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SPRINGFIELD – To bring more awareness to the impact Career and Technical Education has on student's success, Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) is supporting an effort to make February 2022 Career and Technical Education Month.

“Career and Technical Education programs not only provide technical skills for the future, but also provide academic and employability skills students can use for years,” Villa said. “These programs play a vital role in helping students choose career paths and explore other opportunities for success in and out of the classroom.”

Career and Technical Education, or CTE, are programs designed to prepare students for careers in major industries, such as finance, health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing and education. Coursework includes both academic and technical materials, allowing many students to use their knowledge from the programs to earn industry-recognized credentials or college credits. This makes careers in these fields much more accessible for many students who may struggle to complete coursework in traditional academic programs.

Many students have found massive success with the innovative program. Across the state, around 30,000 students earned college credit from their CTE courses, saving them time and money when earning their degrees. In addition, 97% of students who complete CTE programs in Illinois graduate from high school, compared to only 88% from traditional high schools. This year, almost 415,000 Illinoisans are enrolled in CTE programs. Villa wants to highlight the bright futures of these students as well as the success of CTE programs through this measure.

“CTE programs make it easy for students to begin earning college credits and receive industry-specific targeted learning toward post education,” Villa said. “My hope is that these programs will showcase the success of students who have found their career path and help contribute to our community and society.”

Senate Resolution 698 passed the Senate Education Committee.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Older adults in the LGBTQ community could be designated advocates under the Department on Aging for addressing mistreatment and disparities faced by LGBTQ seniors and seniors with HIV, thanks to a measure championed by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago).

“The LGBTQ community already faces an immense amount of stress regarding their sexual orientation, gender identity, lack of legal support and health care opportunities,” Villa said. “A dedicated advocate will help ensure older LGBTQ adults have the support they need and deserve.”

Villa’s measure would require the Department on Aging to provide older LGBTQ adults with a designated advocate and creates an LGBTQ Older Adult Curriculum & Training Program for Department on Aging service providers and contractors.

Designated advocates would help older LGBTQ adults and adults living with HIV face unique challenges as they age because of a lack of affirming resources, services available and the ongoing stigmatization.

“Every LGTBQ adult should have the same access to support and resources as everyone else,” Villa said. “Designated advocates will give misrepresented communities the tools needed for success.”

Villa partnered with advocates from the AARP, Equality Illinois and Pride Action Tank to create this legislation toward supporting older LGBTQ adults.

SB 3490 passed the Healthcare Access and Availability committee Tuesday and now heads to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced his budget proposal Wednesday, and State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) released the following statement:

“This budget proposal highlights many areas of improvement that will bring relief to Illinois communities. As a strong advocate for community involvement, I am glad the budget addresses proper funding for programs that support older adults, increases access to mental health programs, reinvestments into Family Tax Relief efforts, and focuses on staff shortages among social workers. There is also additional funding toward making Illinois strong by paying down our backlog.

“I look forward to continuing negotiations with my fellow legislators in the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget that is efficient and effective for all.

Category: Press Releases

BooksSUGAR GROVE – Thanks to support from State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) to provide local libraries with the resources needed for pandemic recovery, three libraries in the district she represents will receive more than $48,000 in combined grant funding to grow and enhance their services for the community.

“Our libraries have worked hard to be a constant in our lives through the ups and downs of the pandemic,” Villa said. “From providing resources for virtual learning to serving as a safe space for children after school, the work our libraries do for our communities is unmatched.”

The initiative is aimed to respond directly to difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant provides funding for libraries to modify services, transform spaces and develop resources for their local recovering workforce and to ensure all operations can be provided safely and effectively as the pandemic continues.

The following libraries in the district Villa represents will receive these funds:
• Town and Country Public Library: $19,647
• Sugar Grove Public Library: $19,713
• Yorkville Public Library: $9,280

“This critical funding will help our local libraries bounce back from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic so they can continue to provide for our community,” Villa said. “Libraries have always been one of my favorite places to visit, and I look forward to seeing the growth that will come from increased access to resources at these facilities.”

$48,640 in funding was awarded to libraries in the 25th Senate District. For a full list of libraries receiving a grant, click here.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
M121 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0471
District Office:
946 Neltnor Blvd., #108
West Chicago, IL 60185
(630) 326-9319

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