local economies and direct their own economic recovery.”

The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin will receive $39,620 in RISE Grants to bolster its economic recovery plan, with a focus on Elgin’s Downtown Central Corridor. Kane County is set to receive $150,000 to support and study impacts on industry, mental health and broadband access.

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Category: News

 Castro receives legislative award for work expanding access to adult educationWASHINGTON, D.C. – State Senator Cristina Castro’s support for adult education is being recognized with a 2022 Legislative Champion Award from the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE). The Coalition announced the award this week as part of its efforts to raise awareness leading up to national Adult Education and Family Literacy Week which begins Sept. 19.

Senator Castro has sponsored legislation in the Illinois Senate to help erase the stigma of a high school equivalency diploma versus a high school diploma and to reduce the cost of GED® exams for adult learners, both essential to adult education programs in Illinois.

“I am proud of the achievements we’ve accomplished here in Illinois to support education and lifelong learning,” said Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “I am honored to receive this designation and look forward to continuing this work to ensure that adult learners and educators are supported and thrive in their communities.”

“I applaud Senator Cristina Castro, recipient of the Legislative Champion Award, for her outstanding contributions and support of adult education,” said Sharon Bonney, CEO of COABE.

For more information about the Coalition on Adult Basic Education, Adult Education and Family Literacy Week and the Legislative Champion Awardees, visit www.coabe.org.

Category: News

castro hb120gELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement after Texas’ governor chartered buses to transport immigrants from Texas to Chicago as part of his aggressive border policy:

“I welcome these families and would like them to know that in Illinois, they will be treated with dignity and will be able to receive the services they may need. We stand for humanity and respect, and our policies reflect that.

"Also, I condemn Governor Abbott’s use of inhumane tactics on immigrant families and those seeking asylum. This malice only makes our state shine more as one of the nation’s most welcoming states.

“The City of Chicago is working with local and state partners to connect these folks with the support and resources they need. All Illinoisans will follow suit to embrace those who need a helping hand while providing the means they may require.”

Category: News

Castro-supported initiative to invest additional $15 million in pre-apprenticeship program grantsSPRINGFIELD – Thanks to State Senator Cristina Castro’s support of the Illinois Works and Rebuild Illinois initiatives, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced another round of funding will be invested in Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program grants. The $15 million in funding will expand equity in Illinois’ construction workforce, grow the pool of highly-skilled apprentices and increase access to building trades careers more broadly.

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program is designed to increase the number of qualified construction and building trades apprentices who are women, people of color and veterans, and prepares them to enter full apprenticeship programs on their way to careers in the construction and building trades.

“A career in the building trades comes with so many benefits: a living wage, a dignified retirement, and opportunities to excel while helping to build our communities,” said State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “I am proud to support the Illinois Works initiatives as they continue to invest in our skilled workforce and create more opportunities for people of color, women, and veterans.”

The latest round of funding will provide grants to a statewide network of nonprofit, community-based organizations to provide free support, wraparound services and skills training to pre-apprenticeship candidates. The program will also provide stipends to ensure those enrolled in pre-apprenticeships have access to transportation, child care and other services that otherwise could serve as barriers to pursuing a career in the trades.

Passed by Senate Democrats in 2019, the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act is designed to promote diversity, inclusion, and use of apprentices in state-funded capital projects. The act created three major programs: the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program; the Illinois Works Apprenticeship Initiative, and the Illinois Works Bid Credit Program. Together these three programs aim to create a talent pipeline of skilled and diverse candidates to fill new job opportunities created by the act.

The deadline to apply for an Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program grant is Sept. 27, 2022 at 5 pm. Qualified community-based organizations can find more information about the funding and resources for applying by visiting the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

More information for those interested in enrolling in the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program can be found on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Category: News

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District Office:
The Professional Building
164 Division Street, Suite #102
Elgin, IL 60120
847-214-8864 phone
847-214-8867 facsimile

Springfield Office:
121 D Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone

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