Illinois’ leaders visit southern Illinois first time since election

MARION, Ill. — J.B. Pritzker visited southern Illinois for the first time Sunday since being elected Governor last month. He was here for a roundtable about vocational education and training.

Governor-elect Pritzker and soon-to-be Lieutenant Governor, Juliana Stratton, spent time in Marion at the Laborers Local 773 Training Facility talking to union members, students and educators, including Herrin Superintendent Dr. Terry Ryker. 

“Learning is for everyone, but going and getting additional school after high school is not for everyone,” Ryker said.

Pritzker and Stratton also listened to ideas on how to fix the issue.

“We’ve talked about lifting up working families across the state,” Pritzker said. “It’s so important that we create jobs and also prepare our young people of the jobs that are available today and the jobs of the future.”

The goal of the roundtable was to discuss ideas on how to offer more choices to students.

“This is an important pathway for so many young people and a way to make sure they get the skills and education they need to lead some very good paying jobs,” Stratton said.

Pritzker says he wants to help prepare the next generation to continue Illinois’ reputation of great labor unions.

“I think that we all know that there are jobs and businesses out there that need people with certain skills,” Pritzker said. “Then there are people that don’t have the skills but have the capability.”

Vienna High School vocational student Alex Miller says this conversation is important ahead of his graduation.

“I sat down with my parents and discussed how expensive it would be to go to a four year university,” Miller said. “But this program, (vocational training) it would just save us money because it gets us our associates and it teaches us important life skills that we can use later on.”

“We think that a vocational career or a technical career is really a critical way to raise wages and to match people with the skills with the skill leveled jobs that already exist,” Pritzker said. 

Marion was part of a three-day stop throughout the state to visit and listen to voters.

Posted: Dec 09, 2018 10:34 PM CSTUpdated: Dec 09, 2018 10:43 PM CST

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